Nov 11, 1999
Conrail inherited all of their SDP45's from the Erie Lackawanna, which purchased the units in two orders in 1969 for fast merchandise freights. The locomotives were powered by a 645-E3 prime mover producing 3,600 horsepower with a maximum speed of 70mph. Even though the locomotives were built for passenger service and have extra space in the rear of the locomotive for heating, the EL did not use this feature. Instead, they ordered the locomotives for the large fuel tank so the locomotives could be run between New York and Chicago without refueling, a feature also found on their SD45-2's. Plus the larger fuel tank added the to the overall weight of the units, increasing their tractive effort.
EL ordered the first set of units (EL 3635-3653) while the railroad was under the control of the Norfolk & Western. As a result, these units were equipped with dual control stands, allowing them to be run long hood forward, a N&W practice that is still followed on many of their locomotives to this day under the Norfolk Southern. In 1984 Conrail returned this group of SDP45's to the N&W, which had become Norfolk Southern by then. EL 3637 did not return since the EL had wrecked it in September 1975 and former EL 3639 (CR 6670) was donated to the Virginia Museum of Transportation. In 1985 all of the units in this group were traded into EMD for NS's first order of SD60's, though some did survive on NS into 1986 before going off to EMD.
The units purchased in the second order (EL 3654-3668) were equipped with standard control stands and were externally identical to the first order from what I can tell. The units in this group were all returned to their lessor when their lease expired in January 1984, thereby ending the SDP45's service on Conrail.
Before I close, I would like to mention two units with a rather interesting history and unique look. EL 3657 and 3667 was involved in a severe wreck on November 11, 1973. But the units were taken into the EL's Hornell shops and rebuilt in 1974 from parts supplied by EMD. The 3667 received a new SD45-2 hood but remained and SDP45 underneath, including the fuel tank. The 3657 received an entirely new carbody and a dash-2 electrical cabinet. EL 3657 survived on Conrail as CR 6688 and EL 3667 survived as CR 6698.
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.
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