Fox River Valley Alco RSD15 Roster

RSD15 Builder List | RSD15 Roster Index

1st No.2nd No.3rd No.4th No.5th No.6th No.BldrDateOrderPhase
ATSF 802ATSF 9802LS&I 2400(FRV 2400)817647/59S3258II
ATSF 844ATSF 9844LS&I 2403FRV 2403835796/60S3306IV
ATSF 810ATSF 9810LS&I 2404FRV 2404GB&W 2404834697/59S3318III
ATSF 838ATSF 9838LS&I 2405FRV 2405GB&W 2405835745/60S3324IV
ATSF 807ATSF 9807LS&I 2401FRV 2406834665/59S3315II
ATSF 841ATSF 9841LS&I 2402FRV 2407GB&W 2407835775/60S3324IV
Total6

Sale to Green Bay & western

When the Lake Superior & Ishpeming retired all of their remaining Alcos in 1989, the Louisville & Eastern bought all of the RSD12s while Green Bay & Western acquired the RSD15s, along with whatever Alco parts inventory and Alco-specific tools the railroad still had.

According to Mike Guertz, the Green Bay & Western’s last Locomotive Manager, in presentations at the Green Bay & Western Historical Society, the RSD15s were bought strictly as a parts source for the other Alcos on the GB&W.

The Green Bay & Western had been owned by Intel Rail Corporation since 1978. In 1988, Itel acquired 214 miles of Chicago & North Western lines between Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, and formed the Fox River Valley Railroad to operate those lines.

By 1990, the Fox River Valley owed the Chicago & North Western so many horsepower hours on borrowed power that they were forced to get the RSD15s back in service. The LS&I numbers had just two conflicts with units already on the roster, a pair of ex-Burlington Northern high hood SD24s. To resolve the conflict, RSD15s 2401 and 2402 were renumbered 2406 and 2407.

The Lake Superior & Ishpeming retired all of it’s remaing Alcos in 1989. Louisville & Eastern bought the RSD12’s, and Itel Corporation, owner of the Green Bay & Western and startup Fox River Valley, bought all six of the RSD15’s, the LS&I’s remaining Alco parts inventory, and whatever Alco-specific tools the railroad still had.

The RSD15s quickly proved themselves to be very unreliable in service. They were, after all, thirty year old engines that had spent their lives in hard drag train duty, first on the Santa Fe hauling the York Canyon unit coal trains from New Mexico to Fontana, California, and later on iron ore trains on the LS&I.

At least some of the RSD15s were relettered for the Green Bay & Western, starting in May-June, 1990. That was short lived, and they were stored at North Green Bay, Wisconsin, until they were scrapped by the Wisconsin Central in 1996. One unit, 2407, was donated to the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, Illinois.

Based on photographic evidence, the following is known:

  • LS&I 2400 – photos taken in June, 1990, June 1993, and September, 1993 all show the unit stored at North Green Bay with the LS&I herald painted out and no other FRV or GBW markings.
  • LS&I 2403 – photos taken in May, 1990, show this unit lettered for Fox River Valley and running in road service. Photos taken in June, 1993, September, 1993, and 1994 show the unit stored in North Green Bay with the FRV herald painted out.
  • LS&I 2404 – photos taken in May, 1990, show this unit lettered for the Fox River Valley at the Green Bay roundhouse. Photos taken in June, 1990, September, 1992, and November, 1993, show it lettered for Green Bay & Western, all at the Green Bay roundhouse.
  • LS&I 2405 – photos taken in 1993 show this unit lettered for Fox River Valley and working in freight service. Photos taken in August, 1993, show it stored at Green Bay with Green Bay & Western lettering
  • LS&I 2406 – photos taken in March and June, 1990, show this unit lettered for Fox River Valley and running in freight service. Photos taken in March, 1991, show it still lettered for Fox River Valley but stored at North Green Bay.
  • LS&I 2407 – photos taken in February, 1990, and April, 1991, show this unit lettered for Fox River Valley, in service. Photos taken in January, 1992, show it lettered for Green Bay & Western, but stored at North Green Bay.

Wisconsin Central Acquisition of Green Bay & Western

Itel sold both the Fox River Valley and Green Bay & Western to Wisconsin Central in 1993, which had no interest in running Alcos of any kind. Although many published rosters show the RSD15’s with Wisconsin Central numbers, all of the units had been out of service and stored for at least one or two years by the time of the merger. None of these RSD15’s ever ran again. Wisconsin Central scrapped them at North Green Bay in 1996, with the exception of 2407, which was donated to the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, Illinois.

Preservation

  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2407 – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois, as Green Bay & Western 2407

Succession

  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2400 – Built as ATSF 802 > renumbered ATSF 9802 in the 1970 general renumbering > retired January, 1975 > to Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2400 in May, 1975 > bought by Green Bay & Western in 1989 > stored at North Green Bay, Wisconsin until scrapped by Wisconsin Central in 1996
  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2401 – Built as ATSF 807 > renumbered ATSF 9807 in the 1970 general renumbering > retired January, 1975 > to Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2401 in May, 1975 > bought by Green Bay & Western in 1989 > used as Fox River Valley 2406 by March, 1990, stored by March, 1991, with lettering intact, at North Green Bay, Wisconsin, until scrapped by Wisconsin Central in 1996
  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2402 – Built as ATSF 841 > renumbered ATSF 9841 in the 1970 general renumbering > retired January, 1975 > to Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2402 in May, 1975¬† > bought by Green Bay & Western in 1989 > used as Fox River Valley 2407 by February, 1990, then Green Bay & Western 2407 by January, 1992, when it was stored at North Green Bay, Wisconsin, until scrapped by Wisconsin Central in 1996
  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2403 – Built as ATSF 844 > renumbered ATSF 9844 in the 1970 general renumbering > retired January, 1975 > to Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2403 in May, 1975 > bought by Green Bay & Western in 1989 >¬†placed in operation as Fox River Valley 2403 in 1990, out of service by June, 1993 at Green Bay, Wisconsin, with herald painted over, scrapped by Wisconsin Central in 1996
  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2404 – Built as ATSF 810 > renumbered ATSF 9810 in the 1970 general renumbering > retired January, 1975 > to Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2404 in May, 1975 >bought by Green Bay & Western in 1989 > used as Fox River Valley 2404 by May, 1990, then lettered for Green Bay & Western 2404 in June, 1990, stored by September, 1992 at North Green Bay, Wisconsin, until scrapped by Wisconsin Central in 1996
  • Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2405 – Built as ATSF 838 > renumbered ATSF 9838 in the 1970 general renumbering > retired January, 1975 > to Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2405 in May, 1975 >bought by Green Bay & Western in 1989 > used as Fox River Valley 2405, later as Green Bay & Western 2405, and stored by August, 1993, at North Green Bay, Wisconsin, until scrapped by Wisconsin Central in 1996

Reference

  • American Locomotive Company, Complete Works – Vol. 8, pg 88
  • Joe McMillan, Santa Fe’s Diesel Fleet, Chatham Publishing Company, 1975
  • Diesel Shop – Lake Superior & Ishpeming roster