SD40T-2 No. 5347

As of November 1991

This left-side oblique view shows a unit from the first group of Rio Grande tunnel motors.  It was about 17 years old at time of the photo, and still carried most original features (with the addition of the positive traction control system).

Rio Grande's SD40T-2s came in several groups, as shown in this table.

Number Range Date Purchased Comments
5341 - 5355 Oct 1974  "Short"  (81-inch) nose.  (All SD40T-2s were delivered in the billboard "Rio Grande" scheme.)
5356 - 5366 July 1975 "Short" nose
5367 - 5373 Aug 1975 "Short" nose
5374 - 5385 Jan 1977 "Long" (88-inch) nose
5386 - 5397 Aug 1978 "Long" nose.  Low-nose light mounted in external box.
5398 - 5413 Mar 1980 "Long" nose.  Leslie horns.

Specific information for individual units may be found on the Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society's SD40T-2 page.

(1) Leslie P-3 horn.  This unit has had its Nathan horn replaced.

(2) Engine number on rear flank of unit.

(3) Wheel-slip sensor cables.

(4) Handbrake chain and bracket.

(5) Running light.

(6)Frame-mounted bell..

(7) Drainpipe mounted on front of fuel tank.

(8) 4000-gallon fuel tank.  Note the large gap between tank and the lead truck.

(9) Radiator intake grilles: the distinctive feature of the Tunnel Motor (along with the actual radiators, located above).

(10) Rerail frog.

See the detail page for SD40T-2 No. 5350 for additional details and comments.
  • Some units had horns replaced over time, if required by maintenance.
  • The positive traction control (PTC) system uses these sensors to detect wheel slippage.  There are sensors on each axle; the rear truck has them on the opposite side.  Some units originally had all sensors installed on the fireman's side, but these were later changed for ease of maintenance.
  • Running lights have a practical use for the crew.  When operating at night, the light illuminates the ground, and the engineer can look down and see if the train is actually moving or not.
  • Bell is in the standard D&RGW location.
  • Rio Grande's SD40T-2s had a slightly smaller fuel tank than usual-- 4,000 gallons instead of 4,400 gallons. As a result, they were about 2' 4-1/2" shorter, leaving a noticeable gap behind the front truck.
  • Rerail frogs were standard D&RGW practice.  This is the later type.
  • Note that you can see all the way through the unit. The radiator fans are located above this space, forcing air upward through the radiators near the roof.


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2005, James R. Griffin.  All rights reserved.