|photos contributed by: Evan Werkema, Alan Radecki, Doyle Davis, Jesse Koski, Jeff Lubchansky, Tom C. Jones, Drew Mitchem, Al Bowen, Chris Kinoshita, Don Bowen, Russ Jones, Mike Doyle, Lowell Amrine, and Steve Bishop.|
Santa Fe's C30-7's were receiving scheduled overhauls at the time SPSF paint was being applied, and as a result quite a few units received the colors. A total of 44 were painted; in pure numerical terms, more than any other model except the SF30C's, which also had 44 units painted.
Santa Fe was not pleased with the reliability of their C30-7's, and in the late 80's set about to purge the model from the roster. In late 1989, units 8010-8098 were turned back to GE and 8099-8152 were leased back, leaving only the final order, 8153-8166, on the active Santa Fe roster. Although Santa Fe had budgeted money to repaint all remaining Santa Fe Kodachromes by the end of 1990, quite a few C30-7's were still in SPSF colors when they were pulled from service and sent packing. Unit 8013, pictured above with less than a year of Santa Fe service remaining, was one that left the roster in red and yellow. The SPSF-painted C30-7's are among a dwindling number of SPSF escapees that may still be roaming the rails in those long-obsolete colors.
Santa Fe transferred ownership of units 8010-8098 to GE, but apparently retained ownership of 8099-8152 and merely leased them back to GE. Nevertheless, like their older cousins many of the latter group worked as part of the GE lease fleet, and Santa Fe didn't see fit to repaint them. There were a number of SPSF-painted units in this group, including the 8148. Barely legible under the cab number in black 1-inch letters are the words "GE Lease." This unit was delivered with RCE equipment, and the black box on the roof behind the cab carried the antennas. Notice also that the unit has white-on-black number boards, and is missing its air horn.
Aside from a few units sold to Livingston Rebuild Center in 1996, few if any of the red and yellow units in the 8099-8152 group were repainted by the end of 1997. Most if not all of the survivors were sold to BN, and with the BNSF merger they returned to the fold, at least in spirit. The units have been allocated numbers in the BNSF numbering plan, and in January 1998, red and yellow C30-7 8139 was renumbered to BNSF 5182! ATSF 8141 and 8150 followed in February, becoming BNSF 5184 and 5193 respectively. More "BNSF Kodachromes" may follow. While it is unlikely to happen, a big yellow "BN" would sure look nice in front of that "SF."
After the purge of 1989, Santa Fe continued to operate only the last 14 C30-7's it purchased, 8153-8166. Unlike the earlier groups, all SPSF-painted units in this group were repainted back to blue and yellow by the end of 1990. Santa Fe's second-to-last C30-7 glistens at Denver in 1989.