Paducah Geeps were plentiful at the beginning of 1990, but by the end of 1991 they were fast disappearing as SD40-2’s from Burlington Northern were coming online as the new 6100 series. During the course of this program, the last of the pre-new image locomotives are either repainted, rebuilt or stricken from the roster.
The first part of the program covers operations on the Edgewood Cutoff (Bluford District) in 1990, and the second part covers the original mainline through Centralia, DuQuoin, Carbondale and Cobden in 1991.
Rare power includes a GP26 rebuild of a GM&O GP30, one of only six SD28’s constructed and a rare GP35 repainted into the new image black. On top of that we see plenty of Paducah rebuilds in mainline service, including GP8’s, GP10’s, GP11’s and SD20’s. Most of these engines would be retired and off the roster soon after the footage in this program was shot, though the SD20’s and GP11’s would last a few years longer.
We also make a short visit to the yard at Fulton, Kentucky, where a GP11 rebuild is busy switching cars. Trains struggling through the hill country of deep southern Illinois are featured, including a southbound freight doubling Cobden Hill.