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Total Burlington Northern SD70MACs? How many did BNSF later purchase?

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Total Burlington Northern SD70MACs? How many did BNSF later purchase?
Posted by poop on Sunday, March 27, 2022 5:45 PM

I need accurate information for my description in my train calendar I produce. How many total  "Executive" SD70MAC units did Burlington Northern order before the BNSF merger was finalized December 31, 1996? I found a site that said "428" and another that says more than "350." I need verification! Also, how many additional SD70MACs did BNSF continue to order after that 12-31-1996 merger? I don't want to know anything other than "SD70MAC" units! Does anyone have accurate/reliable web links? Please don't include any other variation but "SD70MAC" for BN/BNSF!!!! Wink

Thank You!

Robert Jackson

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, March 28, 2022 10:03 AM

A good place to start would be the BNSF Photo Archive.  They have a fairly detailed roster of anything BNSF.

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Posted by JayBee on Monday, March 28, 2022 11:15 AM

poop

I need accurate information for my description in my train calendar I produce. How many total  "Executive" SD70MAC units did Burlington Northern order before the BNSF merger was finalized December 31, 1996? I found a site that said "428" and another that says more than "350." I need verification! Also, how many additional SD70MACs did BNSF continue to order after that 12-31-1996 merger? I don't want to know anything other than "SD70MAC" units! Does anyone have accurate/reliable web links? Please don't include any other variation but "SD70MAC" for BN/BNSF!!!! Wink

Thank You!

Robert Jackson

 

BN ordered 434 SD70MACs that were delivered in Green and Cream paint, 9400 - 9837, less the four SD60MACs 9500 - 9503. Within this range there were 62 locomotives ordered by BN and painted Green and Cream, but delivered after the merger and lettered BNSF, 9776 - 9837, and the locomotive painted in the Santa Fe scheme, but using BN Green and Creme paint, 9647. 352 SD70MACs 9838 - 9999 and 8800 - 8989 were ordered by BNSF and were delivered in the Orange and Dark Green H2 paint scheme.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, March 28, 2022 6:58 PM

Edit: Found some conflicting data with some information I had earlier posted. Not knowing what's actually correct, I decided to withdraw my post.

After some digging, I do wonder however if some of those initial 350 units (That I was under the impression was later expanded to 425 units) took the form of options that weren't officially picked up until after merger (It would explain some of the conflicting information I've encountered). If so, I'd argue such later units actually were BNSF ordered since an option isn't officially an order until it's picked up and converted into one.

Also, I'd have to disagree with some of JayBee's paint data. I show the BNSF marked units in BN's executive colors as 9711-9712 and 9717-9837. A spot check of several numbers has so far supported that.

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Posted by JayBee on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 1:00 PM

Leo_Ames

Edit: Found some conflicting data with some information I had earlier posted. Not knowing what's actually correct, I decided to withdraw my post.

After some digging, I do wonder however if some of those initial 350 units (That I was under the impression was later expanded to 425 units) took the form of options that weren't officially picked up until after merger (It would explain some of the conflicting information I've encountered). If so, I'd argue such later units actually were BNSF ordered since an option isn't officially an order until it's picked up and converted into one.

Also, I'd have to disagree with some of JayBee's paint data. I show the BNSF marked units in BN's executive colors as 9711-9712 and 9717-9837. A spot check of several numbers has so far supported that.

 

You are correct that BNSF lettering started earlier with the locomotives that you indicated.

Orders for 350 locomotives is hard to pin down, originally the SD60MACs were to be rebuilt to production standards, do they count among the 350? In any case they were replaced by four new locomotives as EMD judged the cost too high to rebuild them. Notice that an order of 350 would take the series through 9753, but that is in the middle of a production order for locomotives through #9775 on sales order 956615. I think it is reasonable to conclude the next batch of SD70MACs built on order number 966706 was initiated by BN but delivered in Green and Creme after the date of the merger, this is the batch from 9776 through 9837. EMD order numbers indicate when serious discussions began for the purchase, and with a large number of the model already in service, likely the only thing BN needed was a cost quote, and then to get board approval for the purchase.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 12:35 AM

This very accurate Burlington Northern roster is perhaps of some possible use. It shows a total of 311 units rostered. Those shown are 9400-9499 and 9504-9775, which includes units built and delivered post-merger.

That suggests that up to and including 9716 were officially on the books Burlington Northern property, including several units delivered shortly after the merger (A total of 311 units).

9717-9775 (Order #956615) is also included but not actually rostered by Burlington Northern or included in the tally. Presumably this order for 59 units is listed since they were ordered by BN and thus are shown for the sake of completion even though when delivered they were full fledged BNSF property.

9776 through 9837's order number was 966706 (Delivered during the first half or so of 1997). So if EMD order numbers indicate when serious discussions began with the potential customer, I assume that puts this order as 1996 and post-merger (Which would explain why it's not listed at that link)?

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Posted by JayBee on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 1:29 AM

deleted

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 12:57 PM

I should add that I brought that roster into the discussion since I've found it very accurate and hope it potentially helps the original poster find some answers with his question.

That all said, I want to stress that I've made some big inferences with how I interpreted that data. Inferences which may or may not have any validity.

JayBee deleted his response. I'm curious what your thoughts on are on what I posted, since you clearly have some knowledge in this area (Which I don't; I've just spent some time digging for information from sources that I consider generally reliable).

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Posted by JayBee on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 3:38 PM

What I was going to comment on was that the merger between the BN Railroad and the AT&SF Railroad didn't happen until December 31, 1996, following a final approval with conditions. The final approval was rendered on December 19th, 1996 with an effective date of December 30th, 1996. So that any SD70MAC locomotives delivered in 1996 would have been delivered to BN not BNSF, and any ordered and approved in 1996, should be considered as ordered by BN.

The BNSF merger is interesting in that the application was filed with the ICC, but the final approval came from the STB. Initial approval was given much earlier, but some of the conditions required negotiations which took time, so final approval wasn't until the end of 1996.

 

STB Decision 48

 

The Trainpix website is interesting, one comment I have is that the Builder's Number of locomotives 9771 - 9775 are clearly wrong.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 10:31 PM

This resource also shows 9771-9775 as being part of the 59 unit 956615 order?

http://www.trainweb.org/emdloco/956615.htm

And they're shown as belonging to that order on a popular photo upload site as well.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/locopicture.aspx?id=22062

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Posted by JayBee on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 11:21 PM

The problem is the individual locomotive B/N within the order, the roster shows 9770 - 9775 as all 956615-54 when the individual locomotives should run through -59.

 

You didn't comment on my posting that all SD70MACs delivered through the end of 1996, for a period of time belonged to BN before becoming BNSF even though they were lettered BNSF.

 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 11:55 PM

I found that very interesting.

I had suspected that on paper Burlington Northern lasted past September 22nd 1995, so it was nice to see some confirmation. Definitely helps complicate matters though for the sort of question asked in this thread.

The SD70MAC roster shows correctly for me, btw. 9770 - 9775 don't show as all being 956615-54 at my end. BNSF #9770 shows as 956615-54 with the builder number ascending for each subsequent unit to 956615-59 for the 59th locomotive in this order (BNSF #9775).

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Posted by JayBee on Thursday, March 31, 2022 4:05 PM

Leo_Ames

The SD70MAC roster shows correctly for me, btw. 9770 - 9775 don't show as all being 956615-54 at my end. BNSF #9770 shows as 956615-54 with the builder number ascending for each subsequent unit to 956615-59 for the 59th locomotive in this order (BNSF #9775).

 
I wonder if there is more than one roster for BN locomotives on the Trainpix website. The one I am looking at has the heading "EMD SD70MAC locomotives 183 of 311 units" which caused me to scratch my head. 
 
Edit - your first link was to the Trainpix roster which has the issues, the roster on the Trainweb website is correct.
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, March 31, 2022 5:42 PM

I'm afraid I'm an idiot.

As you suspected, I got my wires crossed and was instead looking at the builder numbers here instead of the roster that I was actually talking about.

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Posted by poop on Thursday, March 31, 2022 6:25 PM

Thanx Leo (and others)! This should be helpful. I have to study this as it is very confusing. Does Trains Magazine have the "BN SD70MAC" list somewhere? I just hope to have the most "Accurate" information for my calendar description. If there is more I should know please help.

Thanx!

Robert Jackson

 

Leo_Ames

This very accurate Burlington Northern roster is perhaps of some possible use. It shows a total of 311 units rostered. Those shown are 9400-9499 and 9504-9775, which includes units built and delivered post-merger.

That suggests that up to and including 9716 were officially on the books Burlington Northern property, including several units delivered shortly after the merger (A total of 311 units).

9717-9775 (Order #956615) is also included but not actually rostered by Burlington Northern or included in the tally. Presumably this order for 59 units is listed since they were ordered by BN and thus are shown for the sake of completion even though when delivered they were full fledged BNSF property.

9776 through 9837's order number was 966706 (Delivered during the first half or so of 1997). So if EMD order numbers indicate when serious discussions began with the potential customer, I assume that puts this order as 1996 and post-merger (Which would explain why it's not listed at that link)?

 

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Posted by JayBee on Friday, April 1, 2022 9:41 PM

Poop, let me summarise the BN and AT&SF merger first. The holding corporations merged first on September 22nd, 1995. The Interstate Commerce Commision, which was the Federal Regulator for railroads was given an application by BNSF Corp, the holding company to merge the two railroads. At some point in time they gave a preliminary approval for the railroads to merge, but they stipulated a number of agreements that they company would have to finalize with other companies, before the actual merger could take place. This took time, and when they completed the conditions they had to submit those agreements, to the Surface Transportation Board(STB), which had replaced the ICC as the regulator of railroad matters. The STB completed its review of the agreements required and rendered it's final approval for the merger to proceed on December 19th, 1996, but in their decision they held their permission in abeyance until December 30th, 1996. They may have done this in case of possible final legal challenges against the merger. BNSF consumated the merger on December 31st, 1996. So until that date, BN and AT&SF were separate railroads in fact and operationally.

What this means is that any SD70MAC locomotives delivered before that date were BN locomotives, which means that all SD70MAC locomotives numbered 9400 - 9499, and 9504 - 9775 were BN locomotives before they became BNSF locomotives, even if the locomotive was delivered lettered BNSF. It also probably means that SD70MAC locomotives numbered 9776 - 9837 were ordered by BN before the merger, even though they were not built or delivered until after the merger. But it is possible that the order wasn't placed until after December 30th, 1996. The first locomotive of that batch was built in March 1997.

Clear now?

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Posted by JayBee on Friday, April 1, 2022 10:12 PM

Final summary  SD70MAC locomotives

9400 - 9499    bought and owned by BN transferred to BNSF in the merger

9504 - 9775    bought and owned by BN transferred to BNSF in the merger, some                        of these were lettered BNSF before the merger 

______________

Total 371 locomotives bought and owned by BN

 

9776 -9837    likely bought by BN but delivered to, and owned by BNSF

______________

Total 62 locomotives

 

9838 - 9999   bought and owned by BNSF

8800 - 8989   bought and owned by BNSF

_____________

Total 352 locomotives

 

______________

Grand Total 786 SD70MAC locomotives bought by BN and BNSF

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Saturday, April 2, 2022 10:37 AM

JayBee

What this means is that any SD70MAC locomotives delivered before that date were BN locomotives, which means that all SD70MAC locomotives numbered 9400 - 9499, and 9504 - 9775 were BN locomotives before they became BNSF locomotives, even if the locomotive was delivered lettered BNSF. It also probably means that SD70MAC locomotives numbered 9776 - 9837 were ordered by BN before the merger, even though they were not built or delivered until after the merger. But it is possible that the order wasn't placed until after December 30th, 1996. The first locomotive of that batch was built in March 1997.

 

I don't know how widespread the knowledge of EMD's inquiry to order system is but I'll describe it as I remember.

When a customer first starts talking with EMD about a potential sale, an inquiry number is taken out and it exists in EMD's system with an I- prefix. At this point in time, the first two numbers are the year, the third number is a 6 for a new locomotive, a 7 for a rebuild order (LRO), and an 8 for an export. The last 3 numbers are a sequence number that resets (to 000 IIRC) at the start of a new year. So an order number such as 966706 would start out as I-966706. As it gets more firm, it transitions to Advance stage and gets an A- prefix, indicating it is likely to happen and settlement of details meetings start to be held with the buyer, then it gets an R- prefix for Reserve, at which point major items like engines and alternators are scheduled and long lead items like truck castings are ordered. Finally, when the order is signed, the production schedule is firmed up and all the parts are ordered based on their lead times re the production schedule. At this point the prefix is dropped from the order number. Especially for export orders, it may be several years after the inquiry number is pulled that it ships. (It's possible I reversed the Advance and Reserve stages, it's been a while.) There are lots of inquiry numbers generated that never go beyond that stage.

It's impossible IMO that an order that shipped in March 1997 wasn't firm until December 1996. It would have to have been in the firm production schedule at least 6 months before its delivery.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, April 2, 2022 9:23 PM

I'm not so sure that we can yet say that 9776 -9837 were ordered or ever officially on the books of the Burlington Northern.

Doing some digging in articles from the mid 1990's about the merger (Including some stories from Trains), it sure sounds to me like the merger was allowed as one of the final acts of the Interstate Commerce Commision in the late summer of 1995. A new company was formed as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp, buying both railroads in the early Fall of 1995.

What happened afterwards appears to have been the official joining of the operating companies themselves, which appears to have been held up over a year by labor talks (No doubt about things like job protection, seniority lists, and other such typical concerns). 

It seems clear with what bogie_engineer has told us that this order would've been post September 1995. So as I see it, it comes down to the question of who would be placing the order and officially owning the power during this transition period? 

Would it be handled by what amounts to a holding company that owns both operating entities? Or would it be the responsibility of what by then was essentially a "paper corporation", due to being the official operator of them (Since these were primarily meant for Powder River coal service)?

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Posted by JayBee on Saturday, April 2, 2022 9:50 PM

Leo, all you have to do is look at the never consumated sale of the line from Syracuse to the Canadian border by CSX to CN. The sale was approved by the STB subject to conditions, it turns out that CSX was unwilling to meet those conditions, so the sale never took place. 

The BN and AT&SF merger had many conditions, most of them were met fairly quickly, but not all of them. The final condition was not met or at least settled until the STB dismissed further attempts by Oklahoma Gas & Electric(OG&E) for additional requirements concerning access by UP to its Red Rock, OK powerplant. The continuing dispute was over the charges to be levied by BNSF to UP for trains they would operated to the plant if they were to be awarded such contract by OG&E. The STB dismissed further conditions beyond those which BNSF had agreed to and allowed the merger to proceed. Until the BNSF met all conditions imposed upon it, it could not merge the two railroads, just like CSX could not sell the Syrcuse line until it met all conditions imposed upon it.

I don't think the STB will oppose onerous conditions on the CP - KCS merger, but what if the STB approved the merger subject to CPKC selling the Meridian Speedway and the Dallas line to NS. The STB approved the merger, but I think CPKC might never happen. At the very least it would be delayed by protracted negotiations between NS and CP.

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Posted by poop on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 7:20 PM

JayBee
Final summary  SD70MAC locomotives 9400 - 9499    bought and owned by BN transferred to BNSF in the merger 9504 - 9775    bought and owned by BN transferred to BNSF in the merger, some                        of these were lettered BNSF before the merger  ______________ Total 371 locomotives bought and owned by BN   9776 -9837    likely bought by BN but delivered to, and owned by BNSF ______________ Total 62 locomotives   9838 - 9999   bought and owned by BNSF 8800 - 8989   bought and owned by BNSF _____________ Total 352 locomotives   ______________ Grand Total 786 SD70MAC locomotives bought by BN and BNSF

 

OK, this seems the best summary of BN/BNSF SD70MAC locomotives! Now, the most important is would it have been 371 + 62 units ordered by BN before the end of 1996 (merger)? This is 433 units. Would this be correct? Trains Magazine should have a link for this right? I may have to go with what we have! I mostly need to know the actual "SD70MAC" units BN placed for the order in 1993! I have seen "350" a few times. Is that accurate for the amount ordered between 1993 and 1996 year? Seems like "350" is right! Looks like "Grand Total 786 SD70MAC locomotives bought by BN and BNSFis also correct! If "350" is right and final total being "786" is correct, that is all I need! Can anyone Clarify?

Site shows "350" ordered by BN and grand total by  BNSF "786":  

 https://locomotive.fandom.com/wiki/EMD_SD70MAC

This site explains that 428 SD70MACs sport the "Executive" colors:

 https://fobnr.org/bn/executive/

 

Robert Jackson

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Posted by JayBee on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 3:53 PM

I am sure that BN signed an agreement with EMD to purchase 350 SD70MAC locomotives, payable in annual installments over a specified number of years. This originally included rebuilding the four SD60MAC prototypes to full production standards. At some point EMD decided that it was too expensive to rebuild the four SD60MAC prototypes to full production standard and so they kept the SD60MACs and provided four production standard SD70MACs instead, but the numbers carried by the SD60MACs were not reused.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 8:52 PM

One interesting note about the first BN SD70MAC's... IIRC the first 74, or 75 units came with Mechanical Fuel Injection. Later units were all equipped with EFI.

Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, April 21, 2022 1:31 AM

The SD60MAC's stayed under lease at BNSF until the late 1990's, several years after the 9500 class SD70MAC's were built.

Since I assume that the decision you mention to not upgrade these came fairly early on during the SD70MAC program, did BN or BNSF then enter a lease for these afterwards when new SD70MAC's were built in their place, in order to continue using them in their original form (BNSF of course was in a motive power crunch in those early years, buying new power in bulk, leasing scores of locomotives, and retiring very little of their older BN/ATSF roster)?

Or were these perhaps used by EMD as protection power to cover for SD70MAC's down for warranty repairs and such?

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Posted by poop on Thursday, April 21, 2022 8:09 PM

Well I am now officially going with "371" SD70MAC units ordered by Burlington Northern! Trains Magazine shows this in an article from May 1994. I will read this story soon! This should be the most accuarate! JayBee, you also mention "Total 371 locomotives bought and owned by BN." Somehow "350" got into the mix!

 

This should be the "Conclusion!" Thanx everyone! Wink

 

Robert Jackson

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Posted by poop on Monday, April 25, 2022 3:53 AM

Now I read the Trains Magazine article from May 1994 about these! In fact "350" is the official number of SD70MACs BN ordered! Earlier I just "Glossed" over some of it. Yes at the end of the article states "With 371 high-horsepower, radial truck, A.C. drive locomotives on its books, GM's locomotive division appears to be on the comeback trail." That sentence may not be referring to BN exactly! That's what I "Glossed" over a few days ago!!! Now I read the whole article!!!!  The beginning  in fact mentions "...record setting 350 unit, $675 million order..." 

 

Well there you go folks, "350 units" is in fact correct in BN's order from 1993! My wording for the calendar is now "BN ordered 350 4,000 horsepower SD70MAC diesel locomotives starting in 1993." 

 

Here's a photo showing BN 9400 on its way to the Fort Worth, TX celebration and a different photo from this is in the article! Photo from 1-16-1995, Winter Park, CO (photo © Christopher Palmieri, taken by J L Hickey)

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2174645

 

This should be the absolute "Conclusion!" Thanx again everyone! Wink

 

Robert Jackson

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Posted by MaxTheRailfan123 on Thursday, May 19, 2022 2:16 PM

I think in total, the BN purchsed 434 SD70MACs before the 1995 merger. earlier this year I saw an ex BN executive paint SD70MAC in fort collins colorado. It was amazing being so close to that roaring beast.

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