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Old 01-05-2016, 02:15 AM   #4
ShortlinesUSA
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A little bit of both. Some of the painted power is stored (a few of the SD50Fs, or at least were this summer). Once they retired the painted GP35s off of the Crosby line, that scattered painted GP40-2Ls away from the Bismarck/Oakes operations.

It is certainly possible to get a pair of painted SD45s out of Oakes, and we nailed the Max Turn with the only SD50F out running at the time leading (the other two were in the shop for PTC installation). Of two days on the DMVW, we got painted leaders both days. I'll be honest, I have the same penchant you do for painted lashups, but the SD40-3s were fairly tolerable to me in the consist. Of course, that's easy for me to say because the leaders were painted on both occasions! Had the solid trio of unpainted SD40-3s we saw sitting at Oakes on a Saturday been the power, I might be singing a different tune.

The ex Alstom units look pretty good, IMO. Their paint is in much better shape than the ex KCS units, and the darker gray almost matches the DMVW paint scheme. If you got one of those paired with a DMVW-painted unit, someone not familiar with the line might think it was two variations of the company colors.

I'll offer up this. If you're willing to go out that far but want a really nicely painted roster, I'd start looking at the Dakota & Iowa (DAIR) in South Dakota. That one is high on my to-do list, but just doesn't seem to be in the cards when I consider it. We were actually going to try for an even bigger loop and include the DAIR in the North Dakota trip, but once the mileages started coming apparent, that was called off.
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