Western Pacific 2001 was the first GP-20 build by EMD.
Thanks in part to EMD's sales claims that the new GP20 would reduce scheduled maintenance time by 60% and increase freight speeds with a 2 for 3 replacement of older power, Western Pacific purchased 6 units numbered 2001-2006 in 1959 at a cost of $212,793. Our 2001 was the first production GP20 built, and EMD showed it off around the country before releasing it to the WP. Following the success of the original 6, WP again ordered 4 more units, numbered 2007-2010 in mid 1960 to replace several ailing FT freight engines. EMD allowed a $17,000 credit towards each of the last 4 GP20's with the trade-in of 4 retired FT's. All of WP's GP20's were delivered with large "Pyle National" singe bulb headlights, dynamic brakes, and dual controls, so the locomotives could be operated from either side of the cab. This eliminated the need to turn the locomotive at the end of a run so that the short hood end was leading; now engineers could operate from either side of the cab and still end up on the right hand side of the track to see signals.
Following the 1982 merger of Union Pacific with the Western Pacific, UP began retiring WP's fleet of older locomotives soon after the merger. Recognizing the historical importance of 2001, UP donated the engine in 1985 to the fledgling Feather River Rail Society who ran the locomotive for several years around the property hauling train loads of guests. In the late 1980's, the 2001 was looking and feeling a little worn out due to it's heavy use on the WP. FRRS volunteers restored the 2001 and gave her a brand new DuPont Imron paint job of her as delivered silver and orange paint with black chevron stripes, completing her in time to return to home rails and a public debut at "Railfair '99" in Sacramento at the California State Railroad Museum.
Today, the 2001 is one of the most popular exhibits at the museum due to its attractive paint, unique history, and the fact that it is kept polished and in mainline condition. WP 2001 was approved for two Amtrak excursions down the Canyon in previous years.
Brand new Western Pacific 2001 poses for the EMD Company Photographer in November 1959.
WP 2001 and sister GP20 2009 spotting industries, at an unknown location on the WP in the late 1960's
WP 2001 returns to the "Feather River Route" at the head end of the "Feather River Express" charter train returning passengers from the 2010 "Portola Railroad Days" in August of 2010. Three former California Zephyr cars also make up the special train. (last three cars)
WP 2001 at rest between
assignments at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.
WP 2001 returned to its home rails of the Western Pacific to assist
Golden Gate Railroad Museum
move from its long time home in San Francisco to the
Niles Canyon Railway
in Sunol, California in February 2006. 2001 was photographed by rail enthusiast Ryan Martin at 2am moving through South San Francisco in the pre-dawn hours of February 25, 2006 in this breathtaking shot.
WP 2001 returns for the first
time in 21 years to the former Western Pacific's system locomotive
shop in Stockton, California during the Golden Gate Railroad Museum
move in February of 2006 for a quick servicing and inspection with
running mates WP 707 and WP 925-C. Former WP employees in
Stockton yard were overjoyed to see WP power return, if just for the