In the early 1990s, BN rebuilt a series of GP30s and GP35s into GP39Es (if EMD did the work), Vs (if VMV did the work), or Ms (if MK did the work).  If the GP30s originally had a low hood there was little external difference when the rebuild was finished.  If, however, the donor locomotive was a former high nose the difference was quite dramatic.

Follow along as an ordinary GP30 becomes a GP39E.

Here is a Proto2000 Phase I GP30 'before' photo.  The prototype for this locomotive looked very similar after its rebuilding except it was renumbered BN 2751 and the middle radiator fan was plated over.  I am modeling one of the former Southern locomotives so a little more modification is necessary.


After an hour or so of minor disassembly.  "Say, do you feel a draft?"


Another hour of cutting.  "Are you sure you don't feel a draft?"


"I don't feel quite as drafty but the ammeter isn't reading.  Say, where is that pesky electrical cabinet?"


And you thought you had acid rain stripped the paint right off.  Now, the time we have all been waiting for, it is time to start gluing things together.  The parts are just taped together so they look crooked.  Well actually, the battery boxes need just a little modification, then we'll glue.


The long hood is now glued together and the middle fan filled.  I didn't realize it right away but all the P2K grabs were installed upside down.  They were all removed and the holes filled to be redrilled, which is the next step.


A few more things have gotten done.  The grab irons were replaced and a couple custom ones were bent for the end of the long hood.  The Cannon fans have been added (see the next photo) as well as the radiator grills.  They are shortened Cannon grills meant for the SD45-2.  Some paint was added as well.  I was trying to get the locomotive finished for the RPM meet in June but it is now July so we can see how that went.


Those amazing Cannon and Co fans.  I have several Athearn locos that need new fans now.  


The most recent photo of the loco celebrating the one year anniversary of the project.  I'm not the fastest builder on the block for sure.

Finally, a mostly finished photo!

There are still a few details to add and I want to replace the factory handrails with something that looks better but for the most part it is done!

One more with the lights on.


I wanted another GP39E but 2768 was a fair amount of work so I decided to make one that didn't get as much modification. BN 2753 started out in Chicago, Burlington and Quincy in May 1962. It was rebuilt 27 years later in May 1989 and is still serving the BNSF as BNSF 2743.

The major modification on 2753 was plating over the center radiator fan. I cut a cirlce of .040" styrene to fill the hole flush and added a square of .005" styrene for the plate. I replaced all the P2K grabs with wire, added a plow, Cannon fans and a Details West horn. I replaced the stock sideframes with Athearn Blomberg B sideframes. I made a few other details, the MU hoses, antenna, spare kunckle holders, etc. I also used Precision Scale handrail posts and brass wire to make the handrails. The headlights and ditchlights are 32K (color temperature) surface mount LEDs. They are quite bright.

I tried to detail, paint and weather it as it appeared about 1996. The firecracker antenna was bent in most of the photos I found until it was removed around 2009. The weathering is layers of various dirt and rust colored acrylics and chalk.


Cannon & Co parts used on the 2768:

1018    Generator access panel and door

1103     81" nose

1302     Inertial filter screen

1401     Radiator screens for SD45-2 (shortened)

1502     35 line cab

1603     Blower Housing.

1701, 1704, 1853 various fans

1902     Electical Cabinet Air filter



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