Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exec MAC's

Lots of people bash the "Grinstein" paint scheme that BN applied to new SD70MAC's when they started to roll out of the factory almost 20 years ago. I believe they are wrong. In my opinion, the "Exec" paint scheme is one of the most fitting applied to a locomotive in many years.

I'm sure almost every railfan knows the pioneering role the SD70MAC played in American railroading, introducing AC traction motors to the industry. The upsurge in coal traffic from the Powder River Basin created a need for locomotives that were designed and built to haul heavy trains day in and day out, and from I've read, the MAC fit the bill pretty well. BN must have agreed, given the number of units they purchased.

This unique locomotive, serving in a relatively new role, deserved its own paint job. No one could mistake the fleet of MACs as they pulled coal trains across the country.

These engines must have a lot of miles on them today, and newer EMD and GE products seem to have allowed the railroad to assign them to service besides coal trains, but they are still predominantly coal haulers. Thing is, they are mixed up with the H2 MACs, the GEVOs and the ACes these days, so we don't see solid sets of green and cream too often anymore. That's the reason for this post. In the last week, I have been fortunate to catch two coal trains headed up by (almost) matched sets of Execu-MACs. This first photo is from the Highway 10 overpass last Sunday, and it was purely luck that Mrs. L4T and I happened by just as the train approached. Different power would have still merited a photo, but I would likely never have posted it.

A week ago today, I passed through Staples early in the morning and an eastbound coal load was resting in the yard behind a trio of these units running elephant style. The sun was out, and you bet it was worth stopping for a photo. You never know how many more shots you will get of consists like this one:

You can likely tell that I really love seeing these units in action. BNSF did an awful thing when they peeled the nose logos off, but the paint job remains. I can promise you that as long as these units run in my basement, they will maintain a place of honor on the point of the train.

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