Legendary railroad photography Richard Steinheimer did a four-page feature on the SD45T-2, mostly via photos showing up-close views of the locomotive, its differences from standard models, and the latest "Dash 2" design features. The success of these tunnel motors also drew interest from a nearby
road, the Rio Grande that was also plagued with overheating problems via several bores along its main lines
between Denver and Salt Lake City. During 1972 EMD began cataloging its "Dash 2" variant of the SD40, the SD40-2. This model was the top locomotive of that decade, continuing through the mid-1980s selling nearly 4,000 units during that time. In 1974 the D&RGW approached Electro-Motive asking for something similar to the SD45T-2 but as an SD40-2.
Applying the same setup EMD released the SD40T-2 in 1974, which closely resembled its cousin in outward appearances except that the '45T-2 sported a longer frame and extra radiator door. Under the hood, however, things were somewhat different. While both used EMD's model 645E3 prime mover the SD40T-2's used only 16 cylinders and featured 3,000 horsepower. The Rio Grande went on to purchase 73 "T-2s," as they were also known, rostering them as 5341-5413. Once again, Southern Pacific became the largest buyer acquiring 229 units as well as 10 more lettered for subsidiary St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt). The reliability of both designs, in particular the SD40T-2, saw tunnel motors operate for many years and in the process became a railfan favorite.
EMD SD40T-2 Production Roster
|Denver & Rio Grande Western||5341-5413||73||1974-1980|
|Southern Pacific||8230-8306, 8327-8341, 8350-8371, 8377-8391 8489-8473||214||1974-1979|
|St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt/SP)||8322-8326, 8372-8376||10||1978|
EMD SD45T-2 Production Roster
|Southern Pacific||9166-9260, 9302-9313, 9344-9370||134||1972-1975|
|St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt/SP)||9157-9165, 9261-9301, 9315-9343, 9371-9404||113||1972-1975|
Both examples of the T-2 logged millions of miles on their respective
systems, carrying through to new owner Union Pacific when it acquired
the SP in 1996 (the Rio Grande had disappeared into the Espee in 1988).
As UP purchased new power in the 2000s it slowly replaced its fleet of
tunnel motors and today none remain on its roster. However, many are
still in service on other roads, notably Class I Kansas City Southern
which purchased several and rebuilt them as SD40-3s although some still
carry their original T-2 design characteristics. Other places to find
tunnel motors, either overhauled or otherwise include the Wheeling &
Lake Erie, RJ Corman, Respondek, Susquehanna, various leasing
companies, Buffalo & Pittsburgh, Alabama & Tennessee River, and
Fort Worth & Western.
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