Western Pacific Diesel Locomotive Roster Notes

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(portions used in the Western Pacific Headlight, Number 9, Feather River Rail Society, 1993, page 19)

Western Pacific Renumbering and Repainting

The UP/MP/WP merger was approved on 22 December 1982. Western Pacific's locomotive fleet was affected almost immediately, with many of the units being placed into storage. Normal, pre-merger operations continued on the WP until 13 January 1983 when the mechanical department of the Western Pacific was consolidated with the mechanical department of the Union Pacific. Most former WP units, except the rebuilt GP35's and GP40's, were placed into storage in March 1983, first at Stockton, California, then at Oroville, California. In May 1983 all of the WP units stored at Oroville were moved further east to Portola, California, where they stayed until August when they were all moved again, this time to Salt Lake City, joining other WP units already stored there. The first former WP unit to be painted yellow and gray was GP40 3532, which was painted yellow and gray, but lettered for Western Pacific using UP style lettering in March 1983. The final renumbering plan was approved on 16 November 1983 and the actual renumbering and repainting of former WP locomotives began in December 1983, continuing through early 1986. Fifty former WP locomotives remain on the UP roster, including seventeen GP35's, fifteen GP40's, fifteen GP40-2's, and three SW1500's. All have been repainted/renumbered to either UP or MP. As a corporate side note, on 17 June 1987 the Western Pacific Railroad, along with its subsidiaries, the Tidewater Southern, and the Sacramento Northern, were officially merged with Union Pacific.

Western Pacific GP35s

During March 1984 all of the remaining ex-WP GP35s were gathered from around the UP system and reassigned back to former WP tracks in California. At that time only four had been repainted to yellow, the rest were painted at North Platte prior to being moved to California. The GP35s were needed because of the high failure rates of the UP GP30s that had been assigned there to replace the ex-WP GP9s.

Western Pacific GP40s and GP40-2s

All of WP's unrebuilt GP40s were placed into storage at Stockton in March 1983. In late March all stored units are moved from Stockton to Oroville, and in May they were moved to Portola. In August 1983 the units were moved to Salt Lake City, joining other WP units already in storage there.

All 26 unrebuilt WP GP40s were removed from storage at Salt Lake City, Utah, and sent to MoPac in January 1984 for service in Texas, being assigned to Fort Worth, Texas, for maintenance. In January 1984 MoPac sub-leased from UP for a period of 18-months, 56 ex-WP GP40s and GP40-2s, along with 51 ex-CRI&P GP40s.

During mid 1984 MoPac formulated plans rebuild all of the ex-WP and ex-CRI&P GP40s into GP38-2s, at the new Jenks Shop in North Little Rock, Arkansas, at a projected cost of $589,000 per unit, however MoPac decided that the cost of the program was too high and decided to retire the units upon expiration of their respective leases. Sixteen of the 56 WP units (WP 3501-3516) had been rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen in 1980 and had low miles on their prime movers, and were immediately fully repainted and renumbered to UP or MoPac units, with the MoPac units later becoming UP. WP 3517-3544 hadn't been rebuilt and by mid 1985 only fifteen of the twenty-six were still in service. The lease on WP 3517-3526 terminated on 15 August 1985 and MoPac planned to purchase the units and rebuild them to GP38-2s during 1987. The lease on WP 3527-3544 terminated on 1 April 1986 and MoPac planned to also purchase these units and rebuild them to GP38-2s in 1987 and 1988. The lease on WP 3501-3516, recapitalized by WP and rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen in 1980, expires on 1 January 1993, and does not provide an option for purchase; instead UP can extend the lease in two year increments. The equipment trusts for WP GP40-2s 3545-3559 were paid in full by October 1994 and all 15 units were purchased by UP.

Twenty-six ex-WP GP40s, road numbers 3517-3544, were placed into storage in April 1985 (at Houston and Spring, Texas, and at North Little Rock, Arkansas) to avoid maintenance costs until their lease expired.

All 10 units were removed from storage at Salt Lake City, Utah, and sent to MoPac in January 1984 for service in Texas, being assigned to Fort Worth, Texas, for maintenance.

On 30 June 1985 the 18-month sub-lease of WP units to MoPac expired and the 16 units remaining in the 3527-3544 group were returned to UP. All units remained in storage, again to avoid maintenance costs; the prime movers on all of the units had over a million miles on them.

MoPac had planned to purchase the units after the lease expired, and rebuild them into GP38-2s, but the projected cost of that program was found to be too high and the units were retired instead.

The 15-year lease on WP 3517-3526 expired on 15 August 1985 and the units were retired on 20 August 1985. They were returned to the owner/lessor, Helm Financial, on 31 August 1985. On 21 September 1985 Helm leased four former WP GP40s (WP 3517, 3520, 3524, 3525) to Kyle Railways. In early July 1986, Helm had leased the other five former ex-WP GP40s (WP 3519, 3521, 3522, 3523, 3526) to MKT. The units had been stored at Settegast Yard in Houston, Texas, since April 1985, so prior to the units being leased to MKT, Helm had contracted with both UP, at Fort Worth, Texas, and with MKT, at Parsons, Kansas, to return them to operating condition. The lease to MKT expired and in September 1986 the five units were leased to Soo Line. In November 1986 Kyle received their ex CR GP40s (which were in better mechanical condition) and returned the five former-WP units to Helm. Helm contracted with UP, at North Little Rock, Arkansas, to return them to operating condition. Helm then leased these units (WP 3517, 3518, 3520, 3524, 3525) to Soo Line, joining the other five units already leased to Soo. Included in the lease to Soo was WP 3518, which had remained in storage at Lloyd Yard in Spring, Texas. Soo Line returned all ten units to Helm in February 1987 because they were in such poor condition, requiring constant attention from Soo Line's own shop forces to keep them running. All 10 units, having returned from lease to Soo Line, were then leased to Chicago, Missouri & Western for that road's start-up in April 1987, becoming CM&W 3000-3009. Prior to the lease taking effect, Helm contracted with CM&W, at Michigan City, Indiana, to recondition the units.

On 19 August 1985 six former WP GP40s in the group 3528-3544, stored at Spring, Texas, since April 1985, were sub-leased by UP to MKT for 30 days for service on their OKT, former-CRI&P, lines. The units were all still in full WP paint and numbers. They were renumbered to UP 600 series numbers by blacking out their former WP lettering and numbers and spray-painting the UP numbers on the cab sides in orange. (WP 3517-3526 were assigned UP 666-675 but were never painted or numbered for UP) All 16 remaining GP40s in the WP 3527-3544 group were leased to MKT, but only the above six were actually sent to MKT, the other ten not being in operating condition. By early September 1985, only two units (UP 676 and 681) were still on the MKT, the other four had been returned to UP with mechanical problems. The units were returned to UP and put back in storage at Lloyd Yard in Spring, Texas. Included were UP 676 (WP 3528), 679 (WP 3531), 681 (WP 3533), 684 (WP 3536), 686 (WP 3538), 690 (WP 3543). The other 10 units had remained in storage at either Spring or Houston, Texas.

The 15-year lease on ex-WP 3528-3544 expired on 30 September 1986 and the units were retired. During the first week of October 1986 the 16 remaining, of the 18 original units in the 3528-3544 group, were returned to the owner/lessor, GATX. UP moved the units to North Little Rock, Arkansas, during mid-December 1986. In late February 1987, GATX shipped the units to Mid-America Car in Kansas City for clean-up and sale or lease. WP 3529, 3539, UP 686, and 690 were shipped from North Little Rock in primer paint with their UP or WP numbers in white. UP 680 was the only yellow unit in the group. By early March 1987 all 16 units were at Mid-America Car and were in primer paint. In April 1987 all 16 units (along with the 10 units from the WP 3517-3526 group) were leased to the Chicago, Missouri & Western, becoming CM&W 3011-3025, 3010. Helm Financial was the lessor of the units to CM&W, acting as agent for GATX, the owner of the units.

All 26 unrebuilt WP GP40s were leased to Chicago, Missouri & Western (CM&W) in April 1987 and were part of that road's initial roster of locomotives. Apparently all 26 were transferred to the new Gateway Western (GWWR) when that road took over part of CM&W's bankrupt operations in January 1990. GWWR sold 22 units to Wilson, and Wilson sold 17 of those to Wisconsin Central. WC rebuilt nine units themselves at North Fond Du Lac, WI. The remaining eight units were in very poor shape and were sent to Livingston Rebuild Center in Livingston, Montana, for complete rebuild. The Wisconsin Central rebuild effort included rebuilt cabs, complete overhaul, and reactivation of the dynamic braking. Wilson sold the remaining five GWWR units to Morrison Knudsen for its SP/SSW GP40-2 program, with all five units becoming SP GP40-2s in November 1990. The disposition of the other four units that GWWR did not sell to Wilson is not known at this time.

In October 1985 some of the rebuilt WP GP40s were stored in Texas by MoPac. With UP's shortage of four-axle motive power, all were soon removed from storage and sent to UP for service. MP 651, UP 654, 658, 661, MP 662, UP 665 were equipped at Salt Lake City for local service in Oregon, which included strobe lights, dead-man controls, and chemical toilets.

Western Pacific U23Bs rebuilt to GE Super 7 23Bs

In March 1989 GE began rebuilding retired B- and C-trucks GE locomotives into what they called their "Super 7" series locomotives. The rebuilt units are former GE U-series and -7 series locomotive frames with new technology Dash 8 components, including all-new car body hoods and cabs. The first completed were Super 7 23Bs GECX 2000-2002 rebuilt from retired WP U23Bs 2263, 2251, 2257. GECX 2000 was completed at GE-Erie as a prototype for the rebuild program, with GECX 2001 and 2002 car body work completed at Morrison Knudsen in Boise, Idaho. The installation of the components for 2001 and 2002 was done at Erie. All subsequent Super 7 work was completed at GE's new shop in Montreal, Canada, in the former shop of the Montreal Locomotive Works. The first unit completed at Montreal was Monongahela 2300, ex WP 2254.

Western Pacific GE U30Bs

These 19 units were built as WP 751-769 in 1967-1969. WP 765 was wrecked in 1971 and the remaining 18 units were renumbered to WP 3051-3069 in 1972. As built they were equipped with GE traction motors, mounted in trade-in EMD trucks. All 18 units remaining at the time of the merger were removed from service and stored in February 1983, first at Stockton, California, then at Portola, California, and later at Salt Lake City, Utah. In September 1983 they were sent to Omaha, Nebraska, to be stripped of usable parts and retired. One, ex-WP 3069, was sold for scrap after being cannibalized and is reported to be at the GE Montreal facility for possible use in GE's Super 7 program.