Welcome to the Oakway/EMD SD60 Roster/Action Photo Site. Here one will be able to learn about these locomotives, as well as enjoy not only roster, but action photos of these units in action. The photographer responsible for making this site possible is Brian Ambrose.

     When you are done, you can go back to QStation.

     The site has been updated on: 09 August 2007, and here are the locomotives which have been added to their respective galleries:

  • EMD #9003
  • EMD #9004
  • EMD #9009
  • EMD #9010
  • EMD #9014
  • EMD #9020
  • EMD #9029
  • EMD #9035
  • EMD #9042
  • EMD #9045
  • EMD #9050
  • EMD #9055
  • EMD #9056
  • EMD #9058
  • EMD #9061
  • EMD #9062
  • EMD #9064
  • EMD #9066
  • EMD #9067
  • EMD #9071
  • EMD #9089
  • EMD #9096
  • EMD #9098
  •       Roster:
  • EMD #9003
  • EMD #9010
  • EMD #9012
  • EMD #9015
  • EMD #9017
  • EMD #9024
  • EMD #9026
  • EMD #9032
  • EMD #9035
  • EMD #9042
  • EMD #9052
  • EMD #9054
  • EMD #9064
  • EMD #9066
  • EMD #9069
  • EMD #9076
  • EMD #9079
  • EMD #9081
  • EMD #9083
  • EMD #9085
  • EMD #9090
  • EMD #9093
  • EMD #9097

  •       After months of speculation, industry observers saw a fleet of SD60s arrive on BN rails carrying a slightly modified version of the blue and white scheme introduced with the original four SD60 demonstrators. In an industry first, Burlington Northern began purchasing "power by the hour" from a group of 100 SD60s owned by EMD and leased to Oakway, Inc., a subsidiary of Cornnell Rice & Sugar, a New Jersey coporation. Instead of leasing locomotives from a bank or equipment leasing company, BN purchases only the electrical energy exerted by the locomotive.

         Built between October and December 1986, the units are numbered 9000-9099, and carry lettering on the cab denoting the identity of their lessor, Oakway, Inc.

         As built, the units feature several options, including a winterization hatch over the lead radiator cooling fan. This feature, which could be seen on older locomotives of Great Northern and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy heritage, was reintroduced on the Oakway SD60s. By the early 1990s, the hatches were being removed. Typical of BN operating practice, an amber rotary beacon was mounted on a platform on the engineer's side of the cab roof (it was subsequently moved toward the roof centerline, and by the early 1990s, this feature was being removed). As delivered, the horn was mounted on the hood roof directly behind the cab, offset to the right. Due to crew complaints, they were quickly moved toward the rear of the unit, between the exhaust stack and front radiator fan. Other options included a snowplow (front only), and classification lights, although these began disappearing in 1995.

         After initial assignments across BN's vast system, they went about moving coal out of the Powder River Basin, displacing aging U30Cs and U33Cs. Two of the more common assignments were moving coal south of Alliance to Denver, where they worked down the Joint Line to Pueblo, Colo., and on to power plants in Texas, and working the former CB&Q east-west main line out of Alliance through Grand Island and Lincoln, Neb., to midwestern power plants.

         After 10 years of service, the entire 100-unit fleet is intact, although many of the units are beginning to show signs of hard usage. Their silver-painted trucks, once coated with a heavy layer of road grime, have been repainted black, and in many cases, the distinctive EMD nose herald shows signs of fading and peeling. But they continue to move the never-ending string of coal loads out of Wyoming, as EMD and BN had intended.

    Written by Paul K. Withers.

          Most locomotive leases are made on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, regardless of whether the unit is moving freight or idling at a servicing facility. The Oakways, on the other hand, are leased to Burlington Northern on a kilowatt-hour basis. This means that BN pays for only the time the locomotive is in operation or service - although it costs the carrier more to operate the locomotive at Run 8 than when it is idling between runs.

         Probably the most interesting thing about the Oakways is the maintenance and repair of the units. Rather than the locomotive lessor being responsible for service, the Oakways are maintained at an off-site locoation by EMD personnel. Initially, the work was done at a Colorado & Wyoming shop at Trinidad, Colo. But due to labor disputes with BN's craft unions, the work was moved to a facility adjacent to BN's shop at Murray Yard in North Kansas City, where the work was done by several craft unions under BN and EMD supervision. Eventually, the work was moved to BN's Alliance, Neb., locomotive maintenance facility.

    Written by Paul K. Withers.

    Photography Gallery Photography Gallery

    Oakway SD60 (Left Facing) Oakway SD60 (Right Facing)
    Oakway Locomotive GIFs are by Chris Denbow.

    ALL photos are copyright by Brian Ambrose and cannot be used without his permission.
    Page layout and Graphics are copyright © 2003, 2007, 2010 by QStation.org