After the doubleheader departed, I walked back over to check out the diesel that had arrived in Centralia after I arrived. I was not expecting anything special, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.The new arrival was BNSF #2075, still wearing its commemorative paint scheme as "Pacific Pride."
#2075 was built as an EMD GP38 in February 1970. It was ordered by the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railroad as one of a group of six and was intended to be their #203. The Burlington Northern merger intervened, absorbing the SP&S on March 2, 1970. This group of six locomotives was painted into Burlington Northern colors as #2072-2077 at the factory instead of SP&S #200-205, making them the first BN locomotives. On the morning of March 2, they were on the lead of the first BN freight train, the departure of which was a large media event.
Around 1990, in honor of Burlington Northern's 20th Anniversary, #2075 was named "Pacific Pride" and painted in a commemorative paint scheme with the heralds of Burlington Northern's predecessors on the sides. It initially had the heralds split between the two sides, with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Colorado & Southern, Fort Worth & Denver St. Louis - San Francisco on the Fireman's side and Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle and Great Northern on the Engineer's side with an extra Burlington Northern herald thrown in to even things out. It also features placards mounted on the handrails with safety slogans and a Burlington Northern herald & the word "SAFE" on the fuel tank.
An example of the original scheme can be seen here.
Shortly after it was painted, additional heralds were added so that all of the heralds would appear on both sides of the locomotive.
An engine fire led to #2075 being taken out of service and being rebuilt internally to GP38-2 specifications, being completed in October 1992. While it was out of service, Burlington Northern repainted GP38-2 #2085 into a similar scheme, naming it "Pacific Pride II." After being rebuilt, #2075 retained its name and special paint scheme, which may be a little battered but survives, unlike #2085, which has been repainted to standard BNSF orange & green.
All of the heralds remain on the fireman's side of the locomotive, although some of them have started to peel away or have severely faded. Here they are in order from front to back.
The first herald was that of the Great Northern Railway. It is the most deteriorated of the heralds on the fireman's side, as it largely peeled away. The Great Northern was founded by James Jerome Hill, and stretched from its headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota to Seattle, Washington. This route was completed in 1893, and was the northernmost American transcontinental railroad. The Great Northern became part of the Burlington Northern Railroad on March 2, 1970.
Next is the herald of the Northern Pacific Railway. The Northern Pacific Railway was chartered in 1864, and completed the route from St. Paul, Minnesota to Tacoma, Washington in 1888, making it the first transcontinental railroad across the northern United States. The Northern Pacific also operated the route between Portland and Seattle used by the doubleheader, as described above in the Kalama section. James. J. Hill acquired a controlling interest in the Northern Pacific in the 1890s, and beginning in 1896, tried several times to merge the railroad with his Great Northern Railway, though the federal government didn't allow the railroads to merge until March 2, 1970, when Burlington Northern Railroad was created.
Next is the herald of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, also known as the Burlington Route. With a history dating back to 1849, the Burlington Route stretched from its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois north to St. Paul, Minnesota, south to St. Louis, Missouri and west to Denver, Colorado, from where it also reached north into Montana and south into Texas. By 1900, nearly all of the Burlington's stock was split evenly between James J. Hill's Great Northern & Northern Pacific Railways, though it continued to operated as an independent railroad until becoming part of Burlington Northern on March 2, 1970.
Next is the herald of the Colorado & Southern Railway. The Colorado & Southern dates back to 1898. As its name implies, it operated mainly in Colorado and New Mexico, as well as in Wyoming. In 1908, the Colorado & Southern became a subsidiary of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, but retained much of its independence. Equipment carried the Colorado & Southern name, but was painted to match the equipment of the Burlington Route. This situation continued after the Burlington Route became part of Burlington Northern on March 2, 1970, with C&S locomotives wearing Burlington Northern paint, but in their own number series and with C&S initials. The Colorado & Southern was formally merged into Burlington Northern on December 31, 1981, and its separate identity disappeared.
Next is the herald of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, which was jointly owned by the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railways since its creation. The SP&S was built to connect the city of Portland, Oregon to the Northern Pacific Railway in Pasco, Washington, and to the Great Northern Railway in Spokane, Washington. This route down the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge was completed in 1908. (Despite its name, the SP&S never directly served Seattle) When the Great Northern and Northern Pacific merged to become Burlington Northern on March 2, 1970, the identity of the SP&S disappeared, although the company continued to exist on paper until 1979.
Next is the herald of the Fort Worth & Denver, another subsidiary of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. Its history dates back to 1873, and as its name indicates, it operated primarily in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. The Fort Worth & Denver was largely controlled by the Colorado & Southern, though it maintained its own identity, and operated under a similar arrangement as the C&S under the Burlington Route and Burlington Northern, with its own equipment in its own number series, but painted to match its parent's equipment. The FW&D outlasted the C&S by a year, being formally merged into Burlington Northern on December 31, 1982.
Last is the herald of the St. Louis - San Francisco, also known as the Frisco. The Frisco's history dates back to 1876. Based out of St. Louis, Missouri, the Frisco served the southern Midwest as far east as the Florida panhandle, but despite its name, it only reached as far west as Texas and Oklahoma. It merged into the Burlington Northern on November 21, 1980, and was the only major addition to the Burlington Northern system between 1970 and 1995.
Continue to 2-8-0 #25 at Fort Borst Park…