Loco details please

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

Request for details of locos seen at Flagstaff, AZ 20/21 Jun 1991

Some may have been on passenger traffic, and the last may not have been a loco. No other info.


Do you remember the railroads? The mainline of what is now the BNSF runs through Flagstaff, but back when you were there it was still the Santa Fe (Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe) mainline. The locos could have been run-through or loaner/leased units from other railroads. Passenger units would have been Amtrak.
No, sadly didn't record them. No hope then?
Though mergers and other forms of acquisitions, there are just a handful of class I railroads left in the US. You could do online searches of each railroad's roster and see if any of the locos look familiar. I would start with the following western railroads that existed in some form back in 1991:

Burlington Northern
Denver & Rio Grande Western
Santa Fe
Southern Pacific
Union Pacific

Locomotives of the following east coast railroads frequently made their way out west:
Norfolk Southern
Thanks Bill. Found locos of those numbers, except the last, as BNSF.
The last loco number may not have been copied correctly. Railroad loco numbers in the US contain one to four digits. I have never seen or heard of a five or six digit locomotive number except for the unpowered control units used on the TALGO trains. You can find photos of those units by searching through my MP 17 and MP 18 threads in the Western US section.




Forum Host
Staff member
Found it... What you saw as a former Santa Fe Spreader.

Sort of a bulldozer/road grader for trains, they can be used for plowing either snow, dirt or ballast. The wings can extend out, making a wider swath. The best known manufacturer of these units was Jordan, though I don't know who made this particular unit and there were other manufacturers. I'm not sure, but it's possible some railroads made their own as well.

Since they have a control cab for the wings and plow, they bear a vague resemblance to a locomotive.



Forum Host
Staff member
You will find this link directory page useful. It contains links to quite a few pages that list railroad rosters.


Since you're out west, start with BNSF and Union Pacific. Chances are good you'll get a hit. Though with run-through power, it's hard to tell what you might see. Stand by a mainline long enough, and you'll see nearly every mainline railroad as well as some leasing companies.

Should you ever do this again, either take photos and/or jot down the railroad initials.
Request for details of locos seen in and around Lordsburg, NM 15/16 Jul 1991


I haven't been able to find them on the rosters of Cotton Belt or SP, to which all other sightings belonged.

RailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com