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SP thrashing there engines????

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  • SP thrashing there engines????

    Is it me but does it seem that the Southern Pacific engine seem beat in a little hard, I live in Laramie and work near the UP main line. It seems like 99% of all the SP engines I see going though town seen to have had a lot of hard use. Most are smoking like a steamer. while the UP and CNW units don't.

    Just an observation


  • #2
    Welcome Tim! You know, out here in North Cal,(Redding) I think I see more Cotton Belt locos than Espee which is kinda odd too. They seem to be kept up pretty well tho'...


    • #3
      Having grown up in northern California and followed the SP casually since (having jumped ship to the Rio Grande!) I have noticed the sad decline of the SP during the 80's and 90's.

      For a number of reasons, the SP ceased to be an efficient and profitable RR. The result was deferred maintenence on their locos - they just ran them into the ground. I followed the SP in the press during the late 80s; and early 90s and there were constant reports of locos dying on the road. Seems like there was at least one loco in every consists that was silent.


      • #4
        When I was stationed at Castle AFB in the early 80's, just next to Atwater, there was always a parade of Espee freights rumbling down the valley. The freights were powered by venerable and rebuilt SD45s, 45T-2s, 40T-2s and brand new GP40-2s. At night, you could see those puppies for miles with their oscillating gyra lights. I was there last summer and saw nothing but a sea of yellow. Rats, how times change.



        • #5
          While I was down at the hobby shop the other day (right beside the tracks in Redding, CA) I saw a lashup of a Union Pacific, Southern Pacific and Cotton Belt. Wish I had a photo.....


          • #6
            Until the mods create a Rio Grande section, I'll have to post here! well, I have a soft spot for the SP so I'll do both!

            Reason for the soft spot is I grew up with the SP. I first moved to California in 1967, San Fernando Valley, when my dad was stationed in Karat Thailand. I didn't really get to observe many trains until I moved to northern California 2 years in 1969, when my dad was stationed at Travis AFB near Fairfield CA. There was double track high speed mainline adjacent to where we stabled a horse off base.

            We moved to Davis in 1971 and that same double track mainline rain right through downtown and a line branched off and ran north to Oregon. Davis, being a central juction for the SP had a lot of traffic. The Oakland to Chicago San Francisco Zephyr ran through as well as the LA to Seatle Coast Starlight. Amtrak had just formed when we moved to Davis, so I missed the end of Private passenger operations; too bad. Also running through town were the Sugar Beat trains and numerous freights. I saw lots of SD9's in long lashups and of course the good old SD40T-2s and SD45s in great numbers. It was a long wait until Athearn finally offered the T-2 in model form.