September 14, 2007: Southern Pacific and Santa Fe…. Two True Heritage Units In Syracuse, New York

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Southern Pacific And Santa Fe Warbonnets In Syracuse, New York

During the (4) years between 2005 and 2009 Syracuse, NY was like a second home to me. At least once a week (sometimes more) I would pick up refrigerated loads of dairy at the various Byrne Dairy plants all over the city.

Over in East Syracuse I had a small diner-type restaurant in a strip mall that I would eat at. They had good food, friendly service and it also didn’t hurt that the East Syracuse Yard of CSX was a few feet behind the place! Needless to say this is where I spent most of my free time-And also where I slept!

One late evening I pulled in as usual and with no time to spare the unmistakable throb of GE power could be heard getting closer by the second. As fast as I could I grabbed my camera and recorded 2 true-to-life heritage units heading on their journey back west.

There was a time in the early 90s (during my days living in San Antonio, Texas next to the SP Sunset Route) that Southern Pacific and Santa Fe diesels were an everyday sight. And it was a painful reality when they both disappeared just a few years later. Today, however, they were both as alive as I remember.

Though we all know the fate of both, the patched nose and numbers of Union Pacific and BNSF could not cover the indelible memories of a different time, two different corporate identities and a very different style of railroading. The 90s left me with memories of the Espee and Santa Fe that will live within me forever and will never be matched by it’s successors.

Years later railroads across America would be commemorating their individual heritages with specially painted locomotives in the colors and/or schemes of their predecessors. But today it’s September 14, 2007 and more than a decade since losing their own heritage, Southern Pacific AC4400CW 6377 and Santa Fe C44-9W 669 look “almost” as good as they did in their pure state. And the best part; as I write this commentary in 2015, SP 6377 exists to this day in Espee paint nearly 20 years after it was delivered!… Don’t know about the War Bonnet!

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Two True Heritage Units In Syracuse, New York

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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