Reading & Northern’s 20th Anniversary SD38 #2003


EMD’s SD38 made a name for itself in heavy drag freights and busy hump yards from the hills of Minnesota to the sprawling yards of the Northeast. Though production numbers were small compared to the similar SD40, many of these locomotives would change hands several times over their long careers – some of which continue to this day.


Reading & Northern #2003 is a non-dynamic brake equipped SD38 that was built in July of 1971 as the Detroit Toledo & Ironton #253 which later became the GTW #6253..


Today, it looks like just another green R&N workaday diesel, but in 2003, it was the classiest locomotive in coal country..


The #2003’s status as a celebrity locomotive came in 2003 with the 20th anniversary of Reading & Northern as a railroad.. To commemorate the occasion, #2003 was painted in a special, one-of-a-kind tribute scheme depicting the road’s 20-year history on the sides of the long hood, the cab and with special silver-painted trucks..


The loco was a regular visitor to the area and spent much of its time in and around the Penobscot Yard which is where we caught it numerous times over the course of 2004.. And whether it was earning revenue for the railroad or just resting between runs, it’s a small-but-relevant slice of local railroad history..


Back to the future, the #2003 is just another work-a-day locomotive on just another workday on the railroad.. Having long since lost its celebrity status, the indelible EMD is shown at Taylor Yard making an extremely rare mainline move..


It will take the yard siding at CP 673 to pick up its cars before making a switchback move back onto its own track at Minooka Junction and head home for day..

Reading & Northern’s 20th Anniversary SD38 #2003

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply