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California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Southern Pacific SD40M-2

8574 - 8706

133 units delivered


8574 8575 8576 8577 8578 8579
8580 8581 8582 8583 8584 8585 8586 8587 8588 8589
8590 8591 8592 8593 8594 8595 8596 8597 8598 8599
8600 8601 8602 8603 8604 8605 8606 8607 8608 8609
8610 8611 8612 8613 8614 8615 8616 8617 8618 8619
8620 8621 8622 8623 8624 8625 8626 8627 8628 8629
8630 8631 8632 8633 8634 8635 8636 8637 8638 8639
8640 8641 8642 8643 8644 8645 8646 8647 8648 8649
8650 8651 8652 8653 8654 8655 8656 8657 8658 8659
8660 8661 8662 8663 8664 8665 8666 8667 8668 8669
8670 8671 8672 8673 8674 8675 8676 8677 8678 8679
8680 8681 8682 8683 8684 8685 8686 8687 8688 8689
8690 8691 8692 8693 8694 8695 8696 8697 8698 8699
8700 8701 8702 8703 8704 8705 8706

Data Table of the Model Types and Heritage of the SP SD40M-2's

Modeling the various types SD40M-2's with more photo's

SD40M-2 #8700 Walkaround

SD40M-2 photo directory


(C) Frank Keller SD40M-2 #8672 in helper service in the Tehachapi's


In 1993, SP contracted with Morrison Knudsen to supply 133 SD40M-2's, as part of the contract, SP was to supply no carbodies or shells. This sparked a frantic search for 133 six axle locos suitable for rebuilding. The search turned up 30 SD40's, 97 SD45's and 6 SDP45's. Due to another kitbash happening at MK at the time, 10 of the rebuilt SD45's received GP40 rear hoods and radiators. This resulted in 4 distinct versions, although all classified SD40M-2.

As far as we (modelers) are concerned, the SD40's and SDP45's retained their basic carbody shape. The SD45's came in 2 flavors, most also retained their carbody shape, with the exception of the 10 numbers listed below, these and the SDP45's, would represent the most interesting models to kitbash.

If you are interested in modeling any of these, then I cannot recommend highly enough, the Diesel Era article listed below, and of course a photo of the unit you are going to kitbash.

As best as I can figure out, with the References I have available, the units listed below are correct.

As built configuration:

  • SD40's - unchanged - 8583, 8624 - 8647, 8658, 8686 - 8689. - (30 units).
  • ex SD45's - GP40 rear ends - 8574 - 8582, 8700 - (10 units).
  • SDP45's - unchanged - 8691- 8696 - (6 units).
  • SD45's - unchanged - whatever numbers aren't listed above. - (87 units).

In service modifications:

  • 8670 was originally in an SD45 carbody, but was rebuilt with parts from an SDP40 and a GP40 into an SD40 style.

Although most SP modelers refer to the exCR (EL) units as SDP45's, (probably because SP had an order of SDP45's), I believe EMD called these SD45M's. EL ordered these for run-through freight service, requiring the longer frame for a 4000 gallon fuel tank, they never had a steam generator.


Trivia (from Mike Clark), SP #8690 exBN #6567 was the last SD45 built by EMD.
Builders # 5794-25 built 12/1971, retired by BN 12/1986.


Protoype References:

  • Diesel Era Jul/Aug. 1995, Vol.6 No.4 Page 35. - This is actually an article titled MK Rail 1994 Locomotive Activities.
  • Diesel Era Jul/Aug. 1996, Vol., No.3.
  • SP 1995 Motive Power Annual by Bill Shippen - Four Ways West Publications.
  • Southern Pacific Rails - a motive power finale by Peter Limas has a number of images and data concerning SP GP40M-2's.
  • Photo's of these units have appeared in various issues of Trains and Railfan & Railroad.

see Modeling the SD40M-2's for model references.


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All Corrections, Additions and Flames should be aimed at Richard Percy espee@railfan.net
This document © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. Richard.A.Percy

22/7/2007