The EMD SD60 is a type of six-axle, 3,800hp diesel locomotive built from 1984 to 1992. The first production orders were received in 1986 from Union Pacific.
1,146 were built, and most are still in service. Yet, fleets have been scrapped, rebuilt, or retired. Noteably 20 Ex-SOO SD60's owned by CEFX.
First introduced in 1984 as a succsessor to the much less-popular and less-successful SD50, which suffered terrible engine failures due to the faulty 645F prime-mover. It was designed to compete with GE's ever-dominating Dash 8 product line.
The SD60 was an initial success, and had higer production totals compaired to the SD50. It was also the first model produced by EMD to use the newly-introduced EMD 16-710G3A engine from the 710 series of engines. Though, the engine was a success, a variant of the 710 engine is still being utilized today in EMD's SD70ACe, the 16-710G3C-T3.
The SD60M ("M" meaning "modified") built between 1989 and 1995. The SD60M was one of the very first successful types (besides the C40-8W) of North American diesel locomotives to include a "Safety Cab", or "Wide Cab", variant. The cab is actually an early (Phase 1) SD60M spotting feature due to the three-piece windshield, earning it the nickname "triclops".
The cab was redesigned in 1991 (Phase 2) with a more tapered style for better visibility. The three-piece windshield was discarded, due to the extra maintenance costs associated with its construction, and replaced with a two-piece design.
Many are still currently in service with BNSF, CSX, and Union Pacific, though a few are in the process of becoming retired, down-rated, and reassigned to heavy-duty yard or local service. Several others owned by NS (Norfolk Southern) have been rebuilt into "Crescent Cab" SD60E units. The leases ended on EMDX 700 series GP38's and so BNSF has reactiviated long stored SD60M's to fill the vacancy. The railroad is also rebuilding SD60M's as remote control hump units.
The SD60I ("I" meaning "isolated") was Conrail's version of the SD60M which provided a "comfort cab" or "whisper cab" were insulated mounted off the the frame to reduce engine noises and rattling which was often evident on earlier Phase 1 SD60M units. Other than a rubber gasket that runs around the nose of the cab, another spotting feature is a right mounted nose door.
The SD60Is were originally ordered from EMD, though EMD were unable to assemble the units fast enough for Conrail. Thus, the railroad ordered kits from the manufacturer, and production was split between EMD at London, Ontario and Conrail at the Juniata works in Altoona, PA. A total of 80 units were built, numbering 5575 through 5654, with the Conrail-built units numbered 5595–5614 and 5630–5654. EMD-built #5544 was used as the testbed for the isolated cab design.
Many survived into the Conrail Split of 1999, and have since been in service with CSX and Norfolk Southern.
NS has currently in the process of rebuilding most of their SD60 units into their own unique cab units designated as the "SD60E" and has even received fleets of various lease units (from UP and CNW heritage and ancestry) which have also been rebuilt into said units. See also, NS SD60E.
Railroads such as Union Pacific and BNSF have many of their remaining SD60 units in "surge fleet" status and many go inbetween storage and service depending on business levels. Though, BNSF recently reassigned many SD60M units to heavy yard and local service.
The BN (Burlington Northern) railroad only ordered three SD60 units (numbered #8300 to 8302) and were used as part of their "fuel conservation" project during the 1980's and were all painted in the BN's "Tiger Stripe" safety scheme; which was intended to make their locomotives more visible as a result of a fatal car accident which occurred years earlier. All three were eventually returned to EMD as a result of BN's agreement with Oakway Leasing. They then began service as EMDX lease units; which were often commonly seen in EMD's Pueblo, Colorado testing facility and retained their original numbers, but were briefly renumbered numerous times.These units eventually joined CSX's rosterin 2001.
The EMD/BN "Oakway" lease survived on into the BNSF merger and ended around 2006. The majority of the former Oakway locomotives are now active on CN's roster.
CSX's earlier fleets of SD60 units were also painted in a variant of their "Grey Ghost" 'Stealth' scheme variant similar to their early C40-8 units; yet the SD60 units were painted with a brighter tone of blue, while the Dash 8 units were painted with italicized numbering.
NS #6548 (a former UP SD60 from CNW ancestry) is one of the several former HLCX lease units purchased to be rebuilt as part of the railroad's SD60E rebuild program (though, the majority of former UP/HLCX SD60 units owned by NS currently awaiting to be rebuilt are actually from CNW ancestry).
CNW #8037 is another example of such units as listed above.
Several former BN (Burlington Northern) SD60M units were repainted into their successor's (BNSF Railway) Heritage 2 and Heritage 3 schemes; though one in particular (#8197) was painted in a prototype scheme for the early years of the railroad.
In 2018 Progress Rail began upgrading BNSF SD60M units into "SD60M-3". This includes overhauling and upgrading the prime mover to EPA Tier 0+, adding Distributed Power equipment, PTC equipment, replacing the original 30 CDW airbrakes with CCB26 airbrakes and newer generation microprocesser.
Although the railroad was still independent during the original orders for their SD60M fleets, the SOO Line didn't receive their orders of SD60M units until during the events of their merger with CP (Canadian Pacific) in 1990. Thus, the units received a unique scheme dubbed as the "CP Merger" scheme by most railfans (a modern version of the SOO logo, with a CP-style livery).
For information of the GP60 see here: EMD GP60.