|photos contributed by: Evan Werkema, Gregg Fuhriman, Doyle Davis, Don Bowen|
Seven GP39-2's received SPSF paint, about 7% of the fleet. Engine 3669 is at Albuquerque in November of 1989.
Continuing the spirit of overconfidence that the ICC was bound to approve the SPSF merger, Santa Fe began renumbering its GP35's and GP39-2's into the SPSF numbering system a few weeks before the decision was issued. Nearly all the GP39-2's were renumbered into the SPSF 3100-series before the Commission struck down the merger. GP39-2 3166, ex-3667, was photographed at Belen, NM two months after the fateful vote. Units were renumbered down to fill gaps left by wreck-retirements; in this case, the 3648 had been retired, so 3667 received a 3100-series number one lower than its corresponding 3600-series number. Though not visible in this picture, 3166 had red number boards, as did most of the renumbered GP39-2's and GP35's.
Santa Fe began rebuilding GP39-2's from the 3617-3668 group in late 1986. Most of the GP39-2's had been restored to their old 3600-series numbers by that time, but a few were retired for rebuilding still wearing 3100-series numbers. The 3166 was renumbered back to 3667 briefly, then sent to Cleburne for rebuilding. It emerged from the shops as the 3448 in January 1988, in blue and yellow of course!
Another victim of the SPSF renumbering, red and yellow 3693 is shown in March 1987 after returning to its old number. The number on the cab side is black and the numberboards above the cab are white on black, anticipating the unit's return to blue and yellow paint. Its SPSF number was 3190, down three slots from its 3600-series number due to the retirement of 3648, 3672, and 3692. Notice also that the unit still has its classification lights, a feature Santa Fe started removing from locomotives about the time the first SPSF-painted units emerged. The lights were frequently, but not always, removed when a unit was painted red and yellow.