I’m not a big diesel guy. I like some of the early unit passenger trains like the Pioneer Zephyr and M-10000. I can usually tell E units from F units and I love the early slant nose E units like the E3 or the E6. I like steam and pre-Super Power steam at that (that would generally be considered pre-1920′s steam engines).

However Ryan, someone I’m building a yard module with, is big on diesels and so when he saw this engine on my blog about some pictures I took in Point Richmond, California, we wondered what it is exactly.

Picture 007

I speculated it was a GP35 but Ryan didn’t think so. He though it looked like a GP20 (one of his favorites) but the cab was wrong. I did a little digging and here’s what I found:

First, there are people on the Internet who are way more obsessive about the details of the complete rosters of every engine a railroad ever owned than I ever will be — and thank God for them!

I ended up at this very interesting site ATSF Diesel Rosters and found BNSF 1683:

BYW2, 15-in “BNSF” patch on cab, “Santa Fe” on long hood, “SANTA FE” cigar-band herald

Yep, that’s it. Anyway, BNSF 1683 started life as AT&SF 713 — a GP9 delivered in May 1956. And it is still trundling the rails in Point Richmond 53 years later.

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