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
When you are done, you can go back to
The site has been updated on: 09 August 2007, and here are
the locomotives which have been added to their respective galleries:
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.
Oakway Locomotive GIFs are by Chris Denbow.
|Oakway SD60 (Left Facing)
||Oakway SD60 (Right Facing)
ALL photos are copyright by
Brian Ambrose and cannot be used without his permission.
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