Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

PACIFIC ELECTRIC DIESEL POWER

10343 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 1,289 posts
PACIFIC ELECTRIC DIESEL POWER
Posted by hornblower on Friday, December 19, 2008 4:54 PM

I have read that toward the end of the Pacific Electric in California (late 1950's), the line ran freight operations using diesel power leased from the Southern Pacific (electrification having been taken down with the demise of the Red Cars).  However, I cannot find any pictures of such operations.  As I would like to include a few PE freight trains on a new layout I'm planning, I need to find out what loco models the SP provided and what paint scheme(s) was used.

Hornblower

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Friday, December 19, 2008 5:48 PM

An incomplete list of SP locomotives Pacific Electric leased is on page 212 of Joseph Strapac's Southern Pacific Diesel Locomotive Compendium, Volume 1.  In the late 1950s it shows the leased locomotives to be NW-2s, SW8s and SW900s.  They would have been painted tiger-striped while some may have been repainted to gray and crimson after that paint scheme was started (1956?), but I'd doubt few if any that were under lease.  In the early fifties PE leased primarily Baldwin VO-660s and VO-1000s in tiger-stripe livery and Baldwin road switchers in Black Widow.

Edit - the Baldwin road switchers were originally painted tiger stripe with aluminum hood ends and rear exterior cab walls, so this was the scheme seen when leased to the PE.  They were repainted Black Widow over time in 1953 and a bit later.  Almost all leased Baldwin road switchers were lettered for the PE.  In fact, a significant portion but not a majority of all leased diesels from the SP were relettered for the PE.

Mark

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Nebraska Pan Handle
  • 94 posts
Posted by fishplate on Friday, December 19, 2008 6:23 PM

I,ve seen photo,s from time-to-time of the above mentioned loco,s. I don't know the years of the photo,s, but the loco,s had trolley poles. They may have been used to trigger signals.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Enid, Oklahoma
  • 52 posts
Posted by SF Bill on Friday, December 19, 2008 6:37 PM

When I was working on the PE in the mid-fifties, our crew used a 44-tonner on the Wingfoot switching job in the southern part of LA, HUntington Park.  We switched the north part of the yard by the Goodyear tire plant.  If I recall correctly, it's number was 1655(don't hold me to that, I have pix of it, but not at hand).  We also used a SW 8(?) at times.

I also worked the Western district with a SW 8, towards Santa Monica and West LA.

All of them were painted black, with orange safety stripes.

SF Bill

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Friday, December 19, 2008 7:24 PM

Pacific Electric owned 5 GE 44-tonners, numbered 1650 through 1654.  SP itself directly owned several, numbered 1900 through 1905.  The PE 44-tonners came painted red and some years after WWII were painted black with tiger stripes.

Mark

  • Member since
    June 2008
  • From: N. California & Nevada
  • 448 posts
Posted by g. gage on Friday, December 19, 2008 11:51 PM

fishplate

I,ve seen photo,s from time-to-time of the above mentioned loco,s. I don't know the years of the photo,s, but the loco,s had trolley poles. They may have been used to trigger signals.

You are correct, trolley poles were used for operating signals. Also there was a three axle black switcher stationed at the SP interchange in San Fernando. It switched citrus packing houses on an isolated PE branchline west of San Fernando.

Rob

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Martinez, CA
  • 5,440 posts
Posted by markpierce on Saturday, December 20, 2008 12:21 AM

g. gage

...there was a three axle black switcher stationed at the SP interchange in San Fernando. It switched citrus packing houses on an isolated PE branchline west of San Fernando.

That was a #1647.  It was a 225 h.p. locomotive made by Plymouth in 1929 weighing 29 tons..  PE purchased it in 1946 from Consolidated Steel Corp, Wilmington.

Mark

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • 2 posts
Posted by Multitrain2000 on Saturday, December 20, 2008 5:20 AM

You can found few pictures of diesel motive power on the excellent book made by P.Allen Copeland "PACIFIC ELECTRIC" in color volume 2.

Diesel pictured in the book: 

PE had a G44 # 1653 often leased to SP  seen at Butte Street Yard  date 11-1956 

PE had also a 3 axles Plymouth # 1647 to connect freight customer from Orange to the SP at Marlboro

SP NW1 # 1011 is shown on the PE Arrowhead Branch from Arrowhead Springs to San Bernardino with 6 tank cars carrying water for the Arrowhead Water Co. The mountain spring water was hauled int LA for bottling and distribution.

SP NW1 1010  and PE electric 1621  from Western Hollywood yard to  Butte street yard (PE electric was used along Santa Monica Boulevard at night).

SP Baldwin VO660 # 21 

SP NW2 1314 from harbor, on the San Pedro line.

SP TR6A (NW like) #4603

SP SW900 # 4632 on the San Bernardino line. 

Try to plan a short portion of electrified line just to see an odd operating PE electric locomotive, to add fun to your layout.

Multitrain2000 

 

  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: Westcentral Pennsylvania (Johnstown)
  • 1,496 posts
Posted by tgindy on Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:14 PM

hornblower

what loco models the SP provided and what paint scheme(s)

Here are two handy-dandy pics...

http://www.davesrailpix.com/pe/htm/pe021.htm

http://www.davesrailpix.com/pe/htm/pe020.htm

Note that single trolly pole(s) were still used for signal activation, and: at least for Southern Pacific #1327 the original S.P. paint scheme would be P.E. prototypical for 1955.

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • From: California & Maine
  • 3,848 posts
Posted by andrechapelon on Sunday, December 21, 2008 9:56 PM

tgindy

hornblower

what loco models the SP provided and what paint scheme(s)

Here are two handy-dandy pics...

http://www.davesrailpix.com/pe/htm/pe021.htm

http://www.davesrailpix.com/pe/htm/pe020.htm

Note that single trolly pole(s) were still used for signal activation, and: at least for Southern Pacific #1327 the original S.P. paint scheme would be P.E. prototypical for 1955.

 

Incidentally, Bowser/Stewart makes models of the Baldwin VO-1000 equipped with trolley poles (for triggering grade crossing signals) in both Pacific Electric and SP (page down a bit).

http://www.bowser-trains.com/New_Products/New%2008_25_08%20Exec%20Loco/New%20VO1000%20Locos%2008_25_08.htm

Andre

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
  • Member since
    December 2008
  • 2 posts
Posted by Multitrain2000 on Monday, December 22, 2008 3:48 AM

The paint scheme of the SP leased diesel locomotives was a dark green color (close to the PRR brunswick green) wit yellow zebra stripes. Don't forget a good weathering "à la SP" to match the working condition. 

 

Patrick 



  • Member since
    September 2002
  • From: California & Maine
  • 3,848 posts
Posted by andrechapelon on Monday, December 22, 2008 1:00 PM

Multitrain2000

The paint scheme of the SP leased diesel locomotives was a dark green color (close to the PRR brunswick green) wit yellow zebra stripes. Don't forget a good weathering "à la SP" to match the working condition. 

 

Patrick 

Actually, SP's switcher scheme up until about 1958 was BLACK with Orange "Tiger Stripes",

Andre - Lived in SP/PE territory in the 50's 

 

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 1,289 posts
Posted by hornblower on Monday, December 22, 2008 5:16 PM

Wow!  I never expected such quick and thorough responses.  Thanks everyone for your information.  Yet another reason I appreciate this forum.  My planned layout will be an exercise in proto-freelancing and will include a fictitious resurrection and expansion of the old Santa Ana & Newport interchanging with both the Southern Pacific and Pacific Electric in Huntington Beach in 1957.  I don't know if there was still any connection between the SP and PE in Huntington Beach by 1957 (at Lake Street?) but my layout will assume so.  Thanks again!

Hornblower

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Los Angeles
  • 1,619 posts
Posted by West Coast S on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 10:25 AM

Your 1957 date is dead on, PE abandoned freight operations on this line in 1958, SP assumed limited operations via an extension of the Santa Ana branch to Dyer and from Stanton to Humbolt. Actually, you could incorporate both interchanges and be correct. I assume you intend to replace the Santa Ana river crossing that was washed out in 1922 and never rebuilt thus restoring it to a through route? 

 If memory serves, Holly Sugar at San Carlos was recieving solid trains of sugar beets from the Imperial Valley long after 1957.Your concept of mixed electric and diesel operation is quite correct as well, SP had, over a period beginning in the mid 30's a aggresive program to de-wire this seasonal line. PE/SP employed diesel to work these gaps in conjunction with electric freight motors, often these forms of power would be mu'd, how often have you seen this modeled? PE did have more visually interesting diesels (Baldwin roadswitchers and Baldwin S12's), which displayed the complete SP signal light package and road service options,  alas I never saw one in service on this line, these too were lettered for the PE and sported poles for signal/grade crossing activation. One had to frequent the Northern District or Taylor Yard (they were frequently borrowed for yard/transfer duty by parent SP) to observe these beast.  

   

Keep us posted on your progress

Dave 

  

SP the way it was in S scale
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Fountain Valley, CA, USA
  • 605 posts
Posted by garyla on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:42 PM

If you're interested in brass locos at all, here's a heads-up.  Overland has announced that in late 2009 it will offer a BLW AS-616 in tiger-stripe Pacific Electric markings, WITH TROLLEY POLES!

As an old PE fan, it almost brings tears to my eyes!

If I ever met a train I didn't like, I can't remember when it happened!

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!