Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway No. 5699 at Daggett, California, in 1984.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The EMD SD45-2 is a 6-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD). EMD built 136 locomotives between 1972 and 1974, primarily for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF). The SD45-2 was an improved version of the EMD SD45; the primary visual difference is the absence of flared radiators on the SD45-2.



Part of the EMD Dash 2 line, the SD45-2 was an upgraded SD45. Like the SD45, the SD45-2 had an EMD 645E3 20-cylinder engine producing 3,600 horsepower (2,680 kW). The main spotting difference between an SD45 and an SD45-2 was the long hood and the rear radiator. On the SD45 the long hood is flared whereas on the SD45-2 it is vertical and the rear cooling fans are more spread out on the top of the rear of the long hood. This unit used the same frame as the EMD SD40-2 and EMD SD38-2. The largest owner of the SD45-2 was the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe with 90 units, the Clinchfield had 18 units, Seaboard Coast Line had 15 units and Erie Lackawanna rostered 13 units.

A few cabless SD45-2Bs were built by Santa Fe from units undergoing remanufacturing. In all but one case (5510), the dynamic brakes were moved to the opposite end of the hood from the radiators; they were originally near the center of the hood. With no cab, these B-units are controlled from other locomotives.

In September 2015, Norfolk Southern revealed SD45-2 No. 1700, which was painted back to its Erie Lackawanna color scheme at Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is the second unit from an NS predecessor painted back into its original colors.



On August 31, 2018, CSX donated former SD45-2 No. 8954 (ex: SCL No. 2049) to the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia, making it the first SD45-2 to be preserved.

On October 6, 2021, BNSF donated SD45-2 No. 6484 (ex: ATSF No. 5704, one of 5 units to receive a bicentennial scheme) to the Southern California Railway Museum (SCRM) in Perris, California. It was restored to its bicentennial scheme as ATSF No. 5704, and is currently stored in Commerce, California, awaiting delivery to SCRM.


BNSF 4687 at Metolius, Oregon, 2004.

(Tequask, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Original owners

Railroad Quantity Road Numbers Notes
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 90 5625-5714. To BNSF
Clinchfield Railroad 18 3607-3624. To Family Lines System then to Seaboard System and now at CSX Transportation
Erie Lackawanna Railway 13 3669-3681. To Conrail and then to Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation, those to CSX downgraded to SD40-2 standards.
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 15 2045-2059. To Family Lines System then to Seaboard System and now at CSX Transportation.
Totals 136

EMD SD45-2 Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Diesel
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: SD45-2
Build date: 1972–1974
Total produced: 136
Configuration: AAR C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter: 40"
Length: 68 feet 10 inches (20.98 m)
Locomotive weight: 368,000 lb (167,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: 3200-4000 GAL
Lubricant capacity: 294-466 GAL
Water capacity: 288 GAL
Sandbox capacity: 56cuft
Prime mover: EMD 20-645E3
RPM range: 315-900
Engine type: V20 diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharged
Alternator: AR10
Generator: D14
Traction motors: D77
Cylinders: 20
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 65–90 mph (105–145 km/h)
Power output: 3,600 hp (2,680 kW)