Monday, August 22, 2016

Modeling the Owl (Part1) - Post-WW2 to Korea

Let's look at the 1946-1950 consists of the Southern Pacific's Owl between Oakland and Los Angeles (No.57 & 58).  Most of my information comes from the SP Trainline (SPH&TS Magazine) and from the research that the Operations Dept at La Mesa Model Railroad Club has dug up over the years.  I'm also cross checking this data against that provided in SPH&TS's five fabulous volumes of SP Passenger Car books.

Links to my blog posts on the following related topics:
SP Heavyweight Passenger Car Models in HO Scale
Thoughts on Golden Gate Depot Harriman Cars
Modeling the Shasta (Nos.327/328) Consist in 1949 & 1952
Modeling the Tehachapi Mail (Nos.55/56) Consist
Kitbashing Pullman 16-Section Tourist Car (Part 1) TC 4242

No.58 lead by SP 4255 slips by in the night towards Los Angeles with a long string of varnish.

The Owl traveled the flat San Joaquin Valley from Oakland, north around the San Fransisco Bay to Fresno via the Mococo Line, then south to Bakersfield.  In Bakersfield the smaller engine used from Oakland would be changed out for usually at least a big AC-class, cab forward, and usually a point helper of some type, often the point engine was another AC-class engine.  Heavy 16 car Owl consists required big engines to move it over the 4000ft Tehachapi Summit and then over the Mojave Desert to Vincent Summit, south of Palmdale.

After the arrival of dual-service EMD F-unit sets in around 1952, the run between Bakersfield and Los Angeles was dieselized.  Steam lasted in the Valley, north of Bakersfield, until about 1956, when pairs of dual-service F-units took over that run as well.

In this first part, we will focus our look at the consists changes over the years between 1946 and 1950.  The post-1950 and dieselization will come in following posts.

1946 - Consist of No.57

Coaches, like this 60-C-9, were common on the SP passenger trains until replaced by chair cars.
Older coaches like this 60-C-4, made up most of the coach-class cars on the post-war Owls until A/C Chair cars took over.

BP Oak-Fresno (Probably 30ft Apartment) - to 2nd 60 at Fresno (Possibly entrained between the baggages and the coaches)
Baggage/Express Oak-Fresno
B/E Oak-LA
B/E Oak-LA
Partition Coach
Coach (News Agent)
Coach
Coach
Pullman Tourist Car (STD 16-Section)
Pullman Tourist Car (STD 16-Section)
Diner
Pullman STD 6-2-Lounge ("Mission Dolores" and "Mission Santa Ynez")
Pullman STD 12-1
Pullman STD 10-Sect Lounge-Observation

March 10, 1947 - Consist of No.57

An option for modeling a Postal Storage Car, ex-RPO SP 4261, now a Storage Car.

This is the standard consist planned for the Owl after March 10th, 1947.

Postal Storage
Baggage/Express
Baggage/Express
Baggage/Express
RPO Bag/RPO (30ft Postal Apartment to rear)
Coach - Partitioned
Coach - News Agent
Coach
Coach
Diner
Pullman STD - Tourist 16-Section Sleeper
Pullman STD 6-2-Lounge (Mission-Series)
Pullman STD 10-1-1 Sleeper
Pullman STD 14-Section Sleeper

The consists in this film is very interesting:




This is the consist as best as I can make out.

SP 4228 (AC-10 class engine) working as "road engine" between Bakersfield and LA on No.58 Eastward at Saugus after point helper was cut off, probably at Vincent after going over the Tehachapi mountains and over the Mojave desert.

An example of a MDC 60-B-9 & -10 baggage-express cars like SP 6043 in the consist below, note the large left door.

SP 6114 Storage Mail (60-B, ex-60-P-4)
SP 6043 Baggage-Express (60-B-9)
SP 6320 Baggage-Express  (60-B-1) (hard to read the last number)
SP 6336  Baggage-Express (60-B-2) (Very hard to read number)
SP 5076  RPO-Baggage (69-BP-30-2) (working RPO - Apartment to rear)
Pullman Tourist Car 2281 (ex-Schuykill, STD 12-1 non-A/C Sleeper) - Acting as Dormitory Car (Might be PC TC 2381, ex-Pennell)  - Not shown in regular consist
SP 2165 Partitioned Coach (60-C-9 Ice A/C floor)
SP 2500 News Agent Coach (Ex-ADL-Coach "CHAIR" 60-CC-1)
SP 1365? Coach (60-C-5,6,7,8,9,10 Ice A/C'd) - Number doesn't match up with historical data
SP 2306 Coach (60-C-5 Ice A/C roof end)
SP 10107 Diner (77-D-4 with A/C)
Pullman Tourist Car 4000-4200-series STD 16-Section Sleeper Tourist - usually US Military personnel returning from WW2.
Pullman "Mission Dolores" STD 6-2-Lounge - After 1948 to SP ownership regular on Owl until 1956
Pullman "Palouse Falls" STD 10-1-1 Sleeper - Regular with Prior Lake (10-1-1) on the Owl until 1954 or so.
Pullman "Overdale" STD 14-Section Sleeper

Pullman 16-Section Tourist sleeper, Kitbashed from a Walthers 14-Section model.

June 17, 1947 - Consist of No.57 Wrecked at Lerdo


SP 2701, a stand-in model for a non-A/C'd 60-CC-1, like SP 2512.

The consist was pretty much the same when the Owl derailed at Lerdo (in the San Joaquin Valley) on June 17th 1947.  Records of wrecks always include the involved cars.

SP 4376 (MT-5) - working between Bakersfield and Oakland

SP 6064 B/E (70-B-7)
SP 6073 B/E (70-B-7) Later * Baggage
SP 6457 B/E (70-BA-5) Later * Baggage (probably working TBM car)
SP 1836 Partitioned Coach 60-C-3
SP 1362 Coach 60-C-3 - plain Coach
SP 1084 Coach 60-C-3 - plain Coach
SP 2512 Coach 60-CC-1 ("old" Chair car)
PC TC 4246 - Tourist 16-section - For US Military personnel
PC TC 4242 - Tourist 16-section - For US Military personnel
SP 10107 (77-D-4 with A/C)
PC "Mission Dolores" STD 6-2-Lounge
PC "Prior Lake" STD 10-1-1
PC "Overcot" STD 14-Section
PC "Mt. Breckenridge" STD 10-Sect-Lounge-Obs

Old Walthers metal 10-Section Lounge-Observation, Similar to the Pullman Co.'s Mt. Breckenridge in the Owl consist above

It looks like on that ill-fated run the train was running the extra 10-Section Lounge-Obs, but no RPO or dormitory car listed.

February 27, 1950 - Consist of No.58


SP 2312, a 72-C-2, rebuilt with A/C and plated over transom windows as it would have appeared in 1947.

Note the changes in the consist as the chair cars replace the coaches.  These Chair cars were most likely arch-roofed 72-C, clerestory roofed 73-C, or 74-CC Heavyweight A/C'd "Deluxe" Chair cars after this time.  Also note the now standard Tourist sleepers behind the Diner.

RPO - Oak-Fresno (30ft Apartment)
Postal Storage - Oak-Fresno
Baggage-Express - Oak-Fresno
Baggage-Express - Oak-LA (ex-Tuesday, Storage Mail & Magazines)
Baggage-Express - Oak-LA (ex-Sunday)
Chair (probably a News Agent Car)
Chair
Chair
Chair
Diner
Pullman STD - Tourist 16-Section Sleeper - For US Military personnel
Pullman STD - Tourist 16-Section Sleeper - For US Military personnel
SP "Mission-series" STD 6-2-Lounge
SP "Night-series" STD 14-Single Bedroom ("Night Fern" and "Night Mantle" - later rebuilt into Baggage Dorms SP 3500 & SP 3501)
SP STD 10-1-1 "Prior Lake" & "Palouse Falls" regularly assigned
SP STD 12-1 - SP Pool 12-1s no specific cars assigned.

Sept 24, 1950 - Consist of No.58

SP 2337, a 73-C-1, is another example of a 48-seat "Deluxe Chair" car used on the Owl.

Note the movement of the RPO to stay with the train now.  No Fresno setout car now.  Also the last consist showing 16-Section Tourist Cars regularly assigned.

Postal Storage Oak-LA
Baggage-Express Oak-LA
Baggage-Express Oak-LA
RPO Oak-LA (30ft Apartment)
Chair (probably a News Agent Car)
Chair
Chair
Chair
Diner
Pullman STD - Tourist 16-Section Sleeper - For US Military personnel
Pullman STD - Tourist 16-Section Sleeper - For US Military personnel
SP "Mission-series" STD 6-2-Lounge
SP "Night-series" STD 14-Single Bedroom ("Night Fern" and "Night Mantle")
SP STD 10-1-1 "Prior Lake" & "Palouse Falls" regularly assigned
SP STD 12-1 - SP Pool 12-1s no specific cars assigned.


Feb 15, 1951 - Consist of No.58


This consist changes in a number of ways: 1. RPO car is now through LA-Oakland. 2. Pullman 16-Section Tourists replaced with standard 12-1s, possibly Pullman Pool cars. 3. Introduction of first regular Streamlined car to train, STD 6-6-4 sleeper, alternating with HW 8-5 "Clover"-series car.

Baggage-Express Oakland-Bakersfield
Baggage-Express Oak-LA
Baggage-Express Oak-LA
Postal Storage Oak-LA
RPO Oak-LA (30ft Apartment)
Chair (probably a News Agent Car)
Chair
Chair
Chair
Diner
SP STD 12-1 - PC/SP Pool 12-1s no specific cars assigned.
SP STD 12-1 - PC/SP Pool 12-1s no specific cars assigned.
SP "Mission-series" STD 6-2-Lounge
SP STD 6-6-4 "SP 9150-series" or STD 8-5 "Clover-series" on alternating consists
SP "Night-series" STD 14-Single Bedroom ("Night Fern" and "Night Mantle")
SP STD 10-1-1 "Prior Lake" & "Palouse Falls" regularly assigned
SP STD 12-1 - SP Pool 12-1s no specific cars assigned.

SP 12-1 "Los Angeles" brings up the rear of a very late running No.58 at Caliente.
That pretty much does it for Modeling the Owl (Part 1), stay tuned or follow to be notified when the next update is posted.

Jason Hill

Follow these links to other related posts on my blog.
SP Heavyweight Passenger Car Model Index in HO Scale
Thoughts on Golden Gate Depot Harriman Cars
Modeling SP Trains 55/56, the Tehachapi Mail
Modeling SP Baggage cars with MDC/Athearn 60ft "Harrimans"
Modeling the Shasta (Nos.327/328) Consist in 1949 & 1952
Modeling SP 1005 (Part 1), Soho 60-C-5.
Modeling SP 2701 (Part 1), Model Power 60-CC-1.
Modeling Pullman Mt.Nebo (Part 1), 10-Section Lounge-Obs from old Walthers metal passenger car

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