Southern Pacific 3100

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Southern Pacific 3100
GE U25B front2.jpg
3100 in preservation at Orange Empire Railway Museum in 2005
Type and origin
Power type Diesel electric
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Serial number 34700
Model U25B
Build date March 29, 1963
Rebuilder SP Sacramento Shops
Rebuild date September 29, 1975
 • AAR B-B
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operators Southern Pacific Railroad
Class GF425-1[1]
Numbers 7508 (1963–1965),
6708 (1965–1975),
6800 (1975–1979),
3100 (since 1979)
Current owner Orange Empire Railway Museum
Disposition operable

Southern Pacific 3100 is a GE U25B diesel-electric locomotive now on permanent exhibit at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California, USA.[2] It is notable as being the only U25B still in operating condition.

Construction and service[edit]

Built in 1963 by General Electric under construction number 34700, it was shipped from GE's Erie, Pennsylvania, locomotive assembly plant to the Southern Pacific Railroad on March 29, 1963.[3][4][5] It entered service in April and was assigned to the Los Angeles Freight Pool with Taylor Yard Roundhouse as its maintenance point.

The locomotive was first numbered SP 7508,[4] then renumbered SP 6708 during the railroad's 1965 general renumbering. After a period of storage in the early 1970s, the U25B was moved to the Sacramento General Shops in 1975 for a complete rebuilding, one of only two U25Bs so done. The work included upgrading the prime mover with later GE U33-compatible parts, a complete rewiring of the high- and low-voltage electrical systems, the installation of an AAR control stand and a new number - SP 6800. It was released from Sacramento on September 29 and returned to service.

The U25B became a "goodwill ambassador" for the railroad in 1976 when it was painted in an elaborate red, white, and blue color scheme in celebration of the nation's bicentennial, one of four Southern Pacific locomotives so painted.[3][6] The others were Daylight Express 4449, EMD GP40P-2 3197, and EMD SD45T-2 9389. After the bicentennial celebration, it was repainted in the standard red and gray SP color scheme. In late 1977, 6800 was assigned to local and hauler service in the Los Angeles Basin, primarily working out of Taylor Yard in Los Angeles and West Colton Yard. In June 1979, it received its final renumbering as SP 3100. In and out of storage for the rest of its time with the railroad, 3100 was finally retired on December 17, 1986, and sold serviceable to Levin Metals in Colton on January 22, 1988.


On February 2, 1988, 3100 was donated in operable condition to the Orange Empire Railway Museum.[4][7]

3100 is fully certified to run on any of the nation's railroads and is infrequently used as motive power for off-site work trains. It is the only preserved U25B in existence.[3]


  1. ^ Strapac 1974, p. 47.
  2. ^ "Collections: Southern Pacific". Orange Empire Railway Museum. 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Red Car at Orange Empire Railway Museum". See California. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Solomon, Biran (2014). GE and EMD Locomotives: The Illustrated History. Minneapolis, MN: Voyageur Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7603-4612-9 – via Google Books. 
  5. ^ Strapac 1974, p. 35.
  6. ^ "Southern Pacific U25BE: 6800 - 6801". my Espee Modelers Archive. June 26, 2005. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Former SP "Snowflake"". Railfan & Railroad. Carstens Publications. 7: 30. 1988 – via Google Books. 
  • Strapac, Joseph A. (September 1974) [March 1968]. Southern Pacific 1967–1968 Motive Power Annual (second printing ed.). Burlingame, CA: Chatham Publishing Company. p. 35.