Summary of BN F45 #6644
Many steam locomotives were placed in museums and parks, yet people scratched their heads wondering why no one saved a streamlined NYC Hudson. Quite a few E and F diesel units have been saved, and due to the actions of those who spared them from the scrapper's torch, folks are able to appreciate them at the upcoming epic Streamliners gathering at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC.
What about the next generation of locomotives following the F-unit era? There are plenty of SD40-2s around; in fact, one recently became part of the collection in Pomona in place of the Big Boy locomotive that moved to Cheyenne, WY. Meanwhile, there is one locomotive worthy of your attention: a Burlington Northern F45 diesel locomotive, the second-to-last F45 ever built, and time is critical.
BN F45 #6644 was built in April, 1971. Ordered by Burlington Northern and delivered in its "Cascade" green paint scheme with white stripes, it was used primarily in freight service, but BN F45s have been known to pull Amtrak North Coast Hiawatha trains across Montana, Idaho and Washington. Montana Rail Link, a regional railroad, acquired this unit and renumbered it MRL 390 for use in freight service on their lines. MRL 390 made its last hurrah on a trip to Southern California in 2006, traversing Tehachapi Loop and the Columbia River Gorge.
There are three BN F45 locomotives remaining; two in Livingston, Montana, and one on the NYSW in New York. There are no known plans to preserve any of them, yet folks on rail forums have expressed interest that at least one should be saved. Scrap has been the talk for the one in NY; scrap is the fate of the two in Montana, unless we as the railfan community step in to make a difference.
A group of people came together to acquire a former ATSF F45 for display in Great Northern colors in Essex, MT. Had a GN F45 been saved, they would have been able to display an authentic GN unit on GN territory. The same thing may happen to future BN enthusiasts in 20 years, hoping to present BN heritage in the form of black and green paint with white stripes, but without an authentic BN unit to use.
Photos of BN 6644 / MRL 390:http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=436372
Where we're at today:
Dynamic Rail Preservation Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization http://www.dynarail.org has an opportunity to acquire BN F45 #6644. Since the locomotive is under contract for scrap, we have until Monday, May 26, 2014 to inform the owner that we would enter an agreement to purchase the locomotive.
- Our goal is to raise $75,000 to acquire, relocate and repaint BN #6644.
- If the goal to preserve #6644 is not met, funds that do come through to us will be dedicated towards the restoration of a similar diesel locomotive on our roster, SDP40F (SDF40-2) Amtrak #644. The Amtrak unit is in need of metal fabrication work on the front, and a Phase I "Pointless Arrow" paint job. See http://dynarail.org/projects/amtrak644.html
- Due to the nature of this short notice, a location to preserve BN 6644 has yet to be determined. We've reached out to Livingston Depot to gauge their interest, and will be looking to contact other organizations who may be interested in having a neat locomotive on display in their collection. DynaRail Board of Directors is open to suggestions on where #6644 could be cared for and best displayed.
- Your donation is tax deductible! Donors who contribute $500+ will be individually recognized through a plaque mounted on the locomotive.
Other Ways You Can Help
Spread the word!
- An EMD F45 may not look like much today, but future generations will appreciate seeing a piece of history from Burlington Northern's 70-80s era, and MRL's 90-00s era.
- Just imagine a "Cowl's Gathering" of diesel locomotives in the future, similar to what NC Transportation Museum did for the Norfolk Southern heritage units, and now the upcoming lineup at Streamliners.
Contact us at http://dynarail.org/contactus.htm if you have questions or other means to contribute to the cause.
This is likely our last opportunity to preserve a BN F45 locomotive, unless someone steps up to save the one from scrap in NY. Contribute, spread the word and help make a difference!