Soo Line 700
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (January 2016)
|Soo Line 700|
Soo Line #700 in Two Harbors, MN (2007)
Soo Line 700 is a restored EMD GP30 diesel locomotive originally owned by the Soo Line Railroad. It was built in 1963 as a part of the "second generation" diesel power that replaced older locomotives.
Soo #700 was built towards the end of the GP30's short production life between 1961 & 1963. It was one of 948 built by Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors in La Grange, Illinois. GP (General Purpose) was the beginning of the "second generation" of diesel locomotive power to replace older diesels that led to the demise of steam power. GP30s are recognizable with their higher cab roofs, sometimes called "hump roofs".
Soo Line ordered 22 GP30s in 1963, for the cost of $4 million, but were willing to make the investment to replace over 30 older locomotives. Soo Line, in its conservative management, used wheel assemblies of retired Alco locomotives, giving the Soo GP30s a distinctive look. This strategy however, would become a maintenance headache, especially in winter months.
GP30s were highly utilized until higher horsepower locomotives replaced their mainline status in the 1980s. Then many Soo GP30s were used for secondary or local service. In 1987, seven of Soo's GP30s, including #700 were sold to Wisconsin Central. When Wisconsin Central was acquired by Canadian National in 2001, #700 was donated the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. In 2005 it was restored and repainted and began service on the North Shore Scenic Railroad.
Early example of "second generation" diesel locomotives.
Soo #700 occasionally sees freight service, sometimes pulling empty coal hoppers stored during the winter. Often it pulls short excursions but occasionally travels the full distance of the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Once in a while from 2007-2013 it was a helper locomotive for Soo Line 2719 on steam excursions.
Traction motor issues have led to reduced use of #700 in the last few years, and #700 occasionally is displayed inside the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.
- Glischinski, Steve (2013). "Official Guidebook" Lake Superior Railroad Museum and North Shore Scenic Railroad. Duluth, MN: Jeff Terry. pp. 22 of 76. Retrieved April 18, 2014.