DULUTH, Ga. The Southeastern Railway Museum recently placed a rare SD45-2 diesel-electric locomotive on display.
General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) built the locomotive — CSXT No. 8954 — in August 1974. It is one of only 136 such locomotives the McCook, Illinois-based complex constructed between 1972 and 1974. Recently, CSX Transportation (CSXT), which owned No. 8954, donated the locomotive to the Southeastern Railway Museum. It is the first locomotive of its kind to be exhibited in a museum.
Seaboard Coast Line, a predecessor line of CSXT, purchased this unit and 14 others in 1974. Later, it served the Family Lines Systems and the Seaboard System Railroad before both railway lines consolidated into CSXT.
Railroads eventually scrapped most of their SD45-2 units or rebuilt them with a 16-cylinder engine in order to replace the original 20-cylinder engine. But, No. 8954 retained its 20-cylinder engine. Now, with its acquisition by the Southeastern Railway Museum, Georgia’s Official Transportation History Museum, this locomotive becomes the very first example of this model to be preserved.
Subsequently, 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. At that point the company retired the locomotive into training service at the company’s Railroad Education and Development Institute (REDI) facility at Tilford Yard in Atlanta.
CSXT used the locomotive for movement training for new mechanical employees. Later, after CSXT decided to shutter its REDI facility in Atlanta, the railroad earmarked the engine for mechanical component change out training before designating it as a surplus unit.
Southeastern Railway Museum volunteer and former CSXT mechanical trainer Kevin Wood spearheaded the donation of No. 8954 donated to the museum.
Norfolk Southern delivers locomotive, considers relocation
“The railroad, which is based in Norfolk, Va., already maintains a large presence in the Midtown section of town. Relocating its headquarters to the city could bring 1,000 jobs with it, according to the newspaper report.”
— Headline image: CSXT No. 8954 at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Ga.
(Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)