While initial orders for SD60s were intended to replace aging EMD SD40s, the carrier's third and final order were needed to not only replace SD40/SD40-2s in Burlington Northern's coal-train pool service, but also purchased to meet the rising movement of low-sulfur coal. KCS served seven on-line power plants.
Chicago & North Western EMD SD40-2s
A sudden uptick in traffic in 1973-74 brought the first SD40-2s to the C&NW roster. Over the next three years, orders for EMD's highly successful six-axle road switcher brought the fleet total to 135 units. They quickly formed the core of C&NW's mail-line freight fleet well into the 1980s, with most lasting to join the Union Pacific roster in 1995. One of the units has even been preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.
Conrail GE B36-7s
While EMD received sizable orders from newly formed Conrail, early acquisitions also included 141 B23-7s, GE's four-axle medium-horsepower road switcher. So when it came time to add high-horsepower four-axle locomotives to move ever-increasing TOFC traffic, Conrail turned to the Erie, PA-based builder for 60 B36-7s. The units went to work proving their worth, leading to a parade of GE six-axle models that continued until the end of Conrail as an independent railroad in 1999.