History Edit

The EMD (Electro-Motive Division) SDP45 is a type of 20-cylinder, 3,600hp, 

BN (Ex-GN) SDP45

A BN (ex-GN) SDP45 and F45 awaiting their next assignment.

six-axle, passenger diesel-electric locomotive built by Electro-Motive Division (EMD) in LaGrange, IL from 1967-1970. 2 variants were built: the SDP45 with a steam generator for Southern Pacific (SP) and Great Northern (GN), along with the SD45M, which refers to the units built without a steam generator for fast freight service on Erie Lackawanna (EL). In total, 52 units were built for the 3 railroads. Very few survive today as most were scrapped in the 1980's and 1990's, with the exception for the remaining units rebuilt into SD45-2's, SD40M-2's by MK Rail for SP in the early 1990s, and slugs.

SP initially utilized their 10 SDP45 units for push-pull commuter service throughout the San Francisco Bay Area prior to the creation of CalTrain in the 1980s. After their retirement from passenger service, they were repurposed for freight operations until their full retirement sometime in 1989. Two units, however, retained their steam generators for business train use (SP #3201 and 3207). 

One SD45M (CR 6670, formerly EL 3639) is preserved at the Virginia Museum of Transportation but is in rough condition, still awaiting full cosmetic restoration.

Identification Edit

SP and GN's SDP45's had flat rear hoods like the SDP28 (Korean Export), SDP38 (Korean Export), SDP35, SDP40, GP40P, and GP40P-2.

Erie Lackawanna's SD45M's and SD40M-2 rebuilds were rebuilt with standard long-hoods, and look like average SD and GP locomotive models.

The SD40M-2 rebuilds have radiator fans with the same spacing as a 40 series unit does, while the true 45s have wider spacing.

The SD45M's and SDP45's have an extended rear end that takes up the space between the radiators and the rear walkway, the extension is shorter on the SD45M since there is no steam generator.

SDP45's and SD45M's are easily identifiable because of the brake wheel on the nose, as well as the lengthened long-hood. 


Owner SP EL


Model SDP45 SD45M SDP45
Built 1967-1967 1967-1970 1967
Numbers 3200-3209 3635-3668 326-333
Total Built 10 units 34 units 8 units
Length 70' 8" 70' 8" 70' 8"
Height 15' 2" 15' 2" 15' 2"
Speed 83-109 MPH 71 MPH 95 MPH


C-C C-C C-C, 1 retrofitted

with rear BB-BB

trucks by BN and EMD

Engine EMD 20-645E3 EMD 20-645E3 EMD 20-645E3
Aspiration Turbocharged Turbocharged Turbocharged
Horsepower 3600 3600 3600
Alternator AR10B AR10B AR10B
Traction Motors D77 D77 D77
Weight 396,000 lbs 396,000 lbs 396,000 lbs
Disposition All Scrapped Scrapped, rebuilt,

sold, 1 preserved

To BN, all



CR 6670 is the only SD45M to be preserved.

EL 3657 and 3667 were rebuilt into SD45-2s after being damaged in derailments. 3657 still survives today as CCET 332 operating in Ohio.

One SD45M was sold to WC as 6634 and was sold to IHB, but was scrapped before rebuild in Mexico.

10 SD45M's were sold to Norfolk & Western (N&W) prior to their initial retirement.

EL 3654, 3659, 3662, 3665, 3666 and 3668 were rebuilt by Morrison-Knudson as SP SD40M-2's #8691-8696.

BN SDP45 #6599 was retrofitted with an experimental rear B-B B-B radial truck prior to the debut of the EMD HTCR and HTCR-II radial truck models for the EMD SD70 line. 

SP 3201, 3207 and 3208 were repainted into the SPSF Kodachrome scheme in the mid-1980's following the brief, yet failed, merger.

As of 2016 NREX 2772 (ex-UP, nee SP) is currently stored at NRE in Paducah, KY.

HLCX 6515 was the last SD45M rebuild that did not go to SP or MRL.

The SD45X, SD45T-2 and SD40T-2 all share the same frame as the SDP45 and SD45M.

The FP45 was created as Santa Fe (ATSF) did not want another freight style locomotive pulling their Super Chief trains. 


Galleries Edit