A Focus on EMD SD45s by Bill Kalkman

Conrail #6114 at E. Baltimore, Maryland on 3 March 1984. (Bill Kalkman photo)

New: 1 September 2022
Electro-Motive Division of GM in 1966 introduced a new line of locomotives driven by a revolutionary 645-diesel engine; it was the heir-apparent to the highly successful V16-567 prime-mover. Product advertising claimed the new engine underwent more than 1000 inspections during final assembly, and it could be configured in 8, 12, 16 or 20 cylinders. The largest engine was rated at 3600 hp and designed to power the EMD SD45 freight hauler.

An elongated frame (65'-9") and flared-radiator panels gave the SD45 a distinctive appearance and contributed to it quickly becoming a railfan favorite. Perhaps the most widely known of the SD45s was Great Northern #400 (dubbed the Hustle Muscle) which was the first production unit; the last of the model (Burlington Northern #6567) left LaGrange in December 1971. Total production of the 180-ton locomotive reached 1296 units.

All images and captions were provided by photographer Bill Kalkman. (see profile)

SD45s: Eastern Action

Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe

Santa Fe #5429 W/B at Olathe, Kansas on 21 July 1984

Buffalo & Pittsburgh

Buffalo & Pittsburgh #455 N/B at Bingham, Pennsylvania on 5 May 2001

Burlington Northern

Burlington Northern #6436 N/B at Fort Scott, Kansas on 27 July 1984

Chicago & North Western

Chicago & North Western #914 E/B at West Chicago, Illinois on 8 July 1981

Conrail (Early)

Conrail #6215 S/B at West Baltimore, Maryland on 20 December 1980


Conrail #6083 E/B at Cove, Pennsylvania on 20 February 1982

Electro-Motive Division

EMD SD45X Demonstrator #5740 at Enola, Pennsylvania on 24 December 1980

Norfolk & Western

Norfolk & Western #1743 E/B at Bluefield, West Virginia on 30 December 1981

Seaboard Coast Line

Seaboard Coast Line #2000 S/B at Petersburg, Virginia on 4 June 1983

Wisconsin Centraal

Wisconsin Central #6599 W/B at BDowning Jct, Wisconsin on 17 October 1995

Bill Kalkman and His Photography

I started railfanning in 1974 when I saw prototype pictures in model railroading magazines. I was not interested in modeling, but wanted to get out and photograph the real thing. I spent a lot of time on the Amtrak NEC at Orangeville, MD where Penn Central had a roundhouse and a big yard at Bayview in East Baltimore. Chessie System was just across the way at their own Bay View Yard. Soon, we started traveling to places like Enola, Harrisburg & Horseshoe Curve and Richmond & Petersburg, VA. I later branched out and have since photographed trains in the 48 contiguous states and everywhere in Canada and have amassed a collection of over 250,000 train photos.

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