Union Pacific Locomotive Roster, 1934-2001

Highlights for 1999

The motive power fleet of the Union Pacific Railroad became very diversified with the mergers of C&NW in 1995 and SP/SSW/D&RGW in 1996. An observer at trackside could only find the great variety of yellow and gray (and yellow and green, gray and scarlet, and black and orange) locomotives confusing, at best.

As of December 31, 1999, the UP motive power fleet consisted of 6,841 locomotives. Included in this total were the four remaining former C&NW not assigned UP numbers (of 144 units at merger); 103 remaining former SP units not assigned UP numbers (of 297 units at merger); and just one unit (the F9B) remaining from the former D&RGW units that were not assigned UP numbers (of 31 units at merger).

New deliveries (295 units)

36 C36M UP 564-599 (rebuilt from former AT&SF and CR C30-7s)
165 C44AC UP 6995-6999, 7138-7297
10 GP38-2 UP 2542, 2543, 2544, 2547, 2548, 2553, 2555, 2569, 2570, 2576 (part of UP 2527-2588 series) (leased from Helm, rebuilt from GP40s)
11 SD38-2 UP 2837-2846, UPY 847 (rebuilt from former MP SD40-2s)
41 SD40-2 UP 4735-4775 (rebuilt from SD39s, SD40s, and SD45s)
25 SD40-2T UP 4794-4831 (rebuilt from former SP SD45T-2s)
7 SD90AC UP 8515-8521
(40) SD90AC UP 8522-8561 (built but not yet delivered; not counted in total)

Making Way For The New SD70Ms

On October 6, 1999, UP announced that it would receive 1,000 SD70Ms over a three-to-four year period, to be numbered in the 4000-4999 series. To make room on its roster for these units, on November 10th, the railroad announced that it would renumber a large portion of its locomotive fleet to both accommodate the new SD70Ms, and rationalize the overall numbering scheme. On December 10, 1999, the renumbering plan was finalized. Much effort was made to assign similar units in adjacent number groups, and still renumber as few units as possible. A special emphasis was to keep the newer road units in their original number series.

Of the total roster of 6,841 units, 3,743 units will be renumbered over the next two years (late 1999-2002), including 632 switching units (GP15-1, SD38-2s, SW1500s, MP15DCs and MP15ACs) that will be changed to UP's new UPY reporting mark, along with 36 yard and road slug units.

The new UPY reporting mark was needed to allow for future growth in UP's roster without going to a five-digit number. Five-digit numbers could not be considered because of the myriad of computer systems UP uses and must communicate with, many of which are not programmed to allow anything other than four-digit numbers for locomotives. To reprogram the computer systems to allow five-digit numbers was seen as an unnecessary expense. Other possibilities were considered, including assigning the switcher fleet to one of UP's still-active subsidiary companies, such as Chicago Heights Terminal Transfer (CHTT), but complications in labor agreements, and financial and corporate organization dictated that the new reporting mark be used instead.

Of the total fleet, 401 units will not be renumbered. Included in that total are 12 former C&NW GP40s, 19 former D&RGW GP40s (including the only one renumbered to UP, as UP 744), and two former MKT GP40 road-slug power units. Also included are the units currently in the 4000-series: 70 former MP SD40-2s without dynamic braking; 43 newly delivered SD40-2s rebuilt from various SD39s, SD40s, SD45s, and SD45Ms; and 38 SD40-2Ts rebuilt from former SP SD45T-2s; along with 92 remaining former SP and SSW SD45T-2s, 57 remaining former SP SD40Rs, and 52 remaining former SP SD45Rs. These will either be retired in the coming years, or their operating leases will expire prior to the delivery of SD70Ms with conflicting numbers.

The renumber effort includes new number boards and new Automated Equipment Identification (AEI) tags, new decals on the ends and sides of each locomotive, along with a new cab card and an effort to renumber each unit in all of the various computer systems.

On units received as part of either the C&NW or the SP mergers (including D&RGW and Cotton Belt, SSW), and on units that will receive the new UPY reporting mark, the renumber effort includes a new set of decals applied to a temporary cab-side yellow patch, and a UP shield emblem to better identify the units as being UP-operated.

For sure, the former D&RGW and SP/SSW SD40T-2s, and any other units that conflict with the new SD70s in the 4000-series, will be numbered into the new numbering scheme. But with it costing about $1,000 to renumber a single locomotive, the overall cost may in the end be the deciding factor.

As of December 31, 1999, five SD40T-2 units had been renumbered into the new renumbering plan, including UP 8595 (ex-D&RGW 5403), UP 8615 (ex-D&RGW 5357), UP 8620 (ex-D&RGW 5363), UP 8684 (ex-SP 8311), and UP 8691 (ex-SSW 8326). The first unit to be renumbered into the new renumber plan was a single SD50, UP 9881 (ex-UP 5001, ex-MP 5001), completed on December 1, 1999. There had also been two units placed into the new UPY reporting mark: UPY GP15-1 654 (ex-UP 1654) and UPY SD38-2 847 (rebuilt from UP B4219).

Repainted Locomotives

UP's merger with C&NW in 1995 brought C&NW's 776 locomotives to UP's fleet. Of those 776 units, 151 were not assigned UP numbers. Only four of those unassigned units remain on UP's current roster. Of the other 625 units, four have been retired by UP, and 328 have been repainted to UP's yellow and gray paint scheme (27 during 1999), leaving 297 yet to be completed.

The 1996 merger between UP and SP, and its D&RGW and Cotton Belt subsidiaries, brought the combined SP and SSW 2,196-unit fleet, along with D&RGW's 184-unit fleet into the UP roster. Of the SP/SSW units, 297 were not assigned UP numbers; 103 of those are still on UP. With 1,899 SP and Cotton Belt units to be renumbered, 339 units have been completed (164 during 1999), with the remaining 1,560 units still in either SP's or Cotton Belt's gray and scarlet colors, or already retired by UP.

Of the 184 D&RGW units, 31 were not assigned UP numbers, and all of those except the F9B have been retired by UP. Of the other 153 ex-D&RGW units that need to be repainted and renumbered (including 26 units previously repainted to SP), 36 have been completed (22 during 1999), leaving 117 units that still need to receive UP's standard yellow and gray paint, although some of those have already been retired, or will undoubtedly be retired before being repainted.


Beginning in April 1999, UP began receiving the first of 36 C36Ms. These are former AT&SF and CR C30-7s rebuilt from their original 3,000 horsepower to an upgraded 3,750 horsepower. The units are leased from Helm Financial, who has contracted with VMV Enterprises in Paducah, Kentucky, for the rebuilding work, with some of the work further contracted to Metro East Industries in East St. Louis, Illinois Many of these units had seen earlier service on UP as C30-7s in late 1989 and early 1990, leased to UP as warranty protection units by GE while UP's earlier C40-8s were in delivery to UP.

Cab Air Conditioning

Throughout its history, Union Pacific has not been a user of air conditioning for the cabs of its diesel locomotives, that is until 1999. The first units to come to the UP roster with air conditioning were the ex-WP GP35s, GP40s, and GP40-2s in 1982. By the late 1980s, many of these units not already retired by UP soon gravitated back to their original California operating territories, and they remained the sole examples of cab air conditioning until the merger with SP in 1996. Southern Pacific had begun adding air conditioning to the cabs of its locomotives after January 1, 1974, with the order for SD45T-2s delivered in that month (SP 9315-9343) and the SSW order delivered in March 1975 (SSW 9371-9404) being the first new units to receive the feature. After the January 1974 date, all of SP's and SSW's new units received air conditioning, as did all of the road units rebuilt by Sacramento and Houston after that date. In a move to enhance crew comfort, UP began applying the feature to road units (specifically, SD40-2s) rebuilt after January 1999 (UP 3571 was the first), and to all of the leased units received after December 1998.

C30-7s begin retirement

Of an original fleet of 140 units, numbered as 2400-2539, 58 units remain as of 31 December 1999. Between late 1996 and early 1999, a total of 85 units were renumbered to the 400-series, of which 40 remain in service. There were 18 units still in service in the 2400-series. A total of 61 units were retired during 1999.

By the time the decision was made in late October 1996 to renumber the entire 2400-2539 group to the new 400-531 group, eight units had already been retired; therefore, with the close-the-gap renumbering method used, the new number series would be 400-531 rather than 400-539. The need to renumber the entire group stemmed from the delivery of GP38-3s in the 2400 and 2500 series, which began in early November 1996 (the 2400-series GP38-2s were delivered between November 1996 and January 1998, and the 2500-series GP38-3s were delivered between February 1997 and February 1998). The first C30-7 to be renumbered was UP 445, from UP 2447 on October 28, 1996. Individual C30-7s with potentially conflicting numbers were each renumbered just prior to the delivery of the corresponding individual GP38-3s. The renumbering of the C30-7s continued through to January 7, 1999, when UP 2423 was renumbered to 423. In the interim, six C30-7s in the 2400-series numbers were retired (one due to a wreck), and six in the 400-series were retired.

By January 1999, these units were at least 18 years old (built between July 1977 and October 1980), and had never been through any kind of general rebuilding program. They were being stored regularly at downturns in traffic, but most were usually in service continuously due to UP's growing amount of traffic. (Their continued use gives evidence that these units have been comparable to the remarkable 686-unit fleet of EMD SD40-2s that have been in service since the first examples were delivered in 1972.) With the continuing delivery of new units from EMD and GE, these older GEs are no longer needed, and they are becoming expensive to operate and maintain. Three units were retired in January 1999, one in February, and two in March. The retirements began in earnest in April (25 units), and continued in large numbers throughout the year. During early December 1999, 29 units, of a total of 41 units already sold in two groups on April 15 and 30, 1999, to Boise Locomotive Co., a subsidiary of Motive Power Industries, were moved to MPI's Mexican subsidiary at San Luis Potosi in Mexico for possible service in Mexico.

Former WP GP40-2s

The December 1982 merger between Western Pacific and Union Pacific brought WP's 15 GP40-2s, numbered as WP 3545-3559, into UP's large locomotive fleet. Eighteen years later, in the year 2000, all 15 units are still in daily service on UP. The units had been stored immediately following the 1982 merger due to a continuing downturn in business that had begun for UP in mid 1980, with the units moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in March 1983. In December 1983, the 15 units were assigned UP numbers 900-914, with the renumbering being completed between December 1983 and January 1986. At the same December 1983 time, all were leased to Missouri Pacific (which was still operating separately from UP, although it too merged with UP in December 1982) to cover some of that road's motive power shortages in Texas. Between November 1984 and October 1985, four former WP GP40-2s were actually relettered for MP, as MP 900 (ex-WP 3545), MP 901 (ex-WP 3546), MP 904 (ex-WP 3549), and MP 907 (ex-WP 3552). The operating departments of UP and MP were combined in January 1986, and the four units were relettered back to UP between June 1987 and November 1988, once again bringing all 15 former WP GP40-2s back to the UP 900-914 number series.

In late 1990 and early 1991, six of the 15 former WP GP40-2s were assigned as power units for UP's three road slugs. These three road slug power sets, made up of two GP40-2s with a road slug spliced between them, were used in low speed, heavy local service where tractive effort is needed over speed. Initially the slug sets were used in the eastern Oregon and Washington regions, but within a few months, they were moved to Texas and used on locals that move a lot of aggregates, a major traffic source for UP in the region. The six units assigned to this service (UP 900-905, ex-WP 3545-3550) were modified as road slug power units by Morrison Knudsen in Boise, Idaho, who had also built the three road slugs. The modifications were completed by mid February 1991 and the units were renumbered to UP 3002-3007, prior to entering their new service. Following the merger with C&NW in April 1995, C&NW's 132-unit fleet of SD40-2s were assigned numbers (UP 2952-2999, 3015-3098) on each side of the eight-unit group of road slug power units (UP 3000 and 3001, former MKT GP40s, and UP 3002-3007, former WP GP40-2s). Following the merger with SP in 1996, the road slug power units were assigned UP numbers 2900-2907, and while all of the six former WP units are still in local service in Texas, none have yet to be renumbered to their new 2900-series numbers.

The other nine former WP GP40-2s remained in daily service in their new UP 900-series numbers until the merger with C&NW in 1995. The 30 former MP GP50s had already been renumbered to UP 960-989, and UP's six GP40Xs were operating as UP 954-959. So it seemed logical to put C&NW's 48 GP50s in the UP 900-947 group. This new series conflicted with the 15 former WP GP40-2s in the UP 900-914 series, so the former WP units were assigned new UP numbers, as 2908-2916, in a group that followed the new numbers for the road slugs power units, UP 2900, 2901 (former MKT GP40s), and 2902-2907 (former WP GP40-2s). UP 909 (ex-WP 3554) and UP 913 (ex-WP 3558) were renumbered to UP 2911 and 2915 in April 1996. Almost immediately, there was a change in the renumbering plan, and the nine-unit group was reassigned to the UP 561-569 group, with UP 2915 (ex-WP 3558, UP 913) being renumbered to UP 568 in July 1996.

The merger with SP in September 1996 brought another number change. Southern Pacific, and its Rio Grande and Cotton Belt subsidiaries came to the merger with a total of 235 GP40-2s, GP40P-2s, and units that had been rebuilt to GP40-2 standards. These were assigned UP numbers 5200-5360 for the former SP/SSW GP40-2s and 5370-5434 for the former SP/SSW GP40M-2s rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen from GP40s. In an interim numbering plan, the nine former WP GP40-2s were assigned UP numbers 5315-5323, without realizing that they would conflict with a group of former SP units. The former WP 3554 had received its original UP 909 number, and had been renumbered to UP 2911. The unit was renumbered again in March 1997 to UP 5318 in this interim number group. The number conflict of the entire nine-unit group was discovered, and they were assigned numbers 5361-5369, right between the groups of former SP/SSW GP40-2s and the former SP/SSW GP40M-2s. As of December 31, 1999, UP 568 had been renumbered to its assigned 5368 (in May 1999), but UP 5318 was still in its interim 5318 number (assigned UP 5364). The other seven former WP GP40-2s were still operating in their original 900-series numbers.

Former SP/SSW SW1500s

Of the 174 SW1500s that came to UP from the SP merger, 106 are still on the roster, with 68 units retired during 1999. A total of 68 units have been renumbered to their assigned UP numbers; two of those 68 units were retired in July 1999 and sold to Central California Traction Co. During October 1999, UP offered 65 SW1500s for sale, all of them officially retired during 1999. This, along with the sale of the last 44 SW10s in 1998, shows that UP no longer needs the large number of purpose-built switchers it once had (the largest switcher fleet in the nation), due mainly to the reduced amount of yard switching being done. Most yard switching is taking place in the road's hump yards, which in many cases, make use of larger road-switcher style units, which are more flexible in their use.

3,000-horsepower former SD39s, SD40s, and SD45s

A group of rebuilt 3,000-horsepower units was completed during 1999. This group of 33 locomotives, numbered as UP 4733-4765, is equipped with 3,000-horsepower, 16-cylinder engines. This group was rebuilt from SD39s, SD40s, SD45s and Sulzer-powered SD45Ms by National Railway Equipment at both its Dixmoor, Illinois, facility near Chicago, and at its former Precision National facility in Mount Vernon, Illinois. As completed, although each is mechanically identical to an SD40-2, each unit has retained its original carbody configuration. The first unit completed was UP 4733, rebuilt from former BN SD45 6680, completed on December 15, 1998. The last unit was UP 4765, rebuilt from former Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (FNM) SD40 8505, completed on September 29, 1999.

A notable seven units of this 33-unit group of new SD40-2s were built from one former UP standard SD45 and from UP's six unique Sulzer-powered SD45Ms. A single standard, former UP SD45, UP 41, and all six of the former UP SD45Ms had been purchased by Precision National in 1987 and 1988 after UP had retired the units. All seven units remained stored at Precision's Mount Vernon, Illinois, facility for over ten years. In 1997, the units were sold to National Railway Equipment when that company purchased the assets of Precision National at bankruptcy. In 1998, the units were sold to CIT Financial, who then contracted with NRE to rebuild the units to 3,000-horspower SD40-2s. UP 4740 is the former UP standard SD45 41; UP 4742 is the former UP SD45M 65; UP 4749 is the former UP SD45M 64; UP 4753 is the former UP SD45M 61; UP 4756 is the former UP SD45M 62; UP 4758 is the former UP SD45M 63; and UP 4764 is the former UP SD45M 60.

A second group of SD40-2s has been furnished to UP by Locomotive Leasing Partners. These 10 units have been rebuilt from former SD40s and a former SD45 by VMV Enterprises. The first to be delivered to UP was UP 4766 on September 4, 1999.

3000-horsepower former SP SD45T-2s

During late 1998, UP began receiving former SP SD45T-2Rs that had been rebuilt from their 3,600- and 3,200-horsepower 20-cylinder engines to 3,000 horsepower with 16-cylinder engines. The rebuilding effort included a general re-qualification of all other components on each locomotive, repairs as required, and application of Union Pacific's standard yellow and gray paint. This group of SD45T-2Rs was completed as UP 4794-4831, the same numbers assigned to these same units had they simply been repainted from Southern Pacific to Union Pacific. The first units to be completed were UP 4801 and 4808, delivered to UP on 10 November 1998. UP 4794, the former SP 6854, had been repainted on March 24, 1998, as the first former SP SD45T-2 to receive UP paint. The rebuild effort to replace this unit's original 20-cylinder engine with a 16-cylinder model was completed on April 23, 1999.

Former SP SD45T-2s and SD45Rs sold to CIT Finance

Twenty-six former SP SD45T-2s and two former SP SD45Rs were retired by UP in May, June, and July 1999 upon expiration of their leases, and returned to their owner/lessor, CIT Finance. All 28 units entered lease service on CSXT with CIT Finance's CITX lease fleet reporting mark. Although assigned UP numbers 4832-4857, the units were not renumbered to UP, and retained their original SP numbers, ranging from SP 9194 to SP 9402. In the case of the two SD45Rs, SP 7400 and 7486 (not assigned UP numbers), these two units became CITX 9500 and 9486, respectively.


After being removed from service during late December 1998, all 11 in-service SD90ACs (SD90MAC-H) were moved to EMD at La Grange, Illinois, and VMV Enterprises at Paducah, KY., for mechanical improvements. In mid March 1999, the first two units to be upgraded, UP 8503 and 8512, were completed and were operated in test runs over the nearby Illinois Central. By late April 1999, most of the improvements had been completed and the 11 units (UP 8501-8511; UP 8500 has been retained by EMD as an engineering test bed) were stored at VMV pending additional testing and UP's acceptance. Another nine new units (UP 8512, 8513, 8515-8521) were completed and also moved to VMV's facility, joining the original 11 units. By late summer, all 20 units were in service on UP, with UP 8514 joining UP 8500 as an engineering test unit.

On May 22, 1999, the first of the new production versions (Phase II, or SD90MAC II) were completed and also shipped to VMV. Throughout June to November, this follow-on order for 40 units (UP 8522-8561) were completed and stored at VMV, awaiting final acceptance of the design improvements meant to increase the units' reliability. As EMD is able to complete the needed modifications, these much needed 6,000-horsepower units will be joining the rest of UP's locomotive fleet, in fast cross-country intermodal service.

Former C&NW GP7Rs

During April 1999, UP sold 18 former C&NW GP7Rs to Boise Locomotive Co., Boise, Idaho. Included in the sale were: C&NW 4100, 4101, 4102, 4103, 4104, 4107, 4118, 4121, 4132, 4135, 4138, 4140, 4141, 4148, 4194, 4201, 4206, and 4209. All had been retired by UP in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Included in the sale were eight units (C&NW 4100, 4102, 4107, 4135, 4141, 4144, 4206, 4209) UP had previously been sold for scrap to Midwest Metallics, McCook, Illinois, on September 21, 1998. That sale was not completed and units that had already moved to Chicago were moved back to Omaha.

Former SP SD35Rs

On April 15 and 30, 1999, five former SP SD35s (SP 2961, 2964, 2967, 2969, 2970) were sold to Boise Locomotive Co., Boise, Idaho. On September 30, 1999, SP 2962 and 2963 were also sold to BLC. The frames and trucks from these units will likely be used by BLC for its MP2000C program in which they manufacture new locomotives with 2,000-horsepower Caterpillar engines and three-axle trucks.

Former SP SD40Rs and SD45Rs sold to Boise Locomotive Co.

UP sold 35 former SP SD45Rs to Boise Locomotive Co., during 1999. On April 15, 1999, SP 7448, 7462, 7472, and 7509 were sold to Boise Locomotive Co., and the next day, SP 7410, 7445, and 7524 were also sold to BLC. On September 30, 28 SD45Rs were also sold to BLC, including SP 7407, 7408, 7409, 7416, 7421, 7428, 7434, 7442, 7446, 7447, 7451, 7453, 7455, 7458, 7467, 7469, 7470, 7471, 7473, 7479, 7480, 7487, 7503, 7505, 7507, 7511, 7516, and 7520.

At the same time, UP also sold 12 former SP SD40Rs to BLC, including, on April 15, SP 7303, 7342, 7355, and 7373, and on 30 September, SP 7315, 7329, 7330, 7340, 7361, 7369, 7372, 7381.