This first update of BN Survivors (and the premerger partners) is for the BNSF SW1500 3450.

BNSF 3450 was built as the GN 204,  part of an order of 10 SW1500′s for the Great Northern in October of 1967.  Delivered in Big Sky Blue the first 5 units (200-204) were assigned to Spokane, WA and the other 5 to Minneapolis.

After the BN merger in 1970 the 204 was renumbered BN 304 and continued to be assigned on the ex-GN at Hillyard in Spokane.

On a trip through Spokane on Aug 4, 1971 I stopped at Hillyard where I noted the BN 304 was already painted BN green along with the other 4 GN built SW1500′s 300-303.  Not surprising as Hillyard had a paint booth in the shops so the power assigned there would be some of the first to be repainted.  After Hillyard closed the 300-303 stayed in Spokane being assigned to the ex-NP Parkwater shops while the 304 moved west to Seattle staying assigned to an ex-GN shop, at Interbay so I saw and photographed it a number of times.

This photo of the 304 was taken on 7-19-78 at Interbay.


Note how some of the original GN blue is showing through.  There was very little change for the 304 until after the BNSF merger in 1995.  The 304 was renumbered without being repainted to BNSF 3450 in April 1998 and continued to call Seattle home.  A popular assignment seemed to be Job 120 working the garbage transfer at Rabanco south of downtown.  Here the 3450 still in BN green switches at Rabanco 8-12-98.


The 3450 was repainted H1 in February 2002.  Here it leads Job 120 bringing a garbage transfer to Interbay a few months after being repainted on 4-20-00.


Kind of ironic that an ex-GN locomotive delivered in Big Sky Blue would later be painted in the older GN colors of orange and green.  Three days previous Job 120 was at the same location of Galer St just south of Interbay on 4-17-00 and was led by SW1500′s 3450/3453, both being ex-GN SW1500′s.  The 3450 the 204 and the 3453 the former GN 207.


On 3-29-00 a rear end roster shows how the paint appeared on the rear of the H1 SW1500.


The 3450 went into storage at Interbay for awhile but last report has it back in service north of the border at New Westminster, BC on a line which happens to be former GN territory.

As a side note Athearn has announced they will be producing an HO GN SW1500 due in early March 2009 with the 204 to be one of the numbers released.  Sounds like it will be a nice looking model.

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