Rare EMD RS1325 Still Earning its Keep in North Carolina

Atlantic & Western Railway EMD RS1325 30 works the CSX interchange in Sanford, NC on May 17, 2021. Photo by M.T.Burkhart.

Rare EMD RS1325 Still Earning its Keep in North Carolina

By M.T.Burkhart

SANFORD, NC – Sixty years ago, EMD built a pair of locomotives designed to handle both switching and road duties. One was recently acquired by a museum while the other remains in revenue service in North Carolina.

Designated “RS1325” (road switcher, 1,325 hp) locomotives 30 and 31 – the only ones built – were fixtures for years on the Chicago & Illinois Midland Railway. They were designed with a switcher-style long hood and GP-style short hood that could house a steam generator for passenger duties. The two continued in service even after Genesee & Wyoming acquired C&IM, renamed the railroad the Illinois & Midland, and repainted them into its orange and black corporate scheme.

In 2016, 30 moved to Atlantic & Western Railway, another G&W property based in Sanford, NC.  Number 31 was acquired late last year by the Monticello Railway Museum with plans to return the 1960-vintage locomotive to green and red of the C&IM. It has been handling the museum’s popular “Throttle Time” sessions this spring and fundraising is underway for its repainting.

Meanwhile, 30 remains in daily service on the Atlantic & Western, which interchanges with CSX in Sanford and Norfolk Southern in Cumnock, NC. Also working the Atlantic & Western are GP10 number 109 (still in A&W paint) and GP16 number 1612 (in G&W orange).

This article was posted on: May 25, 2021