Conrail SD45-2 prototype information. Always updating.

Page Updated:
Nov 11, 1999


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The Conrail Cyclopedia - Serving Conrail fans world-wide since 1998.

CR SD45-2 In 1976 Conrail inherited thirteen 3,600hp SD45-2's from the Erie Lackawanna, which had purchased the units in 1972 and were the EL's last new locomotives before Conrail. The EL purchased the locomotives for fast freight service, equipping them with an extra-large 5,000 gallon fuel tank so the units could run without refueling between New York and Chicago. Plus the larger fuel tank added to the overall weight of the locomotives, thereby increasing their tractive effort. When the EL moved the engines' airhorns to a position in front of the cab and below the roof line, the SD45-2's were allowed to work in ore service in the Cleveland, OH, area.

Unfortunately, the units did not see the same freight service under Conrail as they did under the EL due to the SD45-2's HT-C trucks. As mentioned on the SD40-2 Prototype page, Conrail was wary of the new HT-C trucks that EMD had been placing on their all their six-axle Dash-2 locomotives. As a result, in 1977 Conrail mandated that all SD40-2's be delivered with the older, proven Flexicoil trucks. Since the SD45-2's had HT-C trucks, Conrail restricted them to pusher duty over Horseshoe Curve in Central Pennsylvania. Some other locomotives to serve pusher duty over the years were SD35's, SD40's, SD40-2's, SD45's, SDP45's, SD50's, SD60's, C30-7's, C36-7's, and a handful of ALCos.

During the early 1990s, the aging SD45-2's were removed from full-time pusher duty and helped on Black Lick coal trains in the Altoona area, though they did reappear in pusher duty from time to time until 1997. By 1996 all the units had been repainted in the Quality scheme. Shortly after that, all 13 units were leased off to the Canadian National and other railroads. I've heard that they appeared on the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern, for example. I also began sporadically seeing them in regular Conrail freight service in Eastern Pennsylvania by late 1996.

In 1998 while on lease to Canadian National, CR 6656 and 6660 suffered an engine failure, were repaired, then sold off to northeastern regional, Reading & Northern. On a similar note, sometime between 1995 and 1997 CR 6661 was rebuilt with a 16-cylinder 3,000hp and reclassed as an SD40-2. The remaining units eventually found their way back into general freight service until the end of Conrail until they were transferred to CSX and Norfolk Southern in June 1999.

Comprehensive Roster [Download PDF Version ]
The roster below is comprehensive for these units between April 1976 and May 1999, and contains all predecessor units of the locomotive class that Conrail inherited. If numbers are missing from the roster, Conrail intentionally left them open. Sources used for this roster primarily come from several years of Conrail locomotive data books, Diesel Era, and X2200South. Thanks to John Durant, Rob Russell, and Bryan Jones.
 CR     Former    Built   Notes
 ==================================================================================
 6654   EL 3669   07/72   
 6655   EL 3670   07/72   
 6656   EL 3671   07/72   Engine failure Summer '98, sold to Reading & Northern 
 6657   EL 3672   07/72   
 6658   EL 3673   07/72   
 6659   EL 3674   07/72   
 6660   EL 3675   07/72   Engine failure Summer '98, sold to Reading & Northern
 6661   EL 3676   07/72   1995-97 rebuilt 3,000hp 16-cyl engine, reclassed SD40-2
 6662   EL 3677   07/72   
 6663   EL 3678   07/72   
 6664   EL 3679   07/72   
 6665   EL 3680   07/72   
 6666   EL 3681   07/72   

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