Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 22

Passenger Hood Unit Reprise

The final volume!

by Joseph A. Strapac

Softcover, 176 pages

Expensive streamlined passenger cab locomotives were an essential part of the SP locomotive fleet, necessary to present a positive public image. The Southern Pacific bought streamlined passenger diesel locomotives from Alco and Electro-Motive between 1937 and 1955, enough to dieselize its entire roster of inter-city passenger trains. We have studied these cab-style units in our Volumes 3, 9 and 20.

The few remaining locals and commuter trains still in SP’s timetable in the 1950s were dieselized with freight locomotives incidentally equipped with steam generators and air signal lines and electrical modifications to make them suitable for powering passenger trains. They were painted in “freight unit” colors and worked freight trains as often as their passenger schedules permitted and were expected to be maintained with the same spare parts and tools as their “pure freight” counterparts.

In the 1950s, Southern Pacific regularly utilized only twelve GP9s, twenty SD7s and sixteen Train Master diesel units in local passenger or Commute service. Steam generator-equipped SD9 units were also used on occasion in passenger service, as well as the occasional Alco. New SDP45 and GP40P-2 passenger locomotives arrived between 1967 and 1974.

They are all documented in the 176 pages of Volume 22. Our now hard-to-find Volume 1 addressed the Fairbanks-Morse Train Master locomotives—in Volume 22 they are illustrated in much more detail. Deliveries of this new book will begin by late January. Available directly from the publisher for $42.00 postpaid, as well as from your favorite hobby store or book dealer.

Retail Price $42.00.  Postpaid, via U. S. Media Mail

Shipping in January 2017: Orders accepted by phone, e-mail or U. S. Mail. 
Remember, if you provide payment with your order, we cover the cost of UPS Ground Shipping. 
 

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539

joestrapac@gmail.com



Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 21

EMD Four-Motor and Six-Motor Freight Diesels


by Joseph A. Strapac

Softcover, 144 pages, 204  photos, roster information, drawings and detailed photo captions  

Beginning in October 1992 with 64 pages, Southern Pacific Historic Diesels has become a twenty-volume reference shelf, examining in detail almost the entire diesel fleet of everyone’s favorite “fallen flag” rail line—a challenge when it was still around, but sorely missed now that it is gone.  

Five thousand, five hundred eighty-seven diesel units comprised the SP roster between 1939 and 1996. In these pages since 1992, we’ve reviewed all the SP diesels from Alco, Baldwin, Fairbanks-Morse, General Electric and Krauss-Maffei—as well as the Electro-Motive cab units and switchers and most of the freight hood units. 

However, in 2,368 pages of text and pictures, we still managed to avoid discussing six different EMD hood-unit models! Each one was somehow out of step with SP’s normal progression of road unit purchases—forcing us to pigeonhole images and discussion until we could play catch-up ball at the end of the series. That’s the task of Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 21—to illustrate those locomotives we avoided covering before:

  • SD35 (and many subsequent home-made switcher variants)
  • GP38-2
  • SD38-2
  •  SD39
  • West Colton slugs
  • SD70M 

Plus our traditional review of pertinent test and demonstrator units, as well as a selection of “graduates” of these classes that went on to new operators.

Retail Price $36.95.  Postpaid, via U. S. Media Mail: $38.00
Shipping in January 2016: Orders accepted by phone, e-mail or U. S. Mail. 
Remember, if you provide payment with your order, we cover the cost of UPS Ground Shipping. 
 

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539

joestrapac@gmail.com

Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 20

Passenger Cab Units Reprise

Alco and EMD carbody-type passenger locomotives: PA/PB, E and passenger Fs
by Joseph A. Strapac

Softcover, 176 pages, 342 photos (32 in color). A complete roster and detailed photo captions.

Over the years, we’ve noticed that—while everyone has his preference as to SP diesel freight locomotives—we all seem to agree that the passenger units were special. They worked for the SP from 1947-48, losing their Daylight red-and-orange paint in 1958-60, and finally falling to SP’s train-off policies of the late 1960s. (A few FP7A and passenger F7B units did survive into Amtrak colors, however.) Our books on the subject of SP’s carbody-style A- and B-units (Volumes 3 and 9) quickly went out of print, prompting numerous requests for reprints.

Not just a reprint would do. A number of one-of-a-kind pictures were used in those earlier volumes and simply had to be carried over in Volume 20. So many previously unpublished images have been made available that the book kept growing, finally going to press with 176 pages—sixteen of them in full color. In all, there are more than 340 photos included in this book.

Southern Pacific considered passenger locomotives to be distinct—they should deliver 2,000 or more horsepower per unit and would ride on six-wheel trucks that carried traction motors only on the outer axles, leaving the center axles as idlers. These locomotives were all initially purchased wearing distinctive “passenger” paint jobs. Eventually, SP would accumulate a roster of 28 Electro-Motive and 66 Alco passenger diesels, all of them in service together for the few brief years between 1955 and 1962.

In addition to its formal passenger diesels, SP ordered over two hundred passenger-equipped four-axle F7, F7B and FP7 units. They provided backup power for mail trains, passenger locals, holiday specials, troop movements and even many railfan excursions. Every one of these (with the glaring exception of one Cotton Belt FP7) was painted as delivered in “black widow” freight colors. One hundred fourteen passenger F7 A-units carried steam generator controls on the fireman’s dashboard—but not a one had its own steam generator aboard. Only the passenger F7 B-units and the seventeen FP7 A-units could make train-heat steam.

These EMD and Alco machines are documented in detail in Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 20: our biggest and best yet! There are chapters on each model from each builder, illustrations of variant paint jobs and extensive discussion of SP policies for passenger locomotive utilization. The closing chapter adds a bonus—sixteen pages of color.

We haven’t forgotten those other passenger diesels, the GP9s and the Train Masters and various Alco and EMD hood units used in passenger service. We will re-visit them in Volume 22—which should mark the final volume in this series.

We plan to debut this new book at the Winterail 2015 show in Stockton, California—but we expect to be shipping copies to dealers by the end of February.
 
Retail Price $38.95.  Postpaid, via U. S. Media Mail: $40.00
Orders accepted by phone, e-mail or U. S. Mail.
Remember, if you provide payment with your order, we cover the cost of UPS Ground Shipping.

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539

joestrapac@gmail.com


Southern Pacific's Heavy Pacific Locomotives: 

Classes P-8, P-9, P-10, P-12, P-13 and P-14

118 Pages, Softcover, Album (Landscape) Format 179 black-and-white photos; wraparound color cover with original art. Tables, rosters, diagrams, notes, etc.

by Terry Johnson, associated with the 2479 restoration project in Northern California

This is a serious locomotive book, not simply a photo album. Amply illustrated with detail photos, early-day roster shots, and lively action photography. Heavily researched and cross-checked.

Author Terry Johnson begins his study with a discussion of Alco number 50,000—a 1912 demonstrator that pushed the envelope of modern passenger locomotive design. SP’s own heavy Pacific locomotives were part of the post-Harriman era, when SP spent millions replenishing and modernizing rolling stock worn out during World War I.

New technology became available in the early 1920s, including wagon-top boilers, feedwater heaters and Delta trailing trucks with boosters. As SP and Baldwin engineers developed classes P-8 through P-13, all these features were put to work. Even though SP was concurrently buying larger 4-8-2 locomotives for its heaviest trains, the 4-6-2 type was continually improved.

This book also addresses the former El Paso & Southwestern #3120-3129, which were added as coal burners in 1924 and continually refined to better fit them in with SP’s “home team.” A chapter is also devoted to the three smaller class P-6 locomotives rebuilt at Houston in 1937 to power the Texas & New Orleans’ streamliner Sunbeam and Hustler trains. They were fully modernized (as class P-14) in the face of dieselized competition between Houston and Dallas—on a shorter route.

Class P-8 and P-10 heavy Pacifics were still powering Commute trains between San Jose and San Francisco as late as the summer of 1956—as illustrated by the dramatic, wrap-around Roger Cortani cover. This book is a major historical work at an affordable price, filled with large photos and numerous tables.

Retail Price $36.95.

Orders accepted by phone, e-mail or U. S. Mail. Remember, if you provide payment with your order, we cover the cost of UPS Ground Shipping.

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539

joestrapac@gmail.com

Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 19

by Joseph A. Strapac

144 pages, softcover

Recommended retail price: $35.00. 

In January 1975, Southern Pacific took delivery of its last General Electric U33C locomotive; considering this model’s dismal maintenance record on the SP, observers could reasonably expect “never again” for new GE locomotives on this railroad.

Just three years later, however, GE came roaring back with their answer to Electro-Motive’s GP40-2, the B30-7, and SP was first in line to buy a sample set. Ultimately, the SP/SSW was to buy 110 B30-7 and another 20 B36-7 locomotives. Slipped in among these high-horsepower units were fifteen B23-7 locomotives delivered in 1980. In 1987-89, 95 new B39 and Dash 8 “Techno Toasters” were added to the roster, along with 195 GP60s from GM Locomotive Group. Once a “tractive effort railroad,” the SP was re-inventing itself as a cross-country intermodal conveyor belt in competition with the Union Pacific and the Santa Fe.

At the sam

e time, control of the SP migrated to Rio Grande Industries, then gearing up for a boom in transportation of Colorado-mined coal for power plants. GE was again able to meet the needs of the combined Rio Grande-SP, first with the “comfort cab” Dash 9-44CW (direct current) six-axle locomotive and, finally, with the dramatic capstone to the Southern Pacific diesel roster of 279 AC4400CW diesels-delivered in the short span of seven months in 1995.In all, 620 modern General Electric diesel units were delivered to the SP and the Cotton Belt between 1978 and 1995.

Their story is told in our Volume 19, in 144 pages with 250 photos. Each delivery phase of each GE model is given its own chapter. While GE locomotives were not very popular in the resale market, many are documented in our popular “Graduates” chapter. Successor Union Pacific had dozens of early former SP B-boats rebuilt to “green” 21st-Century switchers, as well as converting dozens more into remote-control radio cars. Their stories are documented in these pages. Making a brief appearance in their own chapter are the three Morrison-Knudsen MK5000 demonstrator locomotives that made a splash in the December 1994 Popular Mechanics magazine, but were banished in disgrace from SP rails after only a few months of unsuccessful tests.



Available now! This book is available from the publisher directly by mail at $35.00 postpaid.

Also available from your favorite rail book dealer.

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539

joestrapac@gmail.com


California’s Locomotives II

by Joseph A. Strapac

144 pages, softcover; 282 black-and-white photos. Full-color cover.

Recommended retail price: $17.50.

This book continues the theme of the first volume (published in 2008 and still available), which addressed shortline and industrial steam locomotives used in California between 1896 and the 1960s. While that volume was organized around wheel arrangement, this new book follows standard (and custom) models from two locomotive builders—Alco and General Electric.

Chapters address the different Alco models (S-1, S-2, S-4, S-6 and various road units) sold to customers in California. Then the major GE models have their chapters: 25 ton, 44 ton, 70 ton and various non-standard designs—as well as two significant fleets of large road locomotives that worked for years in California but were never in common carrier service.

Roster portrait photos predominate, supplemented by numerous action views, many full-page.

Subsequent volumes, now in preparation, will examine the California-based products of Baldwin, Electro-Motive, the various minority builders and locomotives used by the military in California.

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539 
joestrapac@gmail.com



General Electric 70-Ton Diesel Locomotives

By Ron Sims

Price: $36.00


Never a major component of any Class I railroad roster, the General Electric diesel “roadswitcher” could be found almost everywhere in American railroading, serving lines that weren’t built to accommodate larger locomotives. It was conceived as a ¾-scale model of the EMD SW1 switcher, to be sold with easy financing to shortlines and industries with line-haul operations. 

Before and during World War II, General Electric did not offer a single “railroad” locomotive in its catalog. As the war wound down, however, the military’s need for small diesel locomotives was certain to dry up. GE needed to find a new market and utilize advanced (for the times) technology to serve it. Undercapitalized steam-powered shortlines and industrial railroads required replacement locomotives that weighed seventy tons or less (both to meet engineer pay requirements and to safely operate on light rail), but with relatively high gearing to allow decent road speeds.


Given this opportunity, GE took advantage of advances in diesel engine performance and its already cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to develop a single-engine diesel locomotive with 600 horsepower that weighed thirty tons less than an Alco or Baldwin or EMD switcher rated at the same power. A truly bare-bones machine, the proposed new GE switcher could be sold at a significantly lower base price and was designed to be at home on rail too light to support a “standard” 99-ton switcher.


Author Ron Sims, the nation’s leading authority on the GE 70-ton diesel locomotive, has been publishing on this subject since the early 1970s. The culmination of his research is this handsome, 172-page softcover volume that details the 200 domestic and another 200 exported variations of the familiar 70-tonner theme. Over 270 photos, tables and diagrams illustrate examples operating from Canada’s Hudson Bay to Chile’s Atacama Desert—and across the Pacific to Australia and the Philippines. The basic design was adapted to industrial use, as well, with lower gear ratios and build-to-order weights from 65 to 95 tons. Special narrow-gauge units (domestic and export) receive ample photographic attention. A complete production list rounds out the coverage.


Tables include:
Available factory customizing options
Largest common carrier rosters
Dealers who resold them
Re-engined units
Preserved or on permanent display

Rosters and production tables:
Total production, 1946-1959
Export and Licensee Sales
Exports to Cuba
Central Romana (Dominican Republic)
95-ton Industrial units


This book is available directly by mail from the publisher at $38.00 postpaid. It is also available from your favorite rail book dealer or hobby shop.

Available from:

Shade Tree Books

Post Office Box 1539

Bellflower, CA

90707-1539 

joestrapac@gmail.com