RIP SP 4450

A railfan friend sent me these photos.  It is the SP 4450 being scrapped.  It was up at the Western Pacific Museum in Portola, CA.  The 4450 started out as an SD9 and was SP5363.  It was later rebuilt as an SD9E.  It's always sad to see them go.  Matt

SP4450 #1

SP4450 #2

SP4450 #3

SP4450 #4

SP4450 #5

Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.
Edward M. Forster

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Original Post
Originally Posted by Number 90:

Something about that number is familiar.  There were two SD9's in Peninsula commuter service after the Fairbanks-Morse Train Masters were retired.  Was the 4450 one of the two?

Interesting ...

 

SP 4450 & 4451 were the only two SD9s to retain their steam generators after being rebuilt. Being that they were now the only two passenger equipped SD9s, they were transferred to the San Francisco-San Jose, California, commute service until Caltrain equipment arrived in 1985.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Pacific_4450

Originally Posted by Ace:
Originally Posted by Number 90:

Something about that number is familiar.  There were two SD9's in Peninsula commuter service after the Fairbanks-Morse Train Masters were retired.  Was the 4450 one of the two?

Interesting ...

 

SP 4450 & 4451 were the only two SD9s to retain their steam generators after being rebuilt. Being that they were now the only two passenger equipped SD9s, they were transferred to the San Francisco-San Jose, California, commute service until Caltrain equipment arrived in 1985.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Pacific_4450

After commute service it did freight service out of the UP Yard in South San Francisco, CA.  Here's a pic of it in the yard in 1994.  Matt

SP 4450 SD9E doing freight duty at SSF Yard May 1994

Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return.
Edward M. Forster

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I'm hoping Western Rail doesn't scrap the other one.  If they can rebuild it and extend its life that would be great. 

 

I am curious though on how word went out.  I have seen their website several times in the past few years planning trips and such, but never saw any mention of desired downsizing.  Is there a network of established rail preservation programs that just communicate with themselves?  Or was a larger outreach attempted?

hello Greg Elems......

 

Thank you, I learned something new today !!!!  I understand now, as for steam locomotives they don't need them I mean the ones running today like the U.P. Challenger #3985 that was in service few times, few years ago?

 

the woman who loves the S.F.5011,623

Tiffany

Yes, there is communication between museums, historical societies and short lines.  We’ve been contacted about an FM engine a few months back from a group needing to down size.  While it is a running engine, it doesn’t fit our focus of the WP so we had to turn it down.  We have members with connections all over the country.  There are three engines out there we’d like to acquire but no funds to do so.  They fit our museum and we’ve been contacted about them.  Now the sale of the Milwaukee U25B was in the works several yrs before you saw it on the yahoo list I can assure you.  There was a time we thought it wouldn’t get to a proper Milwaukee museum.  One of the comments about the SD9’s were, there are quite a few still out there.  At what point do they become rare enough to tackle a basket case such as 4450?  I can’t answer that.  While I personally would have liked to keep it, it would have been in the way and continued to deteriorate.  Just because you didn’t see it on a Yahoo group doesn’t mean we didn’t offer it. 

 

We have WP engines that will never run again.  What do we do with them?  One GP7 is a candidate to stuff and mount for display.  What do we do with 6 running Geeps?  We have four f units, three that run and the fourth to be restored.  We have 3 WP switch engines, two run, one almost back into service, two cylinder liners waiting to get installed.   We have one ex-SP TR6 that runs, we use it on our caboose train.  We have a U30B that needs lots of TLC and money.  I would love to get it running but that is unlikely.  Also we have several CZ passenger cars waiting for restoration.  As I keep saying, time, money and volunteers needed. 

 

Greg Elems 

Tiffany, UP makes the rules.  The steam engines are a unique and special piece of equipment that they want to run.  Old diesels with worn out coupler pockets and such don’t warrant the same privilege regardless of why they might be on the railroad.  The PR value for UP trumps many things.  Also the circumstances when running the steam or heritage diesels are different from ordinary train movement.  So yes the 4-8-4 and 4-6-6-4 and maybe a 4-8-8-4 soon, non alignment couplers are a non issue with the powers that be on the UP.

 

Greg

For what it's worth concerning alignment control draft gear; they became NECESSARY back in the 1960s with the introduction of higher capacity (extended range) dynamic brakes. During heavy use of dynamic braking on steep down grades, the alignment control draft gears keep the couplers from swinging too far to one side in the locomotive's coupler pockets, and trying to derail the first car behind the power consist.

 

Steam locomotives did NOT, and do NOT, have dynamic braking, so the alignment control draft gear is not needed. However, that being said, all the big class one railroads have developed "policies" over the last 10 years or so, of NOT transporting ANY type of locomotive, IN A TRAIN, that does NOT have alignment control draft gear. Thus switchers, "F" units, and various other "old historic" diesel units must now be loaded on flat cars in order to be moved by the railroads.

The Museum of Transport in St. Louis cut up a few units a year or two ago. Probably rarer than an SD7 or 9.

US Army FM switcher and an coal companies RS1.  

I believe these were offered with no takers.

Of course there are others in service and in museums.

 

Dan 

I believe Amtrak F40s also have non alignment couplers. The UP leased a few of those  years ago and there is a specific place they could be in the consist, and no more than two in a consist.

 

I still think that the railroads haul non alignment units in a train, usually towards the rear with little tonnage behind it. These would be revenue moves for say a switcher moving to a customers location.

 

Dan 

My point with the Espee Yahoo group was that they work pretty tightly with the historical society.  Yes, it is quite likely that I missed it.  I was aware of the St. Louis' group offering some of their stuff well before they cut it up and I'm not exactly in the historical preservation circles, except for sending some money to a couple of groups. 

Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:

It all boils down to a simple fact:  You can't save everything.

 

Rusty

As long as an honest attempt is made, I don't have any issue with that.  Sounds like Portola made an honest attempt and I think that's great.  I was just curious on how the communication was made and maybe consider if future communication could be improved.  Doesn't really sound like there was anything else they could have done with it.

A similar situation existed years ago when the Northwestern Steel and Wire ex-GTW 0-8-0's were retired.

 

Everybody and their brother wanted one, but no one could come up with the money or manpower to claim their prize, except the Illinois Railway Museum.  The best of them came to the museum property and the remaining ones sat on a siding in Sterling, IL, with title eventually going to IRM.

 

As I recall, there was still some interest in a couple of them, but again, no one could muster the resources needed to rescue one.

 

I forget how many years they sat in Sterling, but eventually usable parts were removed and the locomotives scrapped on the siding.

 

The good news was that some of the scrap money helped rescue CB&Q 2-8-2 4963 from being scrapped and moved to the museum.

 

Rusty

Gerald Altizer, who runs the George's Creek RR back here on part of the old

Western Maryland and switches inside the big paper mill at Luke, MD, has saved

several old WM locomotives, including GP's 25 and 39, and owns the shell

of an old Alco F unit, the 303,  got an old Alco switcher back in May. I don't know

if it was ever a WM engine, but what made me remember that I have

photos of it is the fact CSX would not ship her unless the coupler swing was limited, so they had these blocks installed.

 

E

 

 

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Hey!   Next time you people feel the need to scrap an SD7 or Nine with the high short hood still intact.....give me a heads up once already !   I'm concerned about HRT 454

right now.  She was the Erie switcher for years and needs to wind up in Northeast, or better yet, 18th and Greengarden.    Thank you.....before a bunch of fuzz heads cut up the entire U.S. of A. !!!

Originally Posted by jaygee:

Hey!   Next time you people feel the need to scrap an SD7 or Nine with the high short hood still intact.....give me a heads up once already !   I'm concerned about HRT 454

right now.  She was the Erie switcher for years and needs to wind up in Northeast, or better yet, 18th and Greengarden.    Thank you.....before a bunch of fuzz heads cut up the entire U.S. of A. !!!

Really jaygee?  Fuzz heads?  I look foreward to seeing your success with the HRT 454.

Greg Elems

There was plenty of "fuzz" around when it came to saving N&W 173...still alive in Roanoke back in '80.  Responsibility is a two way street...but when it's all over, the last US Train Master, the FM switcher, the RS1, and now, 4450 are gone.   Lotsa luck saving anything in retrospect.   You'd think the fanbase, especially the more serious ones, would have woken up when the last NYCS Hudson bought the farm....but no!

Too bad the Brits can do this just a wee bit better than us. 

Originally Posted by Greg Elems:

Chris, that 20k didn't include installation.  

Exactly, which would be probably at least another 10 grand. Like you said Greg, you can't save everything, as much as we would like to.

J. Chris Allan

Modeling the Tidewater Southern Railway in the Fall of '47

Originally Posted by Chris Allan:
Originally Posted by Greg Elems:

Chris, that 20k didn't include installation.  

Exactly, which would be probably at least another 10 grand. Like you said Greg, you can't save everything, as much as we would like to.

I think something else should be added.  If you cannot save it right, like keeping it under at least some short of shed, or have the money to paint it, at. al, don't!

Originally Posted by jaygee:

You'd think the fanbase, especially the more serious ones, would have woken up when the last NYCS Hudson bought the farm....but no!

Too bad the Brits can do this just a wee bit better than us. 

Apparently the "fans" in Great Britton are MUCH more willing to spent big money on preservation & restoration! But then, maybe "The Brits" don't have such a litigious society as we have here, with liability insurance rates through the roof.

 

Besides, the majority of the "fans" here in the U.S. would much rather chase and photograph rail "events" anyway.

Communication is the key.  What good is it if nobody knows what or what isn't going on. Museums may conduct business between key people  regarding what gets put up for sale or ???? But how do the common folk find out about such things?? I know I'd sure feel a lot better having tried to save "something" and failing, than to never having known about the opportunity in the first place.  I once offered to help get a PRR GG1 electric for the Museum at Northeast Pa.  L.S.R.H.S. / NHRS.  I had the means at the time and the "time" was right.  I was ignored, but at least I was able to put forth an effort.  I would agree that you can't save absolutely everything

and you'd be nuts to try.  OTOH, 4450  was worth a better effort, and nobody will ever convince me otherwise.

Originally Posted by Hot Water:
Besides, the majority of the "fans" here in the U.S. would much rather chase and photograph rail "events" anyway.

And while the photo's and such are great, photos don't pay the bills for these groups, donations do, and ticket sales.

 

Chris

    Chris

 

Don't call me irrational you know that makes me crazy.

And come see my videos on modeling and rail fanning the prototypes.

 

 

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