I originally didn't intend to purchase another loco in BN green, I wanted my little EMD MP15 to be the main motive power for the railroad with the idea being that the MFTR purchased it's locomotive from the BNSF at the time of the big BN and ATSF merger. However, I also wanted a locomotive with sound capabilities and and beacon for added visual intrest. After much research, I found that adding sound and lighting effects to the switcher would be darn near impossible. There just isn't enough room under the hood to make it happen. So, I instead purchased a DCC decoder specifically designed for Atlas's MP15 and played with that for a little bit until I decided that it was time to go looking for something new.
After scouring the web, I ran across the GP15-1 you see above. Not only does it look absolutely beautiful and is full of fantastic detail, but it also came with a Tsunami sound decoder, flashing beacon, and a Mars light installed! After running it a bit, I've gotta tell ya, sound and lighting truly brings a whole new dimension to the layout!
Before pressing the "buy now" button however, I decided to do a bit of research. I knew basically nothing about this particular engine and I wanted to be sure that having a GP15-1 still working in the modern era still made sense. Moreover, there were three different road numbers available to choose from and I wanted the one that seemed to fit best with my railroad.
I found that rebuilt GP15-1's are quite common on shortline railroads. The Class 1's will often turn them over to leasing companies and they remain a popular choice for shortlines looking for a light-duty locomotive. In real life, my little BN #1391 started as a Frisco unit before being acquired by BN. After the BNSF merger, the locomotive was patched and re-lettered #1491. After a few years of service, BNSF turned the engine over to GMTX leasing company. From there the trail goes cold, but It's nice to know that the engine is still out there doing hard work for some small shortline.
Obviously the history of this unit has changed in the imaginary world I've created for my layout: The MFTR acquired #1391 shortly after the BNSF merger. Company management, being very fond of the BN Green scheme, decided to keep it as the primary color sceme of the MFTR. There are plans however, to patch the engine with the MFTR's official logo. (Just as soon as the committee decides what it should look like.)