|photos contributed by: Evan Werkema, Chris Kinoshita|
Nine B23-7's wore red and yellow paint. Unit 6396 at Albuquerque, NM is an example.
In early- to mid-1988, sixteen B23-7's were upgraded to 3000 horsepower in Santa Fe's shops. Three units that had worn red and yellow were among those upgraded, 6373-6375. Units 6374 and 6375 were repainted back to blue and yellow, but 6373 was not. Blue and yellow 6374 is shown above, coupled to red and yellow 6396. Note the "3000 HP" stencilled under the road number.
Beginning in late 1987, Santa Fe started relocating locomotive headlights from above the cab to the nose to reduce glare, and moving the air horns from the cab roof to the long hood to reduce noise in the cab. Most units repainted from SPSF colors to blue and yellow received these modifications, as 6374 illustrates.
In late 1988 and early 1989, the 3000 hp B23-7's were renumbered to the 7201-series, above SF30B 7200. Red and yellow 6373 became 7207, still in red and yellow. Unit 7204, ex-ATSF 6369, never wore SPSF paint, and is shown merely to illustrate the short-lived number series. In September 1989, Santa Fe and GE signed an agreement whereby the latter would supervise maintenance of GE products at Santa Fe's Locomotive Maintenance and Inspection Terminal at Argentine, KS. GE apparently balked at these "souped-up" B23-7's, and Santa Fe agreed to derate them back to their original 2250 hp. The original road numbers were restored as well. Unit 7207 went back to 6373, but still clung to its SPSF paint! It would not be repainted blue and yellow until sometime in 1990.