Heritage of the unit courtesy of Bruce Butler:
NIWX 1617: GP7, built 12/1953 as CB&Q 261, EMD b/n 18977, a steam generator equipped passenger unit initially assigned to Chicago IL commuter service where it would have replaced steam power. Became BN 1617 after the 3/2/1970 BN merger. Rebuilt by BN in the 1970s. Reconfigured for short hood forward operation and short hood chopped Sold about 1982 to dealer Great Western in Colorado, Transferred to N-C-O Division (Lakeview, OR) in 1986 and then sold to the Lake County Railroad in 1996. Traded to dealer Western Rail Inc in Airway Heights WA. Leased for several months to St. Maries River Railroad, Plummer, ID, in late 2006. Returned to Western Rail and assigned as power for the Geiger Spur on 11/8/2007. Sold to NIWX 01/2009 and leased to EWG when Geiger spur operation changed to EWG. Retired 2/2014 after massive engine failure. Sold January 2015 to “EW Locomotives ” (EWLX), a dealer owned by Scott Nauer & Mike Brunhoeber. Shipped to Blackwell OK 1/2015. Repaired 8/2015 and operating on the Blackwell Northern Gateway RR in Oklahoma.