Homage to Tunnel Motors
3,000 horsepower on 12 wheels
The name has to do with the large
screened air intakes located low
on the rear sides, so the radiators
could breathe in the cooler air
found lower in tunnels. There were
“long nose” versions (above and
near right) and short nose
versions that had big “front
porches” (far right). The SP called
them SD40T-2's and they had V16
diesels to power the electric
traction motors. There were also
SD45T-2’s with V20 prime movers
and slightly longer noses (below).
Sure, there are even bigger
locomotives today but these were
quite a sight, and sound.
Pictured here in San Luis Obispo
in 1991 is SP 8379. SP 8293is
seen form overhead coming into
Taylor Yard in Los Angles in
1988.  SP 9308 is sitting in Dolores
Yard in 1987 at the head of a unit
tank train probably filled with
Bakersfield oil, though it looks like
it was behind an oil train, judging
from its dirty nose.
If you want to see one for yourself,
there is one at the California
Railroad Museum in Sacramento,
home to the other giant, the SP's
amazing cabforward steam
locomotives.
Why it's called a front porch - a nice
place to stand on a warm LA day.