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South Orient: 1992 through 1994

South Orient logo BANNER South Orient 205

South Orient Railroad : 1992 - 1994

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When South Orient took over the operation of Santa Fe's San Angelo Sub in 1992, the line operated with leased Santa Fe diesels until the arrival of six ex-D&RGW high-nose GP9s, numbered 200 through 205. The GP9s were painted in an attractive gray, red, and yellow scheme. South Orient soon boosted its motive power fleet to seven units with BN GP9 1711, which SO leased from Burlington Northern for additional power

The ex-D&RGW GP9s remained on South Orient property until mid-1994, when South Orient's lease on them expired. They were soon widely scattered, with the 203 and 204 ending up in service in Sweetwater, Texas on the Texas North Orient; the 200 also in Sweetwater at the USG (U.S. Gypsum) Plant; and the 205 on the Gulf, Colorado & San Saba. Additionally, at least one unit spent some time on the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern.

Please click on any of the following pictures to see a larger image:

  South Orient logo South Orient's logo, featuring a circle of track containing the U.S. and Mexican flags, adorned the sides of each of South Orient's locomotives.
  South Orient 205 The attractive coat of gray, red, and yellow paint on South Orient GP9 205 was just a couple of months old when it was photographed at San Angelo in June 1992.
  South Orient 200 South Orient 200 idles at South Orient's San Angelo yard on July 28, 1993. Two other units are visible on the service tracks in the distance.
  Concho River Bridge Two South Orient geeps cross the Concho River east of downtown San Angelo with a load of scrap paper on May 13, 1992.
  San Angelo depot South Orient 201 leads two other geeps on an eastbound train passing the Old KCM&O depot on Chadbourne St. in San Angelo. Date of photo: August 1, 1992.
  San Angelo depot The other side: on January 3, 1994, South Orient 203 leads a 3-car westbound train past the San Angelo depot.
  South Orient at Valera, TX A westbound South Orient train approaches the small town of Valera, Texas in May 1992.
  east of
Ballinger, Texas Two South Orient geeps lead a westbound train east of Ballinger, Texas In May 1992.
  Ballinger, Texas A westbound South Orient train passes the depot in Ballinger, Texas in June 1992.
  Miles, Texas On June 18, 1992, three South Orient geeps lead a westbound train through Miles, Texas, 16 miles east of San Angelo.
  Harriett, Texas South Orient 201 leads a westbound train through Harriett, Texas (between Miles and San Angelo) on June 18, 1992.
  Rankin,  Texas Emblematic of South Orient's early traffic problems was this freight which operated 200 miles (from San Angelo to Alpine) with only one car in July 1992. The vastness of west Texas is evident as the train approaches the small town of Rankin.
  South Orient - Ft. Stockton, Texas The date is July 1, 1992. This South Orient crew has stopped their train in front of the depot in Ft. Stockton, Texas, to take a break before resuming the 230-mile trip from San Angelo to Alpine.
  Alpine,  Texas Two South Orient geeps lay over in Alpine, Texas on July 1, 1992, after delivering a car to the SP.
  BN 1711 To supplement its motive power fleet, South Orient leased GP9 1711 from Burlington Northern. The 1711 is seen idling at San Angelo Jct, Texas on June 3, 1993.
  BN 1711 in San Angelo BN GP9 1711 works South Orient's San Angelo yard in January 1995.
  BN 1711 westbound BN 1711 leads a westbound South Orient train east of Talpa, Texas in July 1994.
  SO  205 - Brady, Texas After its lease to SO expired, South Orient 205 spent some time on the Gulf, Colorado & San Saba. Its "South Orient" lettering replaced by undiscernable "NRE" reporting marks, the 205 was photographed at Brady, Texas in September 1994.
  SO 200 - Sweetwater, Texas Following the expiration of its lease, South Orient 200 ended up at the USG (US Gypsum) plant in Sweetwater, Texas, where it was photographed on August 18, 1994 in the company of Gulf, Colorado & San Saba 4303.

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