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Did the SP / Rock Island "Golden State" change locos at Tucumcari?

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  • Member since
    May 2012
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Did the SP / Rock Island "Golden State" change locos at Tucumcari?
Posted by Portland Bill on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:35 PM

Hi I am wondering if, in the age of the "E" units, the SP and Rock Island locos ran all the way between LA and Chicago, or if each RR's locos only ran to Tucumcari, detached, and the other RR's locos took over for the rest of the journey. Also if the loco consists were all from the same RR or if mixed power consists operated.

The same question arises about freight operations over the route in the days of SP "Black Widow" F-units.

I'r be grateful for any info,

Best Regards,

Bill.

  • Member since
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  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, July 31, 2020 9:21 PM

It would appear that the locomotives were changed at Tucumcari...

http://www.trainweb.org/fredatsf/gs50.htm

Cheers, the Bear. Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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  • From: Central Iowa
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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, July 31, 2020 9:51 PM

The Rock Island and Southern Pacific didn't start pooling engines (and cabooses on freight trains) until the late 1960s.  1967 i think.  Passenger trains were first, then freights a few months later.

Jeff

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, July 31, 2020 10:04 PM

I have a question. 

The SP Golden State was an E7 AB configuration.  In looking at Google Maps at Tucumcari I don’t see any Wye or Turntable to reverse the “A” unit.  Looking at Google maps I can’t see were either could have been in Tucumcari in the late 40s and early 50s.

Also the SP Freight was pulled by articulated AC-9s and don’t see how they could have been turned around.

I’m a SP nut and just wondering.  Could they have gone as far as the Kansas City yard to change directions?

I watched both the Golden State and Steam AC-9s coming and going north in El Paso in the early 50s.


Mel




 
My Model Railroad  
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

  • Member since
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  • From: Central Iowa
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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, July 31, 2020 11:01 PM

I think SP had a balloon (or loop) track for turning equipment.

http://www.wx4.org/to/foam/sp/southwest/carrizozo_sub/tucumcari.html

Jeff

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, July 31, 2020 11:44 PM

A closer look at Tucumcari Google Map and I could see where the turntable/roundhouse was as well as the balloon loop for turning the giant articulateds.

Thanks Jeff.

I was lucky enough to ride in the cab of SP 3807 (AC-9) from Alamogordo New Mexico to El Paso TX in 1951 on its return trip from Tucumcari, a birthday present (my 14th) from our next door neighbor (the SP Yard Super).  I rode in the cab of 4287 (Cab Forward) from El Paso to Alamogordo, a sub for an AC-9 northbound.


Mel



 
My Model Railroad  
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 11,910 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 3, 2020 6:39 AM

RR_Mel
I was lucky enough to ride in the cab of SP 3807 (AC-9) from Alamogordo New Mexico to El Paso TX in 1951 on its return trip from Tucumcari...

How much of the trip detail, and your thoughts and emotions, can you remember?  Tell!  Tell!  Please!

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  • From: Currently in Chicago area
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Posted by up831 on Monday, August 3, 2020 8:23 AM

Searching my memory banks I don't recall ever seeing any SP locos on that line prior to the late 60s, but then I was pretty young in the 50s and probably wouldn't have known SP units if I did see them.  However, by 1970, multi unit SP locos were common on the line.  I remember seeing SD45s and U-boats regularly heading fruit reefers going East.

When Rock Island capitulated in late 70s, the SSW quickly acquired the line.

Less is more,...more or less!

Jim (with a nod to Mies Van Der Rohe)

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, August 3, 2020 9:40 AM

Overmod

 

 
RR_Mel
I was lucky enough to ride in the cab of SP 3807 (AC-9) from Alamogordo New Mexico to El Paso TX in 1951 on its return trip from Tucumcari...

 

How much of the trip detail, and your thoughts and emotions, can you remember?  Tell!  Tell!  Please!

 

 

Overmod

It was gift for my 14th birthday but at 83 it still seems like was just yesterday.  My birthday is in late July and it was hot, well into triple digits (low humidity, HA!).  The ride north in the Cab Forward was the better of the two.  The crew had the air conditioning on full blast (all windows open and 50 MPH), didn’t help much.  I can still taste the desert flies in my mouth, the fireman warned me to not get to close to the windows.

There is a slight grade going north out of El Paso, TX 3700’ and Alamogordo, NM is 4300’ in 85 miles.  Steepest part is at Orogrande NM (4200’) then almost level into Alamogordo.

The engineer let me sit in his chair and run the huge locomotive for a bit (with his very close supervision).

The return trip in the AC-9 was a thrill but it wasn’t as exciting as the Cab Forward, can’t see much other than the inside of the locomotive, for 85 miles.  I got to see in the firebox as the oil was injected, super hot.

I could feel the power of the locomotives as they started moving, I could feel the wheels slip and grab.  Both runs had close to 90 freight cars, I could feel the load both starting and stopping.
 
Still my best ever birthday present!!!!  Thrill of a lifetime at 14.

I must add, I have an HO Cab Forward numbered 4287 and a AC-9 numbered 3807 on my layout.  The SP articulateds are my favorite locomotives.  I have a total of 17 of them from an MC-1 to AC-12s.


Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

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