Rare Locomotive Goes on Display at Southeastern Railway Museum

DULUTH, Ga. — CSX Transportation donated a rare SD45-2 diesel-electric locomotive to the Southeastern Railway Museum.

Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) built CSXT No. 8954 in August 1974. It is the first of its kind exhibited in a museum and one of only 136 SD45-2 diesel-electric locomotives the McCook, Illinois-based EMD constructed between 1972 and 1974 and the last of the model developed.

Seaboard Coast Line, a predecessor line of CSXT, purchased the unit and 14 others in 1974. It later served the Family Lines Systems and the Seaboard System Railroad before the lines consolidated into CSX.

Railroads scrapped most SD45-2 units or rebuilt them with a 16-cylinder engine to replace the original 20-cylinder engine. But, No. 8954 retained its 20-cylinder engine, and with its acquisition by the Southeastern Railway Museum, Georgia’s Official Transportation History Museum, it becomes the very first example of the model to be preserved.

CSXT kept No. 8954 in freight service until moving it Maintenance of Way (MOW) service around 2005. CSXT kept the unit in service until 2011, when it was retired into training service at the company’s Railroad Education and Development Institute (REDI) facility at Tilford Yard in Atlanta, which CSXT subsequently shuttered.

CSXT used the locomotive for movement training for new mechanical employees. The railroad then earmarked the engine for mechanical component change out training before designating it as a surplus unit.

Southeastern Railway Museum volunteer and former CSX mechanical trainer Kevin Wood spearheaded the donation of No. 8954 donated to the museum.

Norfolk Southern Railway delivered the locomotive to the museum on Aug. 31.

About 8954

  • Builder/Order Number: 74601-5
  • Built as Seaboard Coast Line (SCL) 2049 in August 1974
  • Length: 68 feet, 10 inches
  • Height: 15 feet, 5 inches
  • Width: 10 feet, 6 inches
  • Weight: Approximately 392,000 pounds
  • Engine: 20-645E3
  • Horsepower: 3600 horsepower @ 900 revolutions per minute
  • Paint schemes worn: SCL black and yellow; CSX grey and blue; CSX grey and blue with a yellow nose YN1 (8954 would be one of the very last units to wear that scheme); and CSX dark blue and yellow-gold with the CSX “boxcar” logo (it is the only SD45-2 to wear this scheme)

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