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EMD GP7MoPac Diesel Power - First Generation
The General Purpose road switchers

MP 276 - a GP 7 is soley in charge in this dramatic action shot. - © Brian Paul Ehni photo, used with permission.

The Missouri Pacific fielded a colorful array of locomotives and paint schemes in it's 100-year history. With the full acceptence of the diesels during the 1940s we saw the classic blue and gray scheme with yellow trim on all passenger and freight streamliners, then in the 1950s on a new roadswitcher fleet.

No other freight locomotive was a better representative of the MoPac during this era than the omnipresent GP7. The MoPac would also go on to own successor models such as the GP9 and the GP18. But the GP7 would remain as the most popular model on the road until the coming of the popular GP38-2 and SD40-2 in the 1970s.

With a grand total of 272 purchases by the company, the 'General Purpose' 7 was used everwhere across the system, wore three different paint schemes, saw three seperate numberings, and a few battle-hardened units endured until the company's merger with Union Pacific in the 1980's.


MP 4158 - exhibiting both a new paint job and a new paint scheme - no more Eagle colors as the new company president, Downing Jenks, implements changes to make the fleet more utilitarian.

Notice that the very first units to leave the paint shop in the new overall Jenk's Blue scheme retained the serif-style numbering of the old Eagles scheme. Block-style lettering would come shortly. You can also see where the cowling above the fuel tank was cut away to allow better access. The old-style MU stands are yet to be replaced. A re-railer hangs over the rear truck. A drop-step is in place on the front walkway. Modification of the exuast stacks with spark arrestors are still years away.

The #4158 is seen at Harlingen, Texas on September 7, 1961 - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection


MP 213 and CNW 1545, - the Geeps offer comparative views while switching cars at the joint MP/C&NW yard near Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The date is April 19, 1974. - © copyright Glen Beans Photo

 

 

Diesel Domination - the 1950's-'60's

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image

  the GP7

MODEL BUILDER FIRST DELIVERY FINAL DELIVERY TOTAL
GP7 EMD 3/50 (T&P #1110)
7/50 (MP #4142)
5/54 242 units

Missouri Pacific 146 - a General Purpose GP7 - © Brian Paul Ehni photo, used with permission.

MP 132 - the GP7 is on the Texas Eagle at San Antonio, Texas, September, 1968. - photo © 1968, 2000 by Jerry Appleman-Jerry's Railroad PhotoAlbum.


MP 160 - a GP 7, a first-generation diesel EMD-built locomotive, rated at 1,500 hp - © Brian Paul Ehni photo, used with permission.



MP 184
- a GP7, the mainstay on any given MP branchline, first entered MoPac rails in 1950 and stayed there for 30 years. #184 is seen on the college campus at Lincoln, Nebraska in December 1973. Photographer Glen Beans caught the scene on film while a student there. - © Glen Beans Photo (300 kb)


MP 189
- a GP7 at Hoisington, Kansas in May 1973. - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·


MP 192 - seen near snowy Ralston, Nebraska with a string of Frisco coal hoppers. - William W. Kratville photo (used by permission)/T. Greuter collection.


MP GP7 #205 - was built in 1952 as St Louis, Brownsville & Mexico #4206. It later became MP #205, and its final number was MP 1648. The unit was retired in 1980. - Photographer and Location unknown/Jay Glenewinkel Collection


Missouri Pacific GP7 #213
- in 1968. Location unknown - Shaun Arthur Photo/ Jay Glenewinkel Collection


MP 217
- This Geep is coupled to a yard switcher at Lincoln, Nebraska in September 1974. The pair appear to be parked near the freight station. This entire area is devoted to a parking lot today. Notice the dark blue and MoW orange truck behind the Geep's nose. Is this a MP truck? - © Glen Beans Photo (297 kb)


Diesel Details
In the early Seventies, the former high-nose passenger Geeps were rebuilt with large fuel tanks, EMD low noses, and had their fuel rack settings altered to make them the equivalent of a GP18. Some would even receive new air filters which made them resemble the old Paducah Geeps of the IC. (J. Ogden)


MP 221
- the chop-nosed GP7, a former passenger unit equipped with steam generators (aka 'torpedo tubes') is hard at work switching out cars at Lincoln, Nebraska in March 1975. Grain, cement, lumber and dry goods were the main commodities hauled in it's day-to-day routine. - © Glen Beans Photo (330 kb)



MP 227
- a GP7 in a rare color photo of a unit wearing the popular Eagle scheme, mirroring that worn by MP's streamliners. A B-unit (a F8b?) painted in Jenks blue is coupled behind the Geep. Memphis, Tennessee, 4/9/66 - Photographer unknown/T. Greuter collection ·


MP 250
- nice shot of a GP7 in Eagle colors parked with a caboose at Newton, Kansas, August, 1962 - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·

Diesel Details
Changes made by MP to the GP7's from after delivery added-up over the years of their lifetime. Modifications included everything from the skirting being removed, "torpedo tubes" (roof-mounted air tanks) and steam generators being installed, number changes (four digit to three, then back to four), and wearing three different paint-schemes. Some units had thier noses 'chopped'. There's also the trademark Mopac spark arresters that were applied to all of their Geeps.

MP 230
- a GP7 with a disappearing breed - a WWII era caboose. The geep is wearing the all blue Jenk's scheme and a good amount of road grime. May 1968 - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·


MP GP7 #298
- A southbound sand run pauses before the Rock Island (to the right) diamonds north of Louisville, Nebraska in July 1967. - William W. Kratville photo (used by permission)/T. Greuter collection.



Close-up from above photo
MP 298 - A crewman can be seen inspecting his Geep during a routine walk-around. - William W. Kratville photo (used by permission)/T. Greuter collection ·


MP 304 - the chop-nosed Geep speeds through Louisville, Nebraska in 1975. - William Kratville photo (used by permission)/T. Greuter collection.



MP 308
- a GP7 with a chop-nose and torpedo tubes could pass as a GP18 as it idles away beside the gleaming white silos of Hoisington, Kansas in May 1973 - Lee Berglund photo/T. Greuter collection ·

Missouri Pacific GP-7 #322 - with express/baggage on passenger train. Note the 'torpedo tubes' - photog, date, location unknown/Gary Morris Collection

MP 326 - This south bound "Texas Eagle" is approaching Laredo, Texas. After the Laredo passengers unload, the thru cars for the "Aztec Eagle" to Mexico City, will be moved to the middle of the International bridge by a Texas Mexican GP9, where a N de M unit will take over; May 28, 1966 - F. Hol Wagner, Jr. photo, from a postcard/T. Greuter collection

MP 1602 - a GP7 from the tail end (looks pretty much like the front). - © Brian Paul Ehni photo, used with permission.


MP 1624
- with her brakeman at the ready, a GP7 rumbles through the UNL campus on a clear white day in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 5, 1976. Later it will make the 5pm run east to Union, then back home to Lincoln around midnight. - © Glen Beans Photo (330 kb)



MP 1652
- a GP7 modified with a chop-nose and 'torpedo tubes' at the joint MP/C&NW yards in Lincoln, Nebraska in April 1976. - © Glen Beans Photo (314 kb)


"I am here to save the day"
Reportedly seen bustling around North Little Rock in the late '70's and early '80's, a GP7 with Mighty Mouse on it's side has the distinction of having it's own mascot. MP railcrews had their share of practical jokers, and one such joker applied the cartoon to the long hood of MP 180.

If anyone has information on this particular locomotive (road number?) please drop me a line.

MP 1768 - a GP 7 - © Brian Paul Ehni photo, used with permission.

MP GP7 #1771 - in 1976 at a small yard in Odessa, Texas, 8-year old Alyn got to live every boy's dream and climb behind the controls of a MoPac locomotive. "I was only 8 but stillĘgot to lay hands on the throttle. I am the the little guy 2nd from the left." Alyn also adds that "She was quite well used at that point in her life." - Alyn Merrill Photo

MP 1776 - a 'chop-nosed' GP7u sublettered for the C&EI got special treatment. GP18u 1976 (see below) and #1776 (renumbered to pair-up with MP 1976, the original #1776 was deemed unfit for the publicity job) were taken into the paint shop and tranformed into Bicentennial engines. Proclaiming "Happy Birthday America" across the sides they wore a unique scheme of an American flag, stars, eagle (turbo style) all in red, white and blue, commemorating America's 1976 Bicentennial. - Photographer and location unknown/T. Greuter collection ·

See Bicentennial Units for more.

MP 1783 - a GP 7 built in 1955. The Geep is wearing its 3rd and final number and paint-scheme. The GP 7's, the mainstay on any given MP branchline, first entered MoPac rails in 1950 and stayed there for 30 years. - © Brian Paul Ehni photo, used with permission.

MP 1799 - Jay Glenewinkel Collection

MP 4139 - seen in Eagle paint from the long-hood end. At Springfield, Missouri on September 11, 1955 - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

MP 4140 - at Springfield, Missouri on March 13, 1955. - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

MP GP7 #4184 - at Springfield, Missouri on August 13, 1961. - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

MP 4217 - also in Eagle colors at Springfield, Missouri on May 28, 1961 - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

Diesel Details
On the MoPac, a select few GP7's had a "crew cab". These units were bought originally by the Texas & Pacific and Gulf Coast Lines.

Outwardly they looked like any regular Geep with the exception that the crew-cabs were modified with an extra set of number board cut-outs/windows that were exactly the same size as the number boards located just below the usual number boards on the short hood/nose. Behind the windows inside the cab sat a spare seat... right beside the typical toilet placement most likely. Makes you kinda think, don't it? ;)

Ed Hawkins, who has researched the subject for an article in the MPHS's Eagle newsletter, adds that the "crew-cab" GP7s used by I-GN and STLB&M (series 4116-4123) were equipped with crew-cabs (modified circa 1953): 4117, 4119, 4120, 4122, and 4123. Since no other unit's received the crew cab, it's speculated that this modification may have been a "Texas thing" for the brakeman to ride inside the unit.

MP 4232 - at Springfield, Missouri on January 2, 1955. - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

MP 4274 - at Springfield, Missouri on January 2, 1955. - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

MP 4324 - at Mission, Texas on October 7, 1954. - Arthur B. Johnson Photo, T. Greuter Collection

Diesel Details
Some early GP7 photos (especially the Texas & Pacific and related lines) show friction bearings being used rather than roller bearings on the rear trucks of a few units.




  the GP7 - MoPac subsidiary Texas & Pacific

T&P
118 - the TEXAS & PACIFIC RR GP7 in the colorful road's pleasing orange and black paint. Originally delivered in April 1951 as T&P 1118, she will go on to be renumbered as MP 1627 and finally to MP 627. - Photo/The Bill Folsom Collection (to purchase full-size photos contact Bill at: billfolsom@bellsouth.net )



  the GP7 - MoPac subsidiary Muskogee Lines


Kansas Oklahoma & Gulf GP7 98
- (former 802) at Muskogee, OK. Unknown date. Post T&P merger unit in original paint, after T&P renumbering. - photographer unknown, Robert F. Read Collection / submitted by Gary Herron


Midland Valley GP7 106
- (former 151) at Muskogee, OK. Unknown date. Post T&P merger unit in original paint, after T&P renumbering. - photographer unknown, Robert F. Read Collection / submitted by Gary Herron




  the GP7 - MoPac subsidiary Chicago & Eastern Illinois

Chicago & Eastern Illinois GP7 #209 - on a freight at Chicago, Illinois, October, 1966. Though the C&EI black and white proclaims the road as a seperate entity here, it won't be long before the MoPac subsidiary will see her units being integrated into the MP roster. #209 will become C&EI #74 on the expanded roster before being sold by MoPac to L&N as thier #393. - photo © 1966, 1996 by Jerry Appleman.


C&EI #214 & 211
- with TOFC's at Chicago, Illinois, May 1965 - photo © 1966, 1996 by Jerry Appleman.


C&EI #220
- also at Chicago, Illinois, April 1966 - photo © 1966, 1996 by Jerry Appleman.

C&EI GP7 #226 - is in original C&EI paint but notice the C&EI buzzsaw applied to the cab. The C&EI had their own version of the buzzsaw logo while the company retained its own identity early into its merger with MoPac. The unit, still in it's original number, will be renumbered into the MP system as C&EI #91, but will not last long enough to see C&EI fully merged; April 1967. - George Elwood photo

In January 1951, the ALCo-built RS 2 and RS 3 arrive on the system.

In November 1951, the Baldwin-built AS-16, at 1600 hp began arriving on the line.


From the first Eagle E-3 Streamliner in 1949 until the early 1960's, you could see PA's, F7's and FA's, RS3's and Geeps in MP's classic blue and gray paint scheme. Meanwhile, the diesel switchers were painted black with brushed aluminum lettering - just like the steam switchers they'd replaced. They wore this scheme from their introduction in 1939 until 1961, when all switchers, freight and passenger units began the conversion to the solid Jenk's Blue.

Joining the roster in the mid 1950's, the MoP's GP7's carried on the classic colors of the F's of blue and gray. At the same time the Texas & Pacific Geeps (unlike the T&P's passenger units) had their own scheme of orange scotchlite end striping which also lasted into the 1960's on a few locos.

 

 


Reclaiming the Past

In 1999, the Downs Historical Society, Downs, KS acquired an ex-New York Central and Conrail #5712 GP-7 from Kyle Railroad, like the GP-7's first used in service there. Though the Geep was never owned by MoPac, the society has sandblasted and primed the engine to refinish it into authentic Missouri Pacific blue & gray Eagles scheme, with the original lettering patterns.

The completed engine will be placed on rails immediately east of the recently acquired former Missouri Pacific one-story brick depot in Downs. Plans are to refurbish the depot into a community meeting place and home of the Downs Historical Society.

Update

As of May 2001, the GP-7 now renumbered as 4124, is in full MP Eagle paint and on display by the depot. The original MP 4124 was most likely the number of the first diesel in Downs during the wheat harvest of 1950. See some of the latest photos of this ongoing project at http://skyways.lib.ks.us/kansas/towns/Downs/downs.htm and Tom Stolte's Mopac site: trainweb.us/mopac. Also, check out http://www.downsnews.com/railroadtown/

 
 



Featured Photographers:
Alyn Merrill, Brian Paul Ehni, Glen Beans, Arthur B. Johnson, George Elwood, Jerry Carson, Robert Pollard-Jay Glenewinkel Collection, Robert F. Read, Gary Herron, F. Hol Wagner, Jr., and Lee Berglund

Sources:
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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          trainweb.us/screamingeagle l Last Update to this page: 28 April, 2008
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