GP40-2 No. 3121

As of March 2003

Rio Grande's GP40-2s came in several groups, as shown in this table.

Number Range Date Purchased Comments
3094 - 3105 Apr 1972 All GP40-2s delivered in the billboard "Rio Grande" scheme.
3106 - 3115 Dec 1972  
3116 - 3127 Sept 1974  
3128 Nov 1974 Replaced wrecked GP40 No. 3063.
3129 - 3130 1983 Also wreck replacements.  Have many updated features similar to EMD's GP50 model.

Specific information for individual units may be found on the Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society's GP40-2 page.


(1) Replacement numberboard.  The originals had rounded numerals.  Style indicates the change during the SPL era or at an ex-SP shop.

(2) Horn has been removed from cab (relocated to long hood).

(3) Replacement numberboard.  Note the upside-down "5" in place of the "2".  Sloppy style hints at a post-UP-merger "effort".

(4) Low-nose lights have been removed, no doubt during the SP era..  This unit has an interesting comment which someone has paint-markered onto the plate.

(5) Class lights still intact.

(6) SP-style ditch lights on front.


  • This numberboard is the original, using the lettering typically applied by EMD at the factory.
  • The horn is now located aft of the first radiator fan, per usual SPL practice (1988-1996).
  • SP replaced numberboards on many Rio Grande locomotives.  The new ones matched SP's traditional approach, with a Railroad Roman font (similar to the numbers on cab sides). This one was rather badly done, however.
  • Nose lights removed under SP were usually just plated over.  Those done under UP are usually more artfully matched to the carbody.
  • Strange that the signal light was removed but the class lights were left in place.  There does not seem to be any rhyme nor reason to this practice.
  • SP ditch lights extend above the walkway.  Note the MU-cable receptacle on the right-hand bracket (from the engineer's perspective). This is used to hold the loose end of an MU cable, in case an extra one is riding the front of the unit.



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2004, James R. Griffin.  All rights reserved.