Western Pacific 3051

1967 GE U30B

 

Model:  U30B

Prime Mover:  GE FDL16 - 16 Cylinder Supercharged

Builder:  General Electric

Horsepower:  3000

Built:  September 1967

Operating Weight:  287,000 lbs.

Builder #:  36451

Length:  60 ft. 2 in.

Status:  Under cosmetic restoration

Maximum Speed:  75 MPH

 

 

After remaining a loyal EMD customer in regards to road locomotive orders since the EMD FT's, WP turned to General Electric for new road power in 1967.  In the mid 1960's, WP tested EMD's new SD45 demonstrators.  The large 6 axle, 20 cylinder locomotives were very impressive and the WP realized the benefit in higher tractive force than their current GP40 locomotives.  However, they were very expensive to purchase and were (rightfully) assumed to be more expensive to maintain.  Consequently, GE had introduced their U30B locomotives and WP tested this new demonstrator set as well.  WP realized that they could purchase 5 U30B's for the price of 4 SD45's and GE's 4 cycle engines were a lot more fuel efficient than EMD's 20 cylinder monster.  WP purchased 5 examples in 1967 at a cost per unit of $234,458.  WP went back to GE and ordered 15 more.  U30B 751 was delivered in Silver and Orange with large WP "Feather River Route" medallion on the cab sides, black and orange chevron style warning stripes, signal lights in the nose, and rode on Blomberg trucks from traded in EMD locomotives.

 

WP's U30B's were retired by successor Union Pacific after the merger, and 3051 was donated by UP in 1985.  Due to the fact that WP's U30B's were the heaviest 4 axle locomotives ever built and the fact that 3051 was delivered stripped of necessary parts to keep others running, WPRM has no plans to restore 3051 to operation, however, it is currently being repainted by a team of volunteers at their own expense as time and money allow.

 

WP 3051 displayed at the museum in 2008.

 

Body work has been repaired by volunteers and primer added in preparation for a new paint job.