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BNSF 4857 As Delivered in H 0.5(?) Paint at Bridge Jct., AR

BNSF 4857 (C44-9W) and EMDX 6313 (SD40-2) lead eastbound auto racks at Bridge Jct., AR on the former SLSF. They are about to cross the UP (former MP and RI) tracks in the foreground and then to cross the Mississippi River to Memphis.
<BR>Apparently both locomotive builders were having their capacity stretched in 1998. EMD was using outside builders to assemble units(Thanks John Barlow for the F59PHI from Super Steel into) and GE's paint shop could not keep pace with the company's assembly line. According to a discussion on BNSF received 100+ C44-9W's in incomplete H2 paint, with just the GN orange and dark green applied and the minimum lettering on the cab needed to use the units. At least 1 ran for 18 months in this simple paint scheme before the stripes, the large yellow 'BNSF' on the sides, and the Santa Fe style cigar band herald on the nose were applied. Apparently this started with units in the 4700's and obviously extended well into the 4800's, as seen here.

Photographed by Warren Beckwith, September, 1998.
Added to the photo archive by Warren Beckwith, November 15, 2021.
Railroad: BNSF.

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