McCloud River Railroad
#37 on Dakota Southern Railroad

In October 2016, McCloud Railway's owner Midwest Pacific attempted to remove the three SD38s from the railroad. In the end only the #37 made it out of McCloud, and it sat at the Union Pacific interchange from October 2016 until UP finally picked it up in late February 2017. The locomotive had an interesting journey east- the original plan called for it to go to Klamath Falls, where it would be set out for pickup by a southbound train, which would forward it on to Roseville. The plan fell apart that first night when the #37's front drawbar pulled out around Macdoel, California. UP shoved the #37 in a spur at Dorris, California, where it sat for a few days until a southbound train picked it up. The #37 spent most of the next month in Roseville, at first getting repaired and then awaiting shipment east. That movement finally commenced on 22 March 2017, and the locomotive arrived in South Dakota by the first couple days of April.

First off, two photographs of the #37 in Union Pacific's Roseville yard. Jeff Moore photos.

Second, Tom Hatfield sent the following photos of the #37 in Mitchell, South Dakota, interchange point between Dakota Southern and BNSF.

Dakota Southern moved the #37 to Chamberlain, South Dakota, where it recieved some additional mechanical work and relettering for the Dakota Southern before being placed in service. Tom Hatfield photo.

At some point the DSRC replaced the headlight and ditch light bulbs with LEDs, as seen in this photo of the unit in Chamberlain. Tom Hatfield photo.

Unfortunately, the #37 suffered substantial electrical damage in late 2018 or very early 2019, which relegated it to storage in the Chamberlain yards. Most of the LEDs were subsequently removed. MidWest Pacific transferred several other large locomotives from the Washington & Idaho Railroad, which recently ceased operations after its operating contract ended, to the Dakota Southern, which likely reduced any immediate need to repair the #37. Tom Hatfield photos.

In 2020, the State of South Dakota decided to sell its state owned rail lines, including the one operated by Dakota Southern. Shortline holding company Watco submitted the winning bid, and their new Ringneck & Western Railroad replaced Dakota Southern in June 2021. Watco did purchase several former Dakota Southern locomotives from Midwest Pacific, but not the #37. The Williams Group applied St. Maries River Railroad reporting marks to the #37 and hauled in to Mitchell, South Dakota, where it spent several weeks sitting in the BNSF interchange before moving west to Idaho in late July. These photos are of the #37 sitting in Mitchell. Tom Hatfield photos.