If a railroad knew something about operating a railroad through the mountains, not around them, it was certainly the Rio Grande. On a railroad riddled with grades and tunnels, it took a page from Southern Pacific’s play book and jumped on the Tunnel Motor bandwagon. It placed five orders with EMD for a total of 73 units—ringing up a grand total of 219,000 hp worth of mountain-climbing locomotives. On September 22, 1998, Rio Grande’s first SD40T-2 built in October 1974, No. 5341, leads Union Pacific’s Denver to Salt Lake City manifest freight at East Portal, Colorado.