ATSF Locomotives

Note: Many units renumbered by BNSF– even if still mostly in Santa Fe paint– can be found on the BNSF pages.

If you haven’t visited in a while, I’ve made a number of additions to this page. (4/29/2022)

EMD Locomotives

Like any of the larger Class I railroads, Santa Fe had an enormous variety of locomotive models, made even more diverse by the road’s extensive in-house rebuilding program. Most (but not all) rebuilt models were given a “u” suffix.

Second-Generation Six-Axle Models
ATSF5000 SD40u No. 5000 tops Abo Summit eastbound on 5/07/1994. It was built in 1966 and numbered 1700, then rebuilt in June 1981 and given this number.  Note the lack of a plow.  It’s accompanied by SF30C No. 9554, plus what looks like an SD40-2.  NEW IMAGE

Incidentally, the 5000 wears the number of a famous Santa Fe 2-10-4 steamer.

ATSF Power Mix May 6, 1994, and a fantastic consist is descending from Abo summit westbound.  The power, as near as I can make out, is a Phase 1 GP60, SF30C, SD45-2B, and F45u. I sure wish I’d owned a telephoto lens back then! Interestingly, even though the ATSF only had eight SD45-2B’s, I managed photographs of three of them (completely through dumb luck).  NEW IMAGE
ATSF5022_5027 SD40-2’s 5022 and 5027 are rolling an eastbound train towards the overpass at Mountainair on 5/07/1994.These were both delivered in November 1977.
ATSF5059 SD40-2 No. 5059, cresting Abo Summit on 5/07/1994.

Built April 1979.

Laguna1 F45u No. 5956 and two mates, westbound near Suwanee, NM (5/07/1994)

(F45u’s, also designated as SDF45’s, were rebuilt by the ATSF from F45’s.  They were all retired by BNSF by the the end of the 1990’s.)

bnsf-wp-1997-12-03 F45u No. 5970 on an eastbound BNSF train at Fraser, CO


ATSF5953 F45u No. 5953 is the trailing unit on a westbound autorack train, a few miles west of Abo Summit.  Originally built June 1968, it was painted in the SPSF scheme for a while, repainted back to bluebonnet sometime later.
ATSF5810 SD45-2u No. 5810 is running second on an eastbound autorack train as it crests Abo Summit at Mountainair. Note that, even though the power is well past the summit, it’s still working to drag the rear of the train over the hump.  (10/11/1997)Built May 1972 and rebuilt later as an SD45-2u. This unit wore the SPSF merger colors for a while but was later painted back in blue.
ATSF5834 SD45-2u No. 5834, pulling the last mile up to Abo Summit on May 12, 1995.  (detail from a larger photo, hence graininess)UPDATED IMAGE

Built May 1973, rebuilt September 1986.

1997-10-19 A matched set of SD45-2u’s, Nos. 5827, 5864, and 5843, blast eastbound through Sais, NM on 10/11/1997.UPDATED IMAGE
BNSF8218 and 8207 ATSF218 ATSF207 SD75M Nos. 8218 and 8207, at the sand tracks in Seattle on 7/24/2009 and still in their Santa Fe lettering. The third unit might be No. 8200. These units were renumbered from their original Santa Fe numbers by the addition of an 8 in front, hence 218 became 8218 and so forth. Delivered between February and April 1995.
abo_033 BNSF8224 ATSF224 SD75M No. 224, now patched and renumbered to 8224, is climbing the last miles towards Abo Summit on 7/27/2002.

Built April 1995.

BNSF8232 ATSF232 SD75M No. 8232, at Gallup on 2/21/2011. It’s part of a 3-unit rear DPU set on a westbound coal train.  These units had been mothballed during the recession but were starting to come back into service by this time (note 8255 behind it).

Originally delivered in July 1995 as ATSF 232.

atsf-1997-10-11 SD75M No. 242 cresting the summit at Abo on 10/11/1997.

Built August 1995, one month before the BNSF merger.

Four-Axle Models
Flagstaff-94-04-02 GP30u No. 2717 in Flagstaff, April 1994. Santa Fe had a large number of these units. This one had spent some time in SPSF merger paint, before being put back in blue-and-yellow just a few years prior to this photo. That probably explains why it’s much less faded than its GP35 companion to the left.
ATSF7442 ATSF2784 BN4020 The middle loco in this shot is GP30u No. 2784. It was rolling down from Abo Summit in early May 1996.
BNSF2406 nee ATSF2780 Here’s GP30u No. 2406 (BNSF), formerly ATSF 2780, rebuilt from GP30 3280. It’s at Belen, switching, on 7/26/2002. Now it sports ditch lights in addition to the new number and reporting marks.
Needles-02 Something unusual: here’s a GP39-2, looks like No. 3676, running fourth on a BNSF intermodal train coming down the hill into Needles in May 1998. Detail from a larger image.  That’s an unidentified Dash-8 ahead of it.

Built 11/1977.

ATSF3811-1988-03 AT&SF rostered only 45 GP50’s, numbered 3810 through 3854.

Here is a grainy shot of No. 3811, rolling westward out of Winslow in March 1988, part of six EMD’s on a freight.  (detail from a larger image)

ATSF3843 GP50 No. 3843: close-up of the cab as it transits Mountainair on 5/07/1994.
ATSF3844 GP50 No. 3844, leading two other matching units westbound at the road crossing at Sais (5/06/1994). Sais was the beginning of double-track west of Abo Canyon, before the second track was constructed there.
Built April 1985.
ATSF4017 GP60 No. 4017, a phase I standard-cab unit, leads three similar units over the top at Abo Summit on May 6, 1994. These blue/yellow geeps were Santa Fe’s last standard-cab 4-axle units.  See here for several others, after BNSF renumbering.
bnsf100 AFSF100 GP60M No. 100, now sporting BNSF lettering on the long hood, spotted leaving Belen on 7/27/2002.
ATSF104 GP60M No. 104 is the third unit on this fast piggyback train (same as No. 4017 above).  I recommend that you NOT walk in railroad cuts such as this; I did not hear the train coming until it was nearly upon me. Of course, in the modern age, the rent-a-cops would probably have you long before you got this close!  The GP60B ahead of it might be No. 332; the number does not appear clearly in my photos.
atsf119 GP60M No. 119, hiding in the yard at Winslow on 10/15/2013.  Sometimes, you just can’t get to a good vantage. Some of the silver is starting to weather, but at least the red on these units is holding up.
SF GP60M 121 GP60M No. 121, photographed in Barstow one evening in the early 1990s.  It’s still glossy, and absolutely gorgeous.

Photo courtesy of Clarence Dent.

bnsf123-gallup-2002-01-26 GP60M No. 123, trailing into Gallup on an eastbound freight on 1/26/2002.
BNSF124 4/27/2016 GP60M No. 124, seen working on a local east of Gallup on 4/27/2016. It’s suffered a pretty severe tagging (the other side is worse).
BNSF 126 GP60M No. 126 is parked in Gallup at dusk on 6/24/2012. Looks just as good as it did ten years before. There were several other GP60s of various classes in the yard this day, but none where they could be photographed.
atsf127 GP60M No. 127, photographed in Belen on July 27, 2002. Delivered new to the ATSF in June 1990, it’s just had its twelfth birthday. No. 127 was not patched in any way at that time.
bnsf153 GP60M No. 153, now with BNSF lettering, leading an eastbound through Belen on 7/27/2002.
bnsf155 atsf155 2006-12-05 GP60M No. 155, now with BNSF lettering but still with original number. It was parked in Rincon, NM on 12/05/2006.

Of interest, the new FRA regulation mandating reflective striping on sills had come into effect, and 155 has had the yellow strips applied.

atsf158 GP60M No. 158 is on a westbound freight departing Gallup on 2/21/2011. It was one of three GP60’s of various versions on this train. Delivered September 1990, it’s looking great after over 20 years of service.
atsf333-gallup-2002-01-26 GP60B No. 333 at Gallup on 1/26/2002. Not repainted or even patched at this point in time. One of 23 cabless GP60s delivered to the ATSF in July and August of 1991.

GE Locomotives

Santa Fe was a big customer of GE, long before the Dash 8 revolution.  It’s a huge subject better covered by other sources than here, but I do have a few samples of them shown below.

For contemporary railfanning, the following table might be useful. All units delivered in the 1990s were painted in red/silver warbonnet.

Model Number Series (Total Units) Dates Built
Dash 8-40B (B40-8) 7410 – 7449 (40) June 1988 – Apr 1989
Dash 8-40BW (B40-8W) 500- 582 (83) Oct 1990 – Apr 1992
Dash 8-40CW (C40-8W) 800 – 926 (127) Apr 1992 – June 1993
Dash 8-41CW (C41-8W) 927 – 951 (25) Sep – Oct 1993
C44-9W 600 – 699 (100) Feb – Sept 1994
ATSF9549 SF30C No. 9549 leads an eastbound J. B. Hunt train towards the crest of Abo Summit on 5/12/1995.  The 62 SF30C’s were rebuilt by the ATSF’s Cleburne shops from U36C’s. This one had been No. 8777, delivered December 1974 and rebuilt in June 1986.


ATSF7442 ATSF2784 BN4020 B40-8 No. 7442 was leading this post-merger autorack train near Abo in May 1996 (yes the photo is also shown up above). She’s from the final class of standard-cab GE’s.
BNSF 508 B40-8W No. 508, now in BNSF H2 paint. It was parked in Gallup on 6/24/2012.  I’m showing it here as an example of how members of this series of locos were early candidates for repainting. See my BNSF page for many more.
ATSF552 B40-8W No. 552, still mostly in Santa Fe paint.

Top: It is parked in Gallup on 9/24/2011. The paint is extremely faded for the most part. Too bad the sun was on the wrong side, here…

Bottom: same problem with sun.  Opposite side view, but in nearly the exact same location on 4/22/2012.  I wish the Gallup facility was visible from some direction other than North.  Oh well…

Dash 8-40CW’s
ATSF809 BN7115 Dash 8-40CW No. 809 was the middle unit on an eastbound pig train near Abo, NM.  It was passing a westbound baretable, so we can’t see the trucks or tank.  I just found this Dash-8 in my archives. The photo shows the changing appearance of consists on the Transcon post-merger.  Photo taken 10/10/1997.

Built June 1992.

ATSF818 ATSF893 ATSF804 Three Dash-8’s (818, 893, 804) are leading a westbound through the Abo Summit cut on (probably) May 4, 1996.  Nine months post-merger we still had solid sets of Super Fleet colors…

Built April 1992, April 1993, and April 1992 respectively.

ATSF846 1994 A pair of Dash 8-40C‘s, with No. 846 on the near end, cut in some cars in Colorado Springs on 9/15/1994.  The trailing unit might be No. 855 but the angle makes it impossible to know for sure.
Built May 1992.
atsf855 Dash 8-40CW No. 855, rear quarter view, on 5/07/1994.  She’s about two years old in this photo, in her prime.  Westbound near Suwanee, NM (about 5 miles south of I-40 on NM Hwy 6).  Also see the header image for another angle.
ATSF899_1994 Dash 8-40CW No. 899, running second on a westbound freight at Suwanee on 5/07/1994 (same train as above image). Have a look at the radiator wing and compare to the C44-9 behind; there is a detectable difference in thickness.
atsf950 C41-8W (or Dash 8-41C) No. 950 in Gallup on 10/15/2013.  Very faded now, on its twentieth birthday– it was built in October 1993. Look at the truck sideframes and compare to the C44’s below and you will immediately notice the primary spotting feature of the Dash 8 series.
atsf618_1998 C44-9W No. 618, Leading west out of Needles at dusk on 5/23/1998. Still in full Santa Fe paint, no BNSF patch yet, nearly two years post-merger.Built February 1994.
ATSF620-1997-10-05 C44-9W No. 620 climbs the last bit of single track out of Abo Canyon on 10/10/1997. C40-8W No. 809 is right behind. The scene is a lot different now; this is all double-track. (Plus, the code lines were removed not long after this photo!)
ATSF622 C44-9W No. 622 heads west with an autorack train, descending from Abo Summit in early May 1995.




C44-9W Walkaround (Also referred to as a DASH 9-44CW)

Here are four views of the former AT&SF No. 629, resting at Rincon on 9/07/2009. Still in original paint fifteen years after delivery (Feb 1994), it has the usual BNSF modifications: yellow sill stripes (FRA mandated), and “BNSF” lettered under the cab number.

Note that the air conditioner has been swapped with one from an orange BNSF unit.

These images are fairly large, to better show details.

atsf 630 bnsf C44-9W No. 630, coming into Flagstaff from the west on 3/27/2008. Still in original Santa Fe paint, but note the missing letters on the side. Contrast the “BNSF” reporting marks with those on No. 629 above.

Built February 1994.

atsf633 C44-9W No. 633 is on the point of a freight preparing to depart Gallup on 10/15/2013. The paint on this elegant old lady is in a sad state of oxidation by this point.

Delivered February 1994.

ATSF637 C44-9W No. 637, running third on a westbound freight near Suwanee, NM  (5/07/1994).

This is how they are supposed to look!

ATSF659_2018-04 C44-9W No. 659, 23 years post-merger.  It’s faded as per usual, but note the lack of BNSF reporting marks anywhere on it.  (Gallup, 4/20/2018)
atsf661 C44-9W No. 661, westbound near Holbrook.  (May 1998)

Built August 1994.

atsf 679 C44-9W No. 679 rolls southbound through Longmont, CO on 7/31/2010. This unit was built in August 1994, which makes it 16 years old at time of photo. Still in original Santa Fe paint and number, it’s getting pretty faded, and carries a swapped air conditioner behind the cab.
atsf688 C44-9W No. 688, seen in Grand Junction, CO on 11/11/2001. Nearly 7 years post-merger, it still has all-original paint, without even a BNSF reporting mark.

Built September 1994.


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