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U-Boats - GE U30 C,
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GE U30 C and U23 B

MP 2978 - A distinctly MoPac U-boat. The railroad commonly used EMD cabs to replace wreck damaged cabs on their GE units (see U30C #3319 & U23B #4528 below for more examples). The unit is seen at MP's Yard Center Shop, Dolton, Illinois on July 8, 1984. - Paul M. Rome Photo/ T. Greuter Collection ·

MoPac Diesel Power - Second Generation
The U-Boats



Enter the Screaming Eagles - the 1960's-'70's

click on the thumbnails for a larger image

  the U30 C

U30C GE 3/68 1/74 35 units

Perhaps the one thing that stood out about MoPac's U30-Cs (besides the fact that they were the road's first GE venture into triple-axle/C-C power) was the fact that they were some of the down-right grungiest units on the system for most of their careers. Perhaps their original back-breaking assignments on long and heavy trains to and from the rich Illinois coal fields took it's toll on these units, but it can't be denied that the U-boats didn't receive the same care that her EMD step-sisters did.

"The U30C's were bastard red-headed step children that were real oddballs and poorly maintained as a result. They seemed to be prone to failure. " (Tuch)

MP 8
- a U30C in the 'spot' number series.West of Hoisington, Kansas, 8/73 - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·

Texas & Pacific (MP) 11
- In 1968 MP ordered 29 3000-hp of these units from GE. It's first break after nine years of nothing but EMD models. Specifically ordered to power the many coal trains coming from the southern Illinois coal fields. Along with the SD40, the massive U30C's were the first 6-axle locos on the system. They were the only GE-built six-axle locos bought by MP. They survived four numberings and lasted until the merger with UP. Hoisington, KS. May 1973 - Lee Berglund photo, /T. Greuter collection. ·

MP 972 - good rear shot of a U30C. Houston, TX, 2/73 - © Brian Paul Ehni photo

MP 977
- a U30C at Hoisington, Kansas, 4/72. - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·

MP 980
- a U30C at Hoisington, Kansas, 8/72. - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·

MP U30C 2989 - was built in June 1976 as MP 984. It was renumbered to MP 25, then to MP 3324 and then to MP 2989. It is seen here in a deadline of 11 U30cs at Centennial Yard in Fort Worth, TX in 1987. The unit was officially retired in 1989 by UP. - Steve Rude Photo/Jay Glenewinkel Collection.

MP U30C 2996 - was built as T&P 3331 in January 1974. It was renumbered to MP 3331, and then MP 2996. It is seen here as the last of eight units pulling a San Antonio Coal train out of the CPS plant in San Antonio in 1986. The unit failed while in service on this train. This was the final run for the 2996. - Steve Rude photo/Jay Glenewinkel Collection

MP U30C 2992 - was built in 1973 as MP 987. It was renumbered to MP 28, then to 3327, and its final number 2992. It is pictured at the service tracks at Sosan Yard in San Antonio, Texas in 1987. It was retired in April 1989. - Steve Rude Photo/Jay Glenewinkel Collection

MP 3307 - at Houston, TX - © Brian Paul Ehni photo

MP 3319 - looking a curious site after losing it's cab in an accident. The power hungry MoPac ran the unfortunate U30C as a cabless "B" unit until it could be fully repaired at the shops. E. St. Louis, MO, 10/3/76 - Rider photo/Brian Paul Ehni collection

MP 3330
- this U30C is caught sandwiched between canary yellow on UP rails at Cozad, Nebraska in July 21, 1974. - © copyright Glen Beans

MoPac recycled all its U30C's back through GE for modifications to improve fuel mileage during the late 70's or early 80's. 

The U30C's that went back to GE were not actually rebuilt, but received electrical upgrades. They received only the electrical work. Not even any fresh new paint. These units were essentially the bastard red headed step children of the fleet. It seemed they were not particularly well maintained. The mechanical forces hated them. I can recall hearing many an Electrician and Machinist complain about them when I was hostling at Yard Center in 79 and 80.

These units were also some of the first put into storage during the economic downturn of the early 80's along with the GP35's. The U30C's also were the ones likely to fail in your consist. If you got alarm bells, it was likely a U30C that had overheated, had hot diodes or hit excitation limit. These units were generally being kept off the hot shot trains out of Chicago, CFZ, CHZ, CDZ, TAZ (later called AI) and CKZ.

The first group of these units delivered had 16 position throttles on the control stands. The oldest units were also the ones that had gong bells (like CNW units) mounted just below the window on the Engineer's side.

However, they were unlike their UP cousins. UP's U30C's were in much better shape mechanically and had dynamic brakes. (Tuch)

1/72 - MoPac's first EMD GP38-2. It would continue buying until it amassed a total of 326 units (all-time most popular model on MP).

12/72 - EMD SW1500 comes to the system.


  the U23 B

U23B GE 1/73 2/77 39 units

MP 668
- a U23 B with MP 669. The units are in fresh Jenks Blue paint and probably getting thier first dusting of road grime on a run through Hoisington, Kansas; February 1973 - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection. ·

MP 2251 - Beautiful shot of a B-boat followed by a 40-2 with TOFC train. The GE-built U23B (built 1/71 at 2,250 hp) , along with the U30 C's were the first units for MoPac to order from a manufacturer other than the largely favored EMD. Texarkana, TX, 6/76 - © Brian Paul Ehni photo

MP U23B 2263 - was built in 1974 by General Electric. It was later renumbered to MP 4513, and then into the UP number series as UP 547. It was retired in January 1991. - Robert Pollaed Photo/Jay Glenewinkel Collection

MoPac 4515 - sits at North Loop siding as a trailing unit on a southbound freight in 1990. - Steve Rude Photo/ Jay Glenewinkel Collection

MP U23B #4525 - was built as MP 2276 in June 1976. It was later renumbered to MP 4525, and then to Union Pacific #559. It was retired in May of 1990, and was scrapped in October 1991. The 4525 is pictured in San Antonio in 1986. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo

MP 4528 - sits on a service track at UPs Sosan Yard in San Antonio in 1987. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo

MP 4528 - seen once again. The MoPac's U23B's had the bad luck of a high percentage involved in wrecks for the number of locos on the system. A number of these units in turn needed cab replacment, and since MoPac had EMD parts readily on hand, the GE units were fitted with the boxier EMD-style crew cabs. Hybrid units, like #4528(now in it's third numbering), would have a look distinct to the MoPac. Chicago, Ill, 11/4/89 - © Brian Paul Ehni photo

The Last Days of the Covered Wagons

As passenger service disappeared across the nation to be taken-over by Amtrak in the early '70's, MoPac's steamlined but aging F7's, F8's and their B-units found a new if less glamorous life as they began filling-out freight-hauling rosters.

Loco Renumberings

The first major renumber of the MoPac roster first took place in 1962 when the whole MoPac fleet was renumbered.  Numbering from three to four digits (in this case, 500 to 1850) started in 1974 when the locomotives were, for the most part, renumbered to group units of similar horsepower together, and the buzzsaw was replaced with the screaming eagle herald.  Changing T&P to MP reporting marks was more of a paperwork exercise.  The T&P sublettering lasted well into the 1970s on some locomotives, and some four-number geeps (e.g., 1850) had T&P sublettering.  The last units to carry sublettering were likely C&EI GP15s.  Most of this information comes from John Eagan's 1975-1976 Missouri Pacific Annual. (J. Michels

Featured Photographers:
Glen Beans, Paul De Luca, Jay Glenewinkel, Steve Rude, Robert Pollard, Mike Bledslow Slides, Train Nutz, George Elwood, Railblazer, collection of James E. Gilley, William W. Kratville, Ronald Estes, Chris John, and Lee Berglund

Missouri Pacific Diesel Power by Kevin EuDaly

Every effort has been made to get the correct information on these pages, but mistakes do happen. Reporting of any inaccuracies would be appreciated.

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 l Last Update to this page: 18 April, 2008
          All images & text 2000-2008 T. Greuter / Screaming Eagles, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.