After completing a 1966 demonstration tour EMD SD45’s 4352-4 were sold to the Delaware & Hudson as their 802, 803, and 801, respectively. Until this time period, the Delaware & Hudson roster was 100% Alco, but that builder’s demise caused the D&H to test other builders. GE quickly emerged as the favorite, and as the only EMD’s on the roster, the SD45’s were orphans. Under the control of holding company Dereco, the D&H struck a deal with sister Dereco road Erie-Lackawanna to swap the former demos for EL U33C’s 3301-3, which became D&H 751-3.
With Conrail’s formation looming, the six locomotives were returned to their legal owners to avoid later accounting issues. The SD45’s, which had briefly been painted in the D&H lightning stripe scheme, were in the standard EL scheme when returned to the D&H. Since EL’s gray and yellow were similar to the D&H standard colors, the EL maroon was painted over in blue, and the units never received a full repaint. With the EL paint showing through, 802 leads sister 803 and U30C 711 at the west end of the yard in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 1978, all three would be part of a roster purge that resulted in the SD45’s, U30C’s, C628’s and PA’s going to Mexico.