|photos contributed by: Evan Werkema, Tom C. Jones, Chris Kinoshita|
A whopping 87.5% of the surviving FP45 fleet got SPSF paint, the highest percentage of any locomotive model on the roster. There was a reason - the FP45's were the preferred business train power at the time, and several were purposely rounded up and painted so that matching sets of red and yellow units could power the trains. 5995 alone retained its blue and yellow paint. There was no 5994, by the way, because unit 5944, which would have become 5994 upon rebuilding, was wrecked and scrapped in 1981.
Unit 5998 was frequently tapped when only a single FP45 was needed for a special train. Note the automatic train stop (ATS) shoe attached to the front journal of the lead truck in this view, probably not long after the unit was painted in 1986. In April 1987, 5998 became one of the first FP45's repainted back to blue and yellow.
When not hauling special trains, the FP45's toiled as regular freight locomotives. The unit behind FP45 5991 in the above photo is a 5250-class "SDF40-2," Santa Fe's designation for the 18 SDP40F's it acquired in a famous 1984 locomotive swap with Amtrak. Note the larger steam generator section on the SDP40F compared to the FP45. While most of the FP45's and half of the F45's got SPSF paint, not one of the SDP40F's did. Santa Fe had rebuilt the SDP40F's in early 1985, so it's possible that none of them made it back to the shop for heavy repairs during the next year and a half while red and yellow was being applied.
Santa Fe 5993 was the oddball of the group in several ways. Not only did it have its fixed headlight positioned between the numberboards instead of in the nose door (a trait it shared only with 5995, which never wore SPSF paint), but the black roofline came down to the bottom of the radiators instead of just to the bend in the sheetmetal as was the case with all other repainted cowls. As with 5998, the 5993 didn't wear red and yellow for very long after the merger denial before going back to blue and yellow. Chris Kinoshita recorded this view of the unit at San Bernardino, CA.