Top 10 Burlington Northern locomotives

Find out what made Tom's list of favorite diesel locomotives
RELATED TOPICS: LOCOMOTIVES | FALLEN FLAGS | WEST | NORTHWEST
On June 10, 1993, a Burlington Northern SD60M and SD40-2 take an eastbound freight along the Missouri River and into Lombard Canyon just east of Toston, Mont.
On June 10, 1993, a Burlington Northern SD60M and SD40-2 take an eastbound freight along the Missouri River and into Lombard Canyon just east of Toston, Mont.
Tom Danneman
Learn about Trains Art Director Tom Danneman's favorite Burlington Northern Railroad Company diesel locomotives, presented in no particular order. The story of Burlington Northern has been told many times, and in many ways, but it still feels like BN never got the recognition it deserved. The story always seemed like it was about the railroads BN swallowed. Admittedly, popular railroads such as Great Northern; Northern Pacific; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Spokane, Portland & Seattle; and later St. Louis-San Francisco were relegated to history. Because of that, however, BN inherited a variety of locomotives. On March 2, 1970, the new railroad amalgamated nearly 2,000 locomotives from all four of the major American locomotive builders, American Locomotive Company, Baldwin Locomotive Works, Electro-Motive Division, and General Electric, with countless models, making Burlington Northern one of the more exciting railroads to follow. What do you think?

For more, check out Tom's feature story in the March 2020 issue.

1. SD60M Three-window cab
Nos. 9200-9249
Why? Finally moving on from SD40-2s, Oakways, and LMXs. BN’s first comfort cabs which were adorned in BN’s “whiteface” scheme.
In January 1984, Burlington Northern F45 No. 6613 awaits its next assignment in Chicago & North Western’s Butler Yard near Milwaukee.
In January 1984, Burlington Northern F45 No. 6613 awaits its next assignment in Chicago & North Western’s Butler Yard near Milwaukee.
Tom Danneman
2. F45
Nos. 6600-6645
Why? Six axle cowls. My favorite locomotive.

3. SDP40
Nos. 9850-9855; 6394-6399
Why? Former Great Northern passenger locomotives equipped with steam generator.
In October 1985, a nearly-new Burlington Northern tiger-stripe GP50 leads a B30-7A(B) and a Frisco-ordered GP50 on a stack train on the Racetrack east of Naperville, Ill.
In October 1985, a nearly-new Burlington Northern tiger-stripe GP50 leads a B30-7A(B) and a Frisco-ordered GP50 on a stack train on the Racetrack east of Naperville, Ill.
Tom Danneman
4. GP50 
Nos. 3100-3162
Why? Variety. 3100-3109 ordered by Frisco. 3110-3162 wore tiger-stripe scheme, last five delivered with extended-length cab.

5. F9-2 A and B unit
Nos. BN-1 and BN-2
Why? They’re F units, that’s why. Rebuilt for executive service from F9s with GP38-2 innards.

6. SD40C
No. 6330
Why? Caterpillar-re-engined SD40-2 with interesting nonstandard features.
In May 1992, GP20C belches out a bit of smoke as it switches Burlington Northern’s North La Crosse, Wis., yard.
In May 1992, GP20C belches out a bit of smoke as it switches Burlington Northern’s North La Crosse, Wis., yard.
Tom Danneman
7. GP20C
Nos. 2000-2009
Why? Caterpillar-re-engined GP20 with unique angled cab with original sloped nose.

8. C30-7
Nos. 5000-5141; 5500-5599
Why? They looked cool. They sounded cool. They were cool.
On Aug. 25, 1990, a Burlington Northern GP39M leads two LMX locomotives on train No. 3 down the "Racetrack" near Brookfield, Ill.
On Aug. 25, 1990, a Burlington Northern GP39M leads two LMX locomotives on train No. 3 down the "Racetrack" near Brookfield, Ill.
Tom Danneman
9. GP39M With original GP30 carbody
Nos. 2750-2758; 2800-2834
Why? Modernized locomotive with classic body lines.

10. SD60M Two-window cab
Nos. 9250-9298; 1991
Why? Second variation of SD60Ms. No. 1991 painted red, white, and blue in support of U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf in a scheme that shames current commemorative offerings.
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