Anyone know the history behind this locomotive?


Hey all,

For those of you who live in SW Michigan and follow the happenings on the Grand Elk Railroad, you would know that the GDLK received new power yesterday: WAMX 4209. However, after seeing photos of this unit, it looks longer than an SD40, although it is classified as an SD40-2. After some observations someone came up with the idea that it was an SD45 that was rebuilt into an SD40-2 without the normal flared radiators and kept the shorter rear porch. Does anyone know the history behind this unit? A Google search revealed nothing and quite a few of us are interested in finding out where on Earth this thing came from.



EDIT: The below photos are not mine. I say again, they are NOT mine. They were posted on by user ThreeRiversChris.


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Maybe it could be an SD45-2 upgraded to SD40-2 specs. I think this is more likely than a new carbody being fabricated to fit on the frame of the SD45.
After a thorough search on and, I cannot find a picture of WAMX 4209 on either website. My guess is that it is a rebuilt SD40-2, or an SD45 rebuilt into an SD40-2 sometime in its past. It being a rebuilt SD45 also explains the reason behind it not having no HTC trucks, the large fuel tank, and its short frame. The SD45-2 rebuilt into an SD40-2 wouldn't work because this would result in the iconic 'porches' found on an SD40-2, as the larger 20-cylinder engine of the SD45-2 takes up the whole frame that was needed for the larger HTC trucks. Instead of rebuilding an SD45-2 into an SD40-2, railroads instead simply reduce the horsepower of the 20-cylinder engine from 3,600 horsepower to 3,000 horsepower, making it the equivalent of the 16-cylinder engine found in the SD40-2. This reduces the amount of wear and tear the engine has to handle.
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