SD45 arrives painted in NP colors at Duluth

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Lake Superior Railway Museum's ex-Northern Pacific SD45 No. 3617 rests in the morning sun at the former NP Rices Point yard on Thursday. Next up — Monad logos.
David C. Schauer
DULUTH, Minn. – It's been a good week for fans of EMD's classic SD45.

This week, Northern Pacific SD45 No. 3617 arrived in Duluth, Minn., where it will be put on display at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. The locomotive was recently repainted into NP's classic black and yellow scheme at the Northern Plains Railroad shops in Fordville, N.D.

The locomotive's homecoming happens the same week the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum announced that a former Seaboard Coast Line SD45, No. 2024, was recently repainted in Missouri and would be heading to Tennessee this month. Both locomotives join the growing number of second generation diesels that have been preserved in the United States in recent years.

No. 3617 was built for the NP in 1967 and later became Burlington Northern No. 6417. BN retired the locomotive in 1987 and sold it to the Wisconsin Central where it became No. 6495 and later No. 7495. The engine stayed on the WC until 2007 when the railroad's successor, Canadian National, donated it to LSRM.

After being painted in North Dakota, the locomotive was moved dead-in-transit to Duluth. On Thursday evening the locomotive was brought on to the museum grounds behind a former Great Northern NW5 and a Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range SD18. The locomotive will be put on display initially, but museum officials hope to restore it to operation in the coming years. No. 3617 is the second SD45 that has been preserved in the state of Minnesota, which is also home to Great Northern No. 400. The GN locomotive, nicknamed "Hustle Muscle," was the first SD45 built and is housed at the Minnesota Transportation Museum.
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