Nobody'll notice but the modelers...

Gregg Fuhriman brought this one to our attention. At first glance, there's nothing odd here, until you look closely at the fuel tank. It's angular like a GE tank, not rounded like a "normal" GP30 tank. Compare this view of the 2724, to which the 2764 just happened to be coupled on July 6, 1991.

According to Stephen Priest, GP30 2764 damaged its fuel tank in the late 1980's, and the Topeka Shops repaired it with this new, fabricated tank in 1990. It's easier to make simple bends in metal than extended curves, so an angled tank was presumably the most economical solution. So long as it holds fuel, who cares what it looks like? Besides us railfans, that is. While no other examples of angular tanks on Santa Fe EMD's are known, Amtrak had a handful of F40PH's whose round tanks were replaced with angular tanks following accident damage. EMD itself still goes to the bother of making round tanks for its new locomotives, but the economics of angles haven't gone totally unnoticed. The elaborate double-hump of the GP30's cab roof gave way to a much simpler, angled design when EMD rolled out the GP30's replacement in the catalog, the GP35.

Something else worth noting: back in the mid-1980's, 2724 and 2764 both wore the red and yellow color scheme of the proposed SPSF merger. The ICC rejected the merger in 1986, and by 1991, both units were back in standard Santa Fe blue and yellow. Nevertheless, a few lingering traces of SP scarlet can still be seen along the bottom of 2764's hood doors, under the letters "n" and "t."

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