Gn 1600 sb

Railroadforums.com is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

Jon Bentz

New Member
For those who may not know what unit John is referring to - here's a shot of 1600 from September 14, 2005 at Bayside yard in Everett departing on the Sumas Turn. The unit has been off the BNSF roster for quite a while. Last time I saw it was in Auburn with 'GN' spray painted over the BNSF logo. I think she toasted her main generator not too long after the Bayside photo.
 

GE Power

New Member
Thanks for the picture and info, Jon. Sorry for the cryptic post; I was "chasing trains".

This locomotive sat on the back side of Tacoma yard along with a derelict SW for quite a while, visible from the Tideflats freeway. It had a huge "1600" and "GN" hand lettered on the side. Really "unique". It was later moved to Interbay where it received more comment. So here it was yesterday moving south through Kent, near the tail end of a manifest. I had put my camera down when it went by so no picture.
 

RoadRailer

FP Engineer
GN1600 was sandwiched mid-train in a string of refers this morning in the Pasco yard, near the Hwy 12/395 overpass.
Poor location and weather for pictures but a snapped a few that I'll try to post later.
 

Tacoma Tom

New Member
I am surprised to see that locomotive running again. I removed the front draft gear and coupler a few years ago when I was working at Ceeco. I was told it was to be used for spare parts. I guess someone changed their mind. That locomotive has some special history to it but I can't remember. I believe it was the last locomotive made for Great northern or something similar like that.
 

speeder3

MRSR Ops. Director
Is this unit actually under power? I took a good look at the 1600 some time ago and found the motor missing not only both blowers, but most of the gear train on the governor end as well as the muffler. The exhaust ports were wide open to the weather, which surely didn't speak well for the rest of the block. Getting this unit running again would have required starting from scratch with a bare bed plate.

Brian Wise
 

Bruce Butler

_______________
"GN" BNSF 1600 - ex BN 1702, exx NP 202

Here is a rather old but true (from 1992) story that includes "GN 1600" history. Enjoy!
================================================

GOOD PEOPLE AND THE RESOURCEFUL BURLINGTON NORTHERN

The 44th Annual Motive Power Survey, published in the November 1992 issue of TRAINS magazine, featured first and second generation diesel units still working for class one carriers. BN is one of these, still operating 66 GP9s along with 5 GP18s and 5 GP5s.

Financial managers like to refer to the "average age" of a railroad's locomotive fleet, but this measurement does not reflect mechanical condition. With contemporary units (EMD SD60M or GE dash 8 series) costing about 2 million dollars each, it would seem to make good economic sense to maintain and take good care of older units so that they can continue to provide dependable motive power irrespective of age.

Two EMD locomotive models seem to fit this category very well; the GP9 is a good design, easy to maintain, and a favorite with shortlines. The SD40-2 is an exceptionally well designed unit with reliable components and high horsepower, capable of providing good mainline service. BN has done an excellent job of maintaining both of these classes of units on their roster.

BN has also been an industry leader by "recycling" second generation GP30s and GP35s into the 2800-2900 class GP39M, GP39E, and GP39V units. These units are a much better design today than when they were new in 1962-65. Now being delivered from the Morrison Knudsen facility in Boise are the GP28Ms. These are a remanufactured GP9 brought up to contemporary standards and showing promise of being another excellent class of units.

But the real story is how the trains move over the road. Join us trackside for a firsthand experience!

It is after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 6, 1992; a cold, clear winter night with the temperature about 10 degrees and nearly a full moon. Westbound BN train 101 is on the move through downtown Spokane Washington, meeting Amtrak #8, the eastbound Empire Builder, at Division street. Amtrak #7, the westbound Empire Builder, is in the depot. Number 101 is one of BN's most important boxcar trains. Tonight's motive power is an interesting mix; the lead unit is the 7031, a SD40-2 built in Feb, 1978. The second unit is 4025, a GE B30 7A cabless "slug" built in 1982. The third unit is among the oldest operating today on the BN; GP9 1702, built in June 1954. The 1702 is among the very few diesels working today which also worked alongside of steam power in regular service!

All three units are online and working. Number 101 tonight is actually 101-3, having originated at Northtown yard in Minneapolis on Dec 3rd. They have 69 loads, 29 empties, and 7904 tons departing Spokane, with a train length of 5900 feet. The 1702 has been on this train since either Havre or Shelby, Montana.

Train 101 rolls smoothly on concrete ties through downtown Spokane on the elevated former NP viaduct built in 1915; past Sunset junction; across the high Latah creek bridge built in 1972; and then south onto the former SP&S line west of Latah junction. After coming off the bridge Engineer Pat Horn opens the throttle to run 8 to use all of the 7750 horsepower in this 3-unit consist for the pull up the 0.8 percent ascending grade through Marshall, Scribner, and Lakeside enroute to Cheney and Pasco. A freezing fog has white sparkles floating in the cold night air. At the wooden road overpass east of Overlook the headlight pierces the night and the sounds of the three different diesels working wide open fill the night. Train 101 is doing between 15 and 20 mph up the grade.

From the highway overpass at Marshall the headlight can be seen coming around the curve at the west end of Overlook. The three distinctive locomotive sounds carry through the winter night stillness; the deep rumble and turbo sounds of the 16-645E3 diesel in the SD40-2, the distinctive thump of the GE's 4-cycle diesel in the slug, and the roar of the 16-567C diesel in the GP9. Still in run 8 and moving about 25 mph, the train rolls under the bridge and on to Scribner and west. All appears to be in order as the caboose passes under the bridge. Conductor Joe Meyer can be seen at his desk attending to the paperwork. Number 101 will be stopping and waiting at Lakeside for Amtrak #27 to come up the former NP line and run ahead to Pasco.

BN 1702 was built as Northern Pacific 202, EMD builders number 19546; the third unit of a four unit order. These were the NP's first GP9s, and they were ordered for service on the Camas Prairie Railroad in Lewiston Idaho; replacing steam locomotives there.

Retired BN (former NP) locomotive engineer Al Bennett was working the NP Idaho East extra board that summer of 1954 and had the westbound run from Paradise Montana which brought these units into Spokane when they were new. An EMD representative was along and talked with Al about the new units. The next day Al was called for the P&L Highball which took the units to Lewiston. The same EMD representative was still with the units and when he saw Al again he said something to the effect of "are you the only Hoghead this outfit has?". They both had a good laugh about that!

The 202 spent the next 21 years on the Camas Prairie, receiving excellent care at the East Lewiston engine facilities under the direction of Master Mechanic Herb Banks and traveling the river grade to Orofino and Stites, the log run to Headquarters, and the 3% grades on the Grangeville line. The BN merger on March 2, 1970 initially changed little on the Camas Prairie, but NP 202 became BN 1702 and got a black and green paint job. Then at 5:05 a.m. on November 25, 1975 the 1702 hit a rock slide about 2 miles east of Peck Idaho along the Clearwater River. It came to a rest on its right side, almost in the river, and caught fire!

Normally this would have been the end of the 1702, but the capable craftsmen at the Hillyard shops (former GN facility in Spokane) convinced BN officials to allow them to rebuild the wreck as a "filler" project when other work was slow. The 1702 spent most of the next 3 years inside of the big Hillyard diesel shop and when it emerged it was much better than new! It featured rebuilt electrical components, current model D77 traction motors, new wiring and electrical cabinet, new style control stand, chopped short hood, and type 26 brake system. In an unusual touch the new paint job featured white stripes at both ends of the unit!

Initially assigned to Hillyard for maintenance, the 1702 worked lines out of Spokane and even spent some time back on the Camas Prairie! When Hillyard was closed about 1986, the 1702 was assigned to Interbay (Seattle) where it remains as one of only 11 GP9s assigned there as of late 1992. All of them occasionally come to Spokane, but the duties they handled so well for so many years today are largely handled by the more than 100 GP38s and GP39s of various models currently assigned to Interbay.

Thanks to BN Trainmaster Kirk Bettis for providing some of the facts for this story.

Bruce Butler
Dec 7, 1992

I should add that I first became acquainted with NP 202 at Lewiston ID in the summer of 1954 when I was 14 years old!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

GE Power

New Member
Is this unit actually under power? I took a good look at the 1600 some time ago and found the motor missing not only both blowers, but most of the gear train on the governor end as well as the muffler. The exhaust ports were wide open to the weather, which surely didn't speak well for the rest of the block. Getting this unit running again would have required starting from scratch with a bare bed plate.

Brian Wise
Brian, I'm about 99.9% sure the 1600 was not running at Kent (never 100%, I might be wrong). It was way back toward the tail end of the train, like a box car.

And Bruce, great story. Thanks.
 

Bruce Butler

_______________
The info i was told was that it was sold to Relco for scrap.
Seems a bit strange to me that they would pay to ship it all the way from Tacoma to Albia IA just to scrap it! The shipping charges would likely be more than the scrap value.

By the way, I have been informed that the ruling grade on the SP&S line is 0.8%, NOT 1.5% as I indicated in my story. I was able to correct the story in post #8 above
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ANDREWAMTRAK

Airchime
Seems a bit strange to me that they would pay to ship it all the way from Tacoma to Albia IA just to scrap it! The shipping charges would likely be more than the scrap value.

By the way, I have been informed that the ruling grade on the SP&S line is 0.8%, NOT 1.5% as I indicated in my story. I was able to correct the story in post #8 above
Not really, Scrap steel could probably fetch 15-20K

Cost for BNSF to move their own locomotive, nothing besides fuel on regularly schedule train.
 

Bruce Butler

_______________
Cost for BNSF to move their own locomotive, nothing besides fuel on regularly schedule train.
The kicker is that it isn't their locomotive anymore. They sold it years ago and apparently it has since been re-sold to RELCO. I would guess that BNSF is charging 7-10 grand for the move! The fact that it was once their locomotive and BNSF and its predecessors had owned it for over 50 years means nothing to the bean counters. Just another revenue move. Of course it is possible that someone could have cut a sweetheart deal. We will never know.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TPWRY

member
Just FYI GN 1600 just arrived in Galesburg, IL at 04:45 AM June 12 on the H-PASGAL. Still too early for pics or vid unfortunately.
 




RailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

Top