GP40 No. 3051

As of December 1988

This photo shows No. 3051 and another GP40, trailing units on a westbound manifest freight on the morning of 12/24/1988.  I don't know what the number is of the last unit, but we can deduce by the fans that it is indeed a GP40, and numbered between 3051-3080 based on the paint scheme and the extra roof vent.  This image is a detail from the scanned negative.

Rio Grande's GP40s came in several groups, as shown in this table.

Number Range Date Purchased Comments
3051 - 3063 Jan 1966 Demoted to B-unit status, 1972
3064 - 3068 Sept 1966 Demoted to B-unit status, 1972
3069 - 3080 Feb 1967 3069-3075 demoted to B-unit status, 1972
3081 - 3085 Oct 1969 Delivered in Billboard "Rio Grande" lettering
3086 - 3093 Nov 1971 Delivered in Billboard "Rio Grande" lettering
3131 - 3153 1983 Purchased second-hand from Conrail. Had temporary unit numbers until repainted 1984-1985.

Specific information for individual units may be found on the Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society's GP40 page.

 (1) Roof vents [2].

(2) Rerail frog, on each side.

(3) Mars light.

(4) Nathan M3 horn.

(5) Cab sunshade missing-- cab looks bare inside.

(6) Small flying Rio Grande lettering


  • Many earlier GP40s had an additional engine room vent installed by the railroad, forward of the dynamic brake fan.
  • Two styles of frog were used over time; the earlier one resembled a large wedge with a slot in the broad side.  This is the later style.
  • All GP40s were all delivered with the Mars signal light.  Some were later replaced with Pyle lights as maintenance required it, since Mars later went out of production. This unit is still OEM.
  • Rio Grande locomotives delivered before 1980 came with the Nathan M3 air horn, as on No. 3051.
  • GP40 Nos. 3051 through 3075 were downgraded to "B" unit status in 1972.  When that happened, most cab amenities such as sunshades were removed. 
  • All hood units had the smaller Rio Grande lettering until the arrival of the 3081-3085 class.  No GP40s were ever repainted into the larger scheme (except for the ex-Conrail units).



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2004, James R. Griffin.  All rights reserved.