Santa Fe 2571 – EMD CF7
This engine was built by GM’s Electromotive Division in 1949 as an F7A, No. 202L, a “covered wagon” similar to the Museum’s F9A, OKRX 814. The unit was delivered in the Santa Fe’s “cat whisker” livery.
In the 1970’s, the AT&SF Railroad needed road engines that could also function as switch engines, but they couldn’t afford to buy new locomotives. The railroad had many aging F7’s that could be used, but the “covered wagon” body would have made switching work difficult, requiring the engineer to stick his head out of the window to see the end of the train.
The AT&SF determined that F7’s could be modified to look more like freight locomotives where the engineer could see well in both directions. The conversions were accomplished by the AT&SF at their shops in Cleburne, TX. The modified F7 units were given the new designation of CF7. Each locomotive conversion took about 45 days to complete and cost only one-half to one-third as much as a new locomotive. The program operated from 1969 to 1978 and converted a total of 233 units. ATSF No. 202L was converted in 1972, becoming CF7 No. 2571.
This locomotive was last owned by Los Angeles Junction (LAJ), a subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). The BNSF railway donated it to the ORM in 2012. It is currently out of service awaiting repairs.