Friday, May 24, 2013
Today's Train of Thought- Lone Star Classics, May 24th 2013.
Today's Train of Thought takes us to Texas for some vintage LaGrange-built horsepower [I'm not referring to ZZ Top's 'LaGrange', either- NANESB!].
While the SD45-2 never caught on as much as the slightly smaller SD40-2, there are surprisingly some examples of these 40+ year old 3600 HP behemoths still in service on a number of Class 1s and regionals. This would include carriers such as the BNSF, Norfolk Southern and Montana Rail Link [the Norfolk Southern units trace their lineage to the Erie Lackawana- NANESB!].
Here, railpictures.net contributor Brian P Bennett caught BNSF SD45-2 #6488 leading 87-car unit limestone train U-BWWPEA1 through Sealy, TX in January 2008. A pair of blue and yellow SD45-2s bracket are seen bracketing a repainted BNSF SD40-2 on each end. The Houston-area limestone trains regularly featured older power. If the Sealy name sounds somewhat familiar, that's because the Sealy Mattress Company was founded in the very same town in the late 19th century.
As of September 2012, the 6488 had undergone rebuilding at Progress Rail in Tacoma, WA along with another dozen or so SD45-2s. The rebuilds will reportedly include replacing the air conditioning, new anticlimbers, and most likely repainting into BNSF orange and black.