While it is true that Flickr is chock’a’block with great photographs of airplanes, it does also have terrific shots of other things – like trains. I wanted to pass along the following pair of pictures of the same engine, 16 months apart, both taken by Flickr user hunter1828.
A former Southern Pacific EMD SD45, unit number 7544, sits on a siding in Livingston, Montana in June 2007, within a month of its fortieth birthday and looking every day of its age, and then some. Delivered as SD45 8906 to the SP in May 1967. The SP rebuilt it first in either 1979 or 1980 as an SD45R, and then again in 1985 as an SD45-2. At some point it was renumbered as 7544, and under that number joined Montana Rail Link still wearing its faded SP colors, when this picture was taken. A casual observer would not be too much at fault to assume this machine was on its way to the scrapper.
Fast forward seventeen months to Great Falls, Montana, and one can see what some heavy maintenance and a session in the paint booth can do for forty year old diesels. Now a casual observer would assume he was seeing a new unit at the start of a forty year life. Amazing rebirth for this old veteran.
My thanks again to hunter1828 for his photography.