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MKT-Hybrid Before Being Hybrid Was Cool

January 14, 2010
tags: ,

MKT FP7A with 2 BLW/EMD "hybrids" in San Antonio, Texas in April 1968

Before the flood of Powder River Basin coal lifted the fortunes of the Katy, the Katy was always in dire financial straits. One look at the R-O-W in the above  photo illustrates the Katy’s situation.  Money was so tight the Katy went nearly 15 years without acquiring new power, finally acquiring  the 170 class  GP40’s in 1967 or so.  (Could that be a record for a Class 1’s?)

In the late ’50’s, the Katy was hurting for reliable power, as their Alco, Baldwin and F-M power was spending more time out of service than in. As they were a bit short to afford EMD’s then current latest and greatest,they were one of the first takers for EMD’s re-powering program which consisted of clients sending in their old, tired non EMD units and EMD converting these old units into GP9’s, at least from the frame up, and the cab forward. (remember, the long hood was the F end back then)  All 17 of Katy’s AS-16’s underwent the procedure between 1958 and 1960.

The re-powered AS-16’s were less than stellar performers.They were sold to the C&NW in 1972.  I guess the C&NW was more desperate (or broke) then the Katy.  Interestingly, their other re-builds, RS3’s and DS-4-4-1000’s, had much more success and were still active when the UP acquired the Katy in 1988.

Update: Thanks to reader Kevin Cavanaugh for pointing out that the lead unit in the above image is an FP7A, not an F7A as I originally noted.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kevin Cavanaugh permalink
    January 25, 2010 10:47 pm

    Great stuf TexBob! I really enjoyed the photos as well as the wit! As for this shot, I believe that MKT 80C is a FP7A (I know minor detail). But aside from that, this is great stuff you have going here!

  2. January 26, 2010 10:08 am

    Thanks for pointing out the oversight. I’ll update the post with the correction.

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