Southern Pacific

in the

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AC4400 Tribute

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Southern Pacific in Tucson
Old and New on the Moffat (1994)
Glenwood Springs 1995 - SP
SPL in Colorado


Updates to the SP section 

Back to the Front Door
Here are a few photos of Southern Pacific trains, mostly in action.  See some of the Photo Essays at left for more action images.

Explore around the Rail Encounters site for more SPL photos-- many are included in pages on broader topics.

On the Road
A westbound intermodal train creeps into Tucson on the morning of February 5, 1988. The mix of power is delightful, very unlike what is typically seen these days. In order, we have: B30-7 No. 7837; SD45T-2R No. 6827; B30-7 No. 7805; GP35 No. 6671; SD45T-2 No. 9164; SD40T-2 No. 8506.
A westbound intermodal train rounds a curve below Granite, Colorado on its way up to Tennessee Pass.  Three SD's are today's sole power.  (10/6/1992)
Sunset on the Sunset Route: a drag freight heads west out of Tucson on the evening of 3/13/1995.  Leading is SD45R No. 7552 and repainted tunnel motor No. 8495.

Coming and going at La Veta Pass: Two images of the AAPUM (Alamosa to Pueblo Manifest) freight train as it crosses Trinchera Road to the east of Fort Garland, CO on 2/26/1996.

The train was powered by four units in the GP40/GP40M series-- Nos. 7135, 7669, 7124, and 7632. It was followed by about thirty covered and open hoppers (perlite and scoria) from Antonito, and was punctuated by D&RGW caboose 01489.

An eastbound autorack train is tied down at Rollinsville, CO on 12/26/1998.  This was a rather unusual movement, given that UP was routing nearly all manifest traffic through Wyoming by this time.  Also unusual is the presence of the C449-W on the point.  Second in line is an SD40T-2, possibly No. 8560 (the number is fuzzy even at maximum magnification).  A UP SD60M rounds out the power suite.
This photo of a westbound train on the Golden State, just west of Tucumcari in May 1994, isn't exactly the best-composed image ever recorded, but it does show an example of power during the late SPL days.  Pictured are (in order) a GP60, B36-7 No. 7762, SD45T-2 No. 9375 (or 9325), an SSW B40-8, and another tunnel motor.  Quite a mix.
Three GP60's and an SD40T-2 are leading a westbound stack train into Alamogordo, NM at dawn on 6/25/1997.  Nine months past the UP merger, the red-and-gray is still very prominent on the Golden State route.  High Desert railroading at its best!
Road power for the San Luis Valley turn waits in the Alamosa yard in May 1999.  Two SP GP40M's bracket a pair of much older D&RGW units (although technically, the GP40M's were originally built contemporary with D&RGW GP40 No. 3072).  SP, SSW, and D&RGW units continued to see service on this job right up to the end in June 2003.

Exactly three weeks before the UP merger, a trio of AC4400's power a westbound taconite train through Cotopaxi, CO at dawn (8/17/96).  There were swing and rear remote helpers on the heavy train.

SW1500 No. 2475 is being turned on the wye at Grand Junction on March 7, 2002.  That's Grand Mesa in the background (the world's largest flat-top mountain), and it looms nearly a mile above the valley. 

Two views of a pair of SD45T-2 tunnel motors, working as the west helper out of Tabernash, CO on 12/29/1994.  SSW No. 9401 now wears speed lettering; the unit in traditional paint is No. 6850.  They are shoving a D&RGW maintenance-of-way tank car up the 2% grade out of Fraser towards the Moffat Tunnel.  It was as cold as it looks.  Back in the Moffat Road days, entire trains used to freeze to the tracks in this area.

Dawn has broken but the Arkansas Valley is still in shadow on 8/17/1996.  Five GP40M's are westbound with a manifest freight at Cotopaxi, CO.  The SPL used four-motor diesels, even older ones, on road freights right up to the very end.

A going-away shot of the power on a westbound manifest, heavy with CP Rail hoppers at the front end.  Three tunnel motors have a GP60 for company.  The grimy trailing motor is SP No. 8341.  Someone has left the headlights turned on on D&RGW No. 5403.

Westbound boxcar freight, late in the morning of 8/17/1996 at Cotopaxi again.  A new AC4400 leads a pair of decrepit-looking tunnel motors.  Note the copious smoke issuing from the middle unit.

An unidentified SD45-series locomotive (probably an SD45R) is silhouetted in the Tucson yard, March 2000.
A pair of AC4400's (numbers not readable) are pushing on the rear of a westbound CSUX train, in this video image from 9/04/1999.  It was nearly 3 years after the UP merger, but this train was powered entirely by SP AC4400's.  The scene is at Rainbow Cut, in the middle of Plainview siding west of Denver.


?  James R. Griffin.  All rights reserved.