A large group of 20-year-old EMD SD70MAC road engines and much older endcab switchers left the Kansas City Southern for public auction in East St. Louis in June. Included in the sale were 40 of the 75 SD70MACs rostered by KCS, all of which were built for its Mexican subsidiary, Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana in 1999 and 2000. The historically all-EMD KCS opted to follow its 1989 order for new SD60s with SD40s rebuilt to “SD40-3” specifications in the late 1990s, so the SD70MACs were their newest and most powerful locos when purchased.
Though KCS had begun upgrading these units to SD70MACe, the move to retire them follows the arrival of the first 25 ET44AC-T4 from last year’s order for 50 new GEVOs. Two of the upgraded SD70MACe units are on the sales list, KCS 3906 and 3946, along with all of the units not yet upgraded. It also follows the arrival of new Executive Vice President Sameh Fahmy, who previously worked with E.H. Harrison to reduce mechanical department operating costs and improve fleet fuel efficiency and other metrics at both CSX and Canadian National. That process has notoriously included the retirement of older, less fuel-efficient locos. He also spent three years with GE Transportation.
Accordingly, it’s no surprise the auction will also include 16 of the SW1500s remaining from the 50 KCS purchased between 1966 and 1972. Listed in the sale were KCS 1507, 1509, 1574, 4302, 4325, 4326, 4329, 4330, 4331, 4335, 4336, 4338, 4342, 4352, 4355 and 4356. Also listed is a roster oddball, KCS 1001, one of two former Corinth & Counce SW1001s retained after the takeover of MidSouth Rail in 1994. The 1974 switcher is one of just 112 of the model sold to U.S. buyers and was the last 1000 hp switcher offered by EMD, basically an SW1000 atop a lower-height SW1200 frame.
Two of the most unique engines on the KCS roster round out the listings, KCS 1400 and 1401. Both are examples of the 1400 hp Railpower genset model RP14BD, built in 2008 using as cores the two “Green Goat” GG20B hybrid units Railpower built for them just three years earlier, KSC 1868 and 1869. Those were built using two former MidSouth GP10s which had been rebuilt from GP9s by original owner Illinois Central. With original construction dates of 1954 and 1955, they are officially the oldest units on the KCS roster.
The auction will be conducted by Adam’s Auctioneers in Belleville, Ill., on June 26. Viewing and inspection are at the KCS yard in East St. Louis, June 21, 24 and 25.
—Eric Berger, Railfan & Railroad