SD-40T-2 #8261 is a 3000 horsepower locomotive built in May of 1980 The "T"
symbol indicates that the locomotive is a "Tunnel Motor." Tunnel motors were built
primarily for the Southern Pacific Railroad to use in the long tunnels and snowsheds
of Donner Pass. The radiator intakes were enlarged and moved from the top of the
carbody, down to the bottom sill. This new feature enabled the locomotive cooling
fans to draw in cooler air near the floor of the long tunnels and reduce overheating.
The Rio Grande was another buyer of the Tunnel Motor. The SP then began purchasing the 3600
horsepower version of the tunnel motor, the SD-45T-2
After the extensive GRIP rebuilding program done by the SP at the Sacramento shops, several
rebuilt SD-40T-2s were parked at Eugene. The above photo shows a long string stored on departure
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© Joel Ashcroft