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Home > Archives > North Coast Hiawatha led by SDP40F locomotive No. 536, 1970s.

North Coast Hiawatha led by SDP40F locomotive No. 536, 1970s.

Color photograph showing the eastbound North Coast Hiawatha (Seattle-Billings-Chicago) approaching the Bozeman Tunnel in southwest Montana; image likely dates to 1973-1974.

<i>North Coast Hiawatha</i> led by SDP40F locomotive No. 536, 1970s.

In this image, the eastbound North Coast Hiawatha approaches the Bozeman Tunnel located in the Bozeman Pass between Bozeman and Livingston, Mont. The pass between the Bridger and Gallatin mountain ranges is named for John Bozeman, a pioneer who opened a trail linking Laramie, Wyo., and Virginia City, Mont., in 1863. The Northern Pacific Railway opened a 3,652 foot long tunnel through the pass in 1884; a second, shorter tunnel was completed in 1944. Part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition had crossed the pass in 1806.

SDP40F locomotive No. 536 wears the Amtrak Phase I paint scheme introduced in 1972. The first locomotive built expressly for Amtrak, the SDP40F was a six axle diesel-electric unit that sported a 3,000 horsepower engine. It was manufactured in 1973 and 1974 by the General Motors Electro-Motive Division. Since many passenger rail cars were still heated via steam, the SDP40F included two steam generators and a water tank. Within a decade, most of these locomotives were replaced with F40PH models that could operate more easily with the new and refurbished fleet of all-electric passenger cars.

The consist includes at least four dome cars that Amtrak had purchased from the predecessor railroads. Due to the fact that the cars wear paint schemes representing the Northern Pacific, Great Northern and Burlington Northern railroads, this photo probably dates to 1973-1974 before Amtrak had repainted all of its cars.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.