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06.12.2015
OverviewThe Mack 'B' was first produced in 1949 and remained in production until 1966 when it was replaced by the Model 'R'. OverviewBeginning in early 1972, the Southern Pacific (and its subsidiary Cotton Belt) took delivery of its first SD45T-2 diesel locomotives.
Both series of trucks enjoyed a long service life with many of the 'R' models still in service today.
These powerful 3600-horsepower locomotives were the logical extension of the earlier SD45 diesels that were so plentiful on the SP's rails. During their long lives both types of Mack trucks were converted for a number of tasks including two and three axle tractors, tow trucks and construction trucks.


Along with the regular "Dash 2" upgrades (improved electrical system, higher capacity D87 traction motors, redesigned HT-C trucks, etc.) these powerful locomotives also included the "Tunnel Motor" radiators.
Designed as a joint project by Southern Pacific's mechanical department and GM Electro-Motive Division's design engineers, these radiators were inverted and thus allowed greater cooling capacity between tunnels on SP's many mountain divisions over Donner Pass, Tehachapi and Siskiyous. In the mid-1970s two milestones were converging: The 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the construction of Southern Pacific's 600th 20-cylinder diesel in EMD's 45-series (SD45, SDP45, SD45X, SD45T-2). Cotton Belt SD45T-2 9389 was the engine that had the distinction of being this special locomotive and it rolled out of EMD's La Grange facility on May 5th, 1975, in a patriotic American Bicentennial paint scheme designed by noted industrial designer Chester Mack. The red, white, blue and gold were tastefully applied along with special graphics that included the Liberty Bell, a small bald eagle, a "Spirit of 1776" slogan and the standard SP-style lettering and numbers in red and blue with small white stars separating the colors.


Southern Pacific took full advantage of this colorful diesel, sending it to special events and assigning it to special trains, most notably the American Freedom Train, on which it served as the primary diesel helper behind former Southern Pacific Daylight 4-8-4 #4449.



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