SD9.
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Builder :
General Motors Electro-Motive Division
Electricity :
DC
Length :
60' 8"
Width :
 
Height :
 
Weight :
? tons
Cylinders :
16 - 567C
Wheel Diam :
40"
Fuel Tank :
 
Max Speed :
75 mph
Horsepower :
1750
     

Between 1970 and 1989, Southern Pacific rebuilt and upgraded hundreds of locomotives at its Sacramento, Calif., general shops. Most of the rebuild effort took place at Sacramento, but some work was completed at Houston, Texas. Southern Pacific rebuilt diesel units under three different programs.

The R8 program, of which this locomotive belongs to, took place in both Sacramento and Houston, and was in place between 1970 and 1976.

All units in the R8 program were recapitalized by selling them to its Southern Pacific Equipment Co. subsidiary, which paid for the actual rebuild work, then leased the units back to SP. Units completed under the R8 program were designated by an E suffix to the railroad's model classification designation, such as EF418E for GP9s, EF618E for SD9s, and EF420E for GP20s, etc. The E suffix denoted ownership by "SPE Co."

Although the rebuilt units were never officially designated as such, except for some documents that used an "R8-SPE Units" designation, the railfan community soon placed its own name on the rebuilt units. As early as April 1970, reports in the railfan press began using the E suffix to designate the rebuilt units, using GP9E for the GP9s, SD9E for the SD9s, and GP20E for the GP20 units.

The use of the E suffix on the locomotive model designation for rebuilt units soon became so embedded among railfans that today most will argue strongly that it was an official railroad designation, which in fact, it never was.