Great Northern's first SD45 set to return

RELATED TOPICS: DIESEL PRESERVATION | BNSF
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GN400Glischinski
Great Northern Historical Society's SD45 No. 400 got a new engine at the BNSF shop in Minneapolis.
Steve Glischinski
MINNEAPOLIS – Great Northern Railway Historical Society’s GN SD45 No. 400, “Hustle Muscle” is returning to service after two years. The locomotive was the first EMD production model SD45.

In spring 2017, while being operated on the test rack at BNSF Railway’s Northtown Yard in Minneapolis, No. 400’s prime mover failed, and the unit was moved into storage as BNSF and the society worked on a long term solution to return the unit to service. BNSF located a 20-cylinder prime mover from ex-Santa Fe SD45-2 No. 6470, had it rebuilt at the railroad’s Topeka (Kan.) Shops, and shipped it to Northtown.

This winter No. 400 was pulled from the Northtown storage track and brought into the diesel shop. The damaged prime mover was pulled out and the rebuilt engine installed by Northtown shop forces, all at no cost to the society.

Built in May 1966, No. 400 was the first production SD45 built by Electro-Motive Division; it received the Hustle Muscle moniker by GN when the company purchased the unit. It continued to carry the name after it became Burlington Northern No. 6430 following the 1970 BN merger. In 1986 it was retired and donated in operating condition to the GNRHS. In 1989, the unit was repainted to its original GN paint scheme by BN at Grand Forks, N.D. It was repainted again by the Wisconsin & Southern at Horicon, Wis. in 2006.

The society is searching for a location where the unit can be displayed and operated. It expects to make a decision on where it will be located later this month.



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