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GP-9 Survivors

Only eight examples of EMD’s popular GP9 would ever be on the roster of Western Pacific being numbered 725 through 732. Of those eight six would see the merger with UP, two having been destroyed in accidents. The 730 was involved in an accident at Beowawe, Nevada and traded in to EMD against GP35 3012. Sister 726 met a similar fate at Keddie, California and was traded to EMD against GP40 3526 after losing its prime mover to F7A 920D. Two more left the roster after the merger without being renumbered, the 727, which was donated to the City of Elko, NV in September of 1984 and the 728 which was sold for scrap to Erman-Howell Division of Turner, Kansas in March of 1985. The remaining four would be repainted into UP yellow and renumbered 300 (725), 304 (729), 306 (731) and 308 (732). Then in 1985 in what was a rather unprecedented move for the UP, all four were pulled from service and sold as operational units. Normal practice for the UP was to strip locomotives of useable parts and sell what was left as-is, where-is. Precision National bought the four units and resold them to HELM financial who leased them to the Iowa Interstate, and except for placing their name on the long hood, they were operated in UP paint still carrying their UP numbers. While leased to the Iowa Interstate 729 and 732 were involved in separate accidents and scrapped. Prior to scrapping the 732 gave up its long hood to repair Iowa Interstate 309. In March 1991 the remaining two ex WP GP9’s, 725 and 731 were leased by HELM to the Kansas Southwestern Railway. Both were later sold to the Feather River Rail Society in Portola, California were they can be seen today. Only one, the 728 was sent to scrap by UP and one, the 727 was donated to the City of Elko, Nevada along with a WP steel caboose. 725 would be the last of the GP9’s still lettered for the WP to operate on former WP property.

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