HISTORY

Diagram from the EMD FP-45 operation manual

 

Santa Fe diesel locomotive #93 was one of nine FP-45 passenger diesels built in 1967 by General Motor's Electro Motive Division (EMD) for Santa Fe. Originally numbered #103, it served for 31 years, and was assigned several different numbers and paint schemes. The FP-45 was a variation of similar EMD freight locomotive designs. However, it was geared for passenger train speeds, and included a steam generator (item 21), which was used for climate control in passenger cars. 

 

The locomotive through the years:

Thanks to our friends who contributed photos and video footage.

Delivered in the familiar red and silver warbonnet scheme as #103, our locomotive pulled Santa Fe passenger trains including the El Capitan, Chief, San Francisco Chief, and the finest of them all - The Super Chief

#103 leads train 19, The Chief, through downtown Hutchinson, January 25, 1968. Photo courtesy Lynn Aldrich
 

103 on #18 in March 1968 at Dalies, NM

Photo courtesy John Lucas

June, 1970. #5943 departs Chicago's Dearborn Station with the combined Super Chief/El CapitanPhoto courtesy Rick Wright

April 30, 1971 (then renumbered #5943) it had the distinction of hauling the last westbound San Francisco Chief from Chicago to San Francisco, through Wichita. Amtrak would take over passenger operations the next day, and the FP-45s would primarily be used for freight trains for their remaining career.

#5943 in Newton with the last train #1, San Francisco Chief, April 30,1971.

Photo courtesy Lynn Aldrich

By the end of 1971, Santa Fe's blue and yellow freight scheme was applied to the FP-45s. As a freight locomotive, 5943 would frequently pull the Super C. Accurately promoted as the "Worlds Fastest Freight Train," the Super C made the run between Los Angeles and Chicago in less than 40 hours!

5943 and two other FP45s lead the Super C around Sullivan's Curve in the early '70s. 

Photo courtesy Charles R. Lange

The "bluebonnet" scheme shown here was the standard throughout all of Santa Fe's locomotives for several years.

5943 just west of Basta. May 11, 1980. Fullerton, California.

Photo courtesy Mike Mucklin

5943 in Belen, NM. July 19, 1980. 

Photo courtesy Evan Werkema

5943 Westbound at Sais, NM., through Abo Canyon.

September 20, 1981

Photo courtesy Evan Werkema

In anticipation to a planned merger between the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific, both railroads began painting their locomotives in the red and yellow 'Kodachrome' scheme. The locomotive wore these colors for less than two years, since the Interstate Commerce Commission didn't approve the merger.

5993 in Wellington, KS. June 16, 1986

Photo courtesy Fred Tefft

5993 in Bartow, CA. 1987

Photo courtesy John Lewis

The next scheme was a familiar one - the blue and yellow "bluebonnet" scheme.

Leading the "Golfer's Special" at Hutchinson, KS. 

August 26, 1987

Photo courtesy Keel Middleton

Topeka, KS. May 24, 1988

Photo courtesy Fred Tefft

Return of the Warbonnet:

Santa Fe introduced the Superfleet high speed intermodal service in 1989. The FP-45s were utilized to promote the event by reapplying the nostalgic warbonnet scheme they wore during the passenger era. In addition to hauling freight, FP-45s were utilized by the Santa Fe for public relations events. They were numbered in the 100 series again, but our locomotive was given number 106, instead of its original number 103.

106 on the 2nd District west of San Bernardino, CA. 

February , 1990

Photo courtesy Bob Hanggie

As the Santa Fe continued to purchase locomotives for Superfleet service, FP-45s were frequently renumbered. From 106, it was numbered 5993. A few months later was numbered to the current #93.

5993 at the Oakland (Calif.) Army Base's open house on a cloudy May 19, 1990

Photo courtesy Gary Kluge

Video: Locomotive 93 is on the point of an inter-modal train toward Richmond, CA on July 4th, 1990.

Video courtesy of Larry Goss

93 at San Bernardino 12/8/90

Photo courtesy Gary Kluge

The FP-45 locomotives were used for special passenger trains as well, such as excursions for shippers, employee appreciation trains, engineering specials, and public excursions for special events. In 1991, #93 had the honor of leading the Topeka Railroad Days excursion train.

Topeka Railroad Days excursion. Lawrence, Kansas. 

Labor Day weekend - 1991

Photo courtesy John Hake

Topeka Railroad Days excursion - Lakeview, Kansas

Labor Day weekend - 1991

Photo courtesy John Hake

Topeka Railroad Days excursion - Topeka, Kansas

Labor Day weekend - 1991

Photo courtesy John Hake

As newer locomotives arrived, the FP-45s would be used for less glamorous operations. Typical manifests, unit grain trains, and coal trains such as this one near Kansas City were among the assignments for #93.

Sibley, KS. July, 1992 

Photo courtesy John Hake

Deep in Abo Canyon in 1993, #93 leads and eastbound across New Mexico 

Photo courtesy John Benner

Barstow, CA. May 16, 1993

Photo courtesy John Lewis

93 leads a Memphis-Kansas City freight near Mitchell, Illinois on January 15, 1996. On the last day of the year, the Santa Fe would officially merge with the Burlington Northern - forming today's BNSF railway.

Photo courtesy Mark Herren

Video: There isn't much time left for 93 before retirement. Here it is in the consist of on Eastbound BNSF manifest freight in Riverbank, CA - November 8, 1998.

Video courtesy Even Werkema

BNSF railway generously donated 93 to the Great Plains Transportation Museum. On June 7, 1999 the local yard crew delivered it to the property.

Photo courtesy Fred Tefft

A detailed history with photographs of 93's various paint schemes may be found on Evan Werkema's excellent site. http://atsf.railfan.net/atsfpres/atsf93.html