Welcome to the ATSF GP60M in Detail website. Here one can learn the history of the Santa Fe EMD GP60M, as well as take a look at a prototype GP60M from highly detailed, highly specific photos, provided by ATSF modeler, Eric Goodman.

      Enjoy your visit.

History of the GP60M

      In the middle to late 1980s, Santa Fe had negotiated longer crew districts with its various operating unions. With these extended distances, the ATSF began to research the costs involved in redesigning the basic locomotive cab, which had not changed all that much from the early 1960s. Although cab design was slightly modified by EMD with the introduction of its Dash 2 line in 1972, i.e. having clean cab improvements, more improvements were still needed.

      When the Santa Fe decided to redesign a new and comfortable cab, the railway based its foundation on Canadian National's safety cab design. The ATSF cab committee made a series of visits to study a CN SD50F locomotive cab, as well as a BC Rail unit. From the visits, sense was gained from both the improved operating layout, as well as the size of the cab. One thing that continued to impress the design committee was the use of a desktop workstation for the engineer. The other subjects studied were improving chairs and interior illumination.

      After returning from studying the cab, the Santa Fe arranged to borrow from the Canadian National an SD50F locomotive for a series of road tests. The purpose of the exams was to gather reaction from operating crews on the SD50F cab, as well as any further improvements that could be made. After a long, drawn-out skirmish with the U.S. Customs Service, the lone CN SD50F, #5456, was allowed to make one round-trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. The locomotive was paired up with an SDF40-2, an FP45, along with two F45s on the Q-NYLA and Q-LANY. When the train stopped for a crew change, the railroad extended the stop so it could gather crew reactions to the SD50F cab.

      Once the road test was completed, and Canadian National had its SD50F locomotive returned, the Santa Fe cab committee designed at the San Bernardino shops a plywood and plastic prototype of the new cab. It was painted blue and yellow, and was given road number #1000. EMD had also built its own prototype cab, based on feedback from the SD50F road test.

      Early in its research, the cab committee had discussed the production of a GP60 with a cowl body. However, EMD had concluded that the utilization of a cowl body, coupled with a safety cab, would be pushing the weight envelope for four-axle locomotive, and theoretically would have exceeded 305,000 lbs, which would have made the design one of the heaviest four-axle locomotives ever built. So with weight now being a primary concern, the Santa Fe ruled out the possibility of this design.

      After addition renditions, the Santa Fe cab was now formalized with EMD, and featured ditch lights, a six-foot centerline door, moving the nose headlight to the left, and a little off center, as well as numberboards above the windshield, and a tear-drop front windshield. Interiorly, the newly designed cab contained small speakers located above the cab on both sides, as well as sliding windows, a second speedometer on the conductor's side, as well as conductor desktop, and an improved dsktop for the engineer.

      When Santa Fe gained its second order for the GP60, the order arrived with the ATSF-designed Safety Cab, and was numbered in the 100-162 series, for a total of 63 units. The order began arriving in May 1990. The first two units, #100 and #101, had their maiden trip with FP45's #96 and #92 on the Q-NYLA train.

      Besides having the Safety Cab, this second order of EMD GP60s also received the updated Santa Fe Warbonnet paint scheme - applied to all "Super Flee" locomotives. Less subtle changes included factory installed ditch lights, and a fuel tank that was set towards the back of the locomotive to help offset the weight of the safety cab.

      This order of GP60Ms weighed in at 282,000 pounds, and produced 63,070 pounds of tractive effort at 10.5 mph. All of the 63 locomotives within the order received the Warbonnet paint scheme, except for one engine, #146. This locomotive was painted in the modified baby-blue warbonnet paint scheme for German shipper Maersk at Santa Fe's Topeka shops. The locomotive was done up this way for a few days of doing photo shoot publicity work for Maersk on Cajon Pass in California. After completing this job, the unit was sent back to Topeka to receive its Super Fleet colors.

      While the FP45s had introduced the concept of the Warbonnet-painted Super Fleet, it was the GP60Ms that were the main attraction of marketing, and the locomotives made numerous publicity appearances.

      Today, the GP60M locomotive class remains relatively intact. As of this writing, only three locomotives were removed from the roster because of wrecks. GP60Ms #148 and #152 were lost on 7 November 1990 when two ATSF trains met head-on at Corona, CA. The locomotives were thoroughly destroyed by fire and wreck forces, and were then retired and sold in January 1991 to Chrome Crankshaft for scrap. The third GP60M to be lost was #144. The unit was involved in the first of two runaway accidents on Cajon Pass, on 14 December 1994. The locomotive was stricken from the Santa Fe roster in April 1995, being sold for scrap to Erman of Kansas City, Kansas.



Prime Mover 16-710G3 Truck Type B-B Weight 282,000 lbs.
Length 59' 2" Drivers 40" Dynamic Brakes XR
Width 10' 3" Gear Ratio 69:18 Main Generator AR17WBA
Height 15' 6" Top Speed 70+ mph Alternator D76BTR
Fuel Capacity 3,200 U.S. gallons Traction Motors D76BTR Horsepower 3,800


ALL photos are copyright by Eric Goodman and cannot be used without his permission.
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