The EMD F45 was the final model
purchased by the railroad industry for use in any type of passenger
service capacity before the onset of Amtrak. Only two railroads
ultimately purchased the F45, the Great Northern and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the latter of which approached Electro-Motive to create the model
after finding the FP45 successful (a locomotive it had helped EMD
create). The F45 was essentially an SD45 in a semi-streamlined carbody
(known as the "cowl" design) for use in passenger service. The F45s saw
roughly twenty years of service on the GN and successor Burlington Northern in freight service before being retired or sold while Santa Fe's lasted until the mid-1990s in freight service.
Today, a few F45s are still around although none are currently in operation. Additionally, the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Montana has cosmetically restored a former AT&SF F45 as Great Northern #441 for use as hotel living quarters.
The Santa Fe was one of just a few roads that came to like the F45 design; here, #5923 leads a freight past AG Tower in Augusta, Kansas along with assistance from two other units during December of 1977. The author notes that the train is passing over the Frisco's Wichita Branch and both it and the tower are long gone.
The EMD F45 began production in the summer of 1968 upon the request of
the AT&SF to have an SD45 shrouded in a semi-streamlined carbody.
While initially not intended for use in passenger service some of the
railroad's later orders included steam lines for use in a limited such
capacity (for instance, the Santa Fe's FP45s featured the red Warbonnet
livery whereas the F45s used the "Bluebonnet" scheme). The F45 was one
of the few F models to feature a C-C truck setup. Equipped with General Motors' 20-cylinder model 645E3 prime mover the F45 could produce a hefty 3,600 horsepower while its D77 traction motors allowed it to churn out a continuous tractive effort of 82,100 pounds and starting effort up to 90,000 pounds.
Upon seeing the Santa Fe's F45 in service and liking the model, the Great Northern
decided to order a small fleet of them as well. Its locomotives were
ordered with the cowl design for added crew safety, particularly in the
mountainous territory between Washington State and western Montana, with
the longer nose and cab sitting further back on the carbody. The Santa
Fe's F45s came adorned in the railroad's "Bluebonnet" livery while the
GN's fleet featured the railroad's new "Big Sky Blue" livery, a very
late paint scheme that only lasted a few years before the Burlington
Already renumbered as Burlington Northern #6605, a Great Northern F45 leads a trio of SD45s as the units power a manifest freight at Downers Grove, Illinois near Fairfield Avenue while passing another freight on the next track over on August 29, 1970.
The EMD F45 was reliable although it only saw use in service for a few
years before the onset of Amtrak in the spring of 1971. In total, the
Santa Fe rostered a fleet of 40 F45s, numbered 5900-5939 (the order was
completed by July, 1968, while the GN picked up 14 before the Burlington
Northern merger and had ordered another 12 although these came in
Cascade Green as the merger occurred before they were delivered. The BN
itself went on to purchase another 20 for a total roster of 46 F45s.
Under GN, which first began receiving locomotives in May, 1969, its
units were numbered 427-440 with BN's roster numbered 6614-6645. The
final Burlington Northern-built F45s arrived in April, 1971. For more information about the F45 series please click here.
EMD F45 Production Roster
FP45 Production Roster
Santa Fe F45 #5974 and a mate wait with their westbound freight at West Junction near Houston, Texas for Amtrak's "Sunset Limited" to clear the line during May of 1989.
Being that the model was basically a freight service SD45 the
F45s performed well in that capacity although they saw a relatively
short career with BN, which sold or scrapped its fleet by the late 1980s
and the Santa Fe doing the same by the mid-1990s (as a streamlined
freight locomotive they were not particularly useful given their sight
restriction and lack of exterior walkways, which is why EMD moved away
from first-generation F models). As late as 2008 and 2009 both
regionals New York, Susquehanna & Western and Montana Rail Link continued to use F45s in freight service.
However, the since then both railroads have removed theirs from service and subsequently scrapped.