As the sun closes in on the horizon to bring another day in the Central Valley to an end, a pair of historic locomtoives rest on a spur track north of the Golden State Feed & Grain facility in Guersney, Calif. While it might be hard to beleive, both these locomotives were the class-unit, the first locomtoive of an order of so many of the same type, for their oriignal owners. It's somewhat baffling...but would you also believe that both units started their lives as No. 700?
Beginning from left to right, we'll start with the history of Penny Newman No. 2001. Built in July of 1960 by EMD, the 2001 was delivered to the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) where it first served as UP No. 700 - the first GP20 in an order of 30 for the iconic western railroad. Serving roughly two years under its as-delivered road number, the 700 was renumbered to 470 in December of 1962 in anticipation for the delivery of 35 GP30's, which would take on the numbers of 700-734. Serving 17 years with the UP, the 470 was retired in October of 1977 and sold to Precision National where it was rebuilt into a GP21. Sent back east for its new life with South East Coal (SEC), the now SECX 2001 (ex-470) worked on coal trains over CSX territory with five sister GP21's before bankruptcy caught up with SEC in October of 1990. National Railway Equipment scooped up the five reamining GP21's (there had been six - one was wrecked while serving with SEC) and were quickly leased to the newly formed Arizona and California Railroad (ARCZ) in May of 1991 - with SECX 2001 moving from NREX 2001 to serving under the reporting marks of ARZC 2001. While an abundance of information can be found on the the 2001's past life from 1960-1991...this is where the unit's life gets a slighty foggy. Serving the ARCZ at least until the final months of 1996 (the last photos of the unit on the ARCZ that I could find), the ARZC 2001 was sold to the Penny Newman Milling compnay in the early-to-mid 2000's where it has resided in Guenrsey since. Golden State Feed & Grain now owns the facility at Guernsey and does not operate the unit. The last photos of the unit actually working here date back to 2010 with the unit having resided at it's current parked location at least since 2012. An ex-Nickle Plate Railroad SD9 (now SD9m) currently serves as the facility's shuttling unit for grain cars. Now that you know the history of the 2001, we'll move to the right and look into the AARX No. 26. Five years older than it's current nieghbor - the 2001 - No. 26 started out life in May of 1956 as an EMD GP9 delivered to the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) as No. 700 - the first GP9 to be accepted by the company. Serving the ATSF throughout California, the veteran GP9 was renumbered to 2900 before recieivng its final numbering down the road of 2260. Serving the Nuwest Milling LLC. facility in Hughson, Calif. from 2008 to 2014, the locomtoive moved to the southern part of the Central Valley and found itself under the Association of American Railroads (AARX) reporting marks - now AARX 26. In late 2016 the unit was being used at the Hanford Milling facility in the Kings Park Industrial area (south of Hanford), but has since moved to the Golden State Feed & Grain facility at Guernsey as of this posting. Historical information on the 2001 found on utahrails.net: http://utahrails.net/articles/up-gp20.php Historical information on the 26 found on thedieselshop.us: https://www.thedieselshop.us/ATSF.HTML