Is That a Freight Locomotive?

After the GN had painted one set of Empire Builder equipment Big Sky Blue, it ran a publicity train from Chicago to Seattle. After that, the newly painted cars were mixed in with the orange-and-green cars and it is difficult if not impossible to find any photos of an all-blue Builder or Western Star that are not from that publicity trip. All orange-and-green trains also soon became rare as the GN entered the “rainbow era.”

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

Just as disturbing, at least to streamliner aficionados, are those boxy SDP-45 locomotives. Not only are they not streamlined, they are much taller than the passenger cars, so they don’t even present a smooth profile. In fact, at 15′-7″, the locomotives are taller than the dome cars, so passengers are lucky that three or four cars usually separate the locomotives from the domes.

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