Santa Fe 90 – EMD FP45
This engine, the first of its class, was built by EMD (Builders No. 33189) in December 1967 as AT&SF (Santa Fe) No. 100. Right off the assembly line, No. 100 and its sister, No. 102, had the honor of leading the record-breaking inaugural run of the westbound Super C, a high-priority, 79 mile-per-hour freight train from Chicago to Los Angeles in January 1968.
Following this grand entrance, No. 100 settled down to pulling Santa Fe’s finest passenger trains. The Santa Fe remained committed to first class passenger trains, even while other railroads were decreasing or completely abandoning passenger service. Nine 3600 hp FP45 locomotives numbered 100-108 were delivered for service on the El Capitan and Super Chief in 1967, painted in the classic red and silver “warbonnet” colors which had graced Santa Fe’s diesel passenger locomotives since 1937. This engine was renumbered into the 5940 series along with the rest of the FP45’s in March 1970, as part of the 1969/70 general renumbering.
With the coming of Amtrak in 1971, the FP45’s were reassigned to freight duties for the remainder of their careers, other than occasional use pulling business and special trains. Sometime in late 1971 or early 1972, the 5940’s shed their flashy red and silver “warbonnet” for Santa Fe’s more mundane blue and yellow freight scheme. Within a few years, they were repainted again into the blue and yellow “warbonnet” scheme. The units clocked up 2-3 million miles each in this service.
By 1981 the FP45s were worn out, and Santa Fe began extensively rebuilding them in their San Bernardino, CA shops. This loco was rebuilt in September 1981, being renumbered from No. 5940 to No. 5990 in the process.
In 1989, it was decided that all new locomotives would be delivered in the red and silver “warbonnet” paint, called the “Super Fleet.” The FP45’s were repainted into a version of the paint scheme in which they were originally delivered, and were briefly given their original numbers before being renumbered again as No. 90 – 98.
Number 90 was the last of its kind in active service on the AT&SF’s successor, the BNSF railroad. It was donated to the ORM by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway in December of 1999. Of the nine units built, six are now in various museums.
This unit is on long-term static display.