EMD SD45

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EMD SD45
Preserved Erie Lackawanna SD45 #3607 at the St Louis Museum of Transportation
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
ModelSD45
Build dateDecember 1965 – December 1971
Total produced1,260
AAR wheel arr.C-C
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Prime moverEMD 645E3
CylindersV20
Power output3,600 hp (2,680 kW)
DispositionSome still in service, but becoming rare as of early 2007
 
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EMD SD45
Preserved Erie Lackawanna SD45 #3607 at the St Louis Museum of Transportation
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
ModelSD45
Build dateDecember 1965 – December 1971
Total produced1,260
AAR wheel arr.C-C
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Prime moverEMD 645E3
CylindersV20
Power output3,600 hp (2,680 kW)
DispositionSome still in service, but becoming rare as of early 2007

The SD45 is a six-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between December, 1965, and December, 1971. It had an EMD 645E3 twenty-cylinder engine generating 3,600 HP. It had the same frame as the EMD SD38, EMD SD39, EMD SD40, and EMD SDP40.

1,260 units were built for American railroads before the SD45-2 appeared as its replacement. Other models, like the SD45T-2 'Tunnel Motor', were released in 1972.

SD45s had several teething problems. Reliability was not as high as anticipated, due to the twenty-cylinder prime mover's propensity to break its own crankshaft. Though it produced 600 horsepower (450 kW) more than the 16-645 in the SD40, some railroads felt it wasn't worth it, even after EMD redesigned the block to reduce crankshaft flexing.

Buyers included the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe, the Great Northern Railway, Union Pacific and the Northern Pacific Railway. (Contrary to what many believe, the SD45 was not a "gas guzzler." It produced more power per unit of fuel than its 3,000 hp (2,240 kW) counterpart, the SD40. It did consume more fuel at idle than the 16 cylinder prime mover in the SD40, and at the time US railroads typically left a locomotive idling when not in use.) Many SD45s still exist, some rebuilt with sixteen-cylinder 645s for lease companies. SD45s and SD45-2s owned by Montana Rail Link retain their 20 cylinder prime movers. Wisconsin Central used to roster a large fleet of SD45s, but its sale to CN has recently retired the entire fleet, with mass scrappings. Montana Rail Link is also starting to sell some for scrap.

Preserved locomotives

References