Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SP-SD&AE Passenger Trains (Part 1)

Last year I was given a copy of John M. Fiscella's San Diego & Arizona Railway Main Line Route Passenger Service:  the Agony and the Odyssey, which has many consists of the trains operated over the SP and the SD&AE between Yuma and San Diego.  Included is references to the connecting trains and where the cars are coming from and going to.

SP 2433, one of the 77-C-3s assigned to the Californian service as a Chicago-San Diego through chair car.

I want to pull three example consists from the SD&AE in 1937-1938, Summer 1946, and into Sept 1950 to see what sorts of scale model consists can be made to replicate these consists.  There were lots of changes to the trains over the years, but I chose these for a couple of reasons.  First the earlier consists show the use of the 77-C-3s assigned to the Californian running to San Diego, which I think is an interesting way to use the new Athearn-Genesis models of these cars on a shorter train which will fit most layouts.  Second the June 1946 consists will show how the same cars can be used with the revised lettering of the SP's equipment after they dropped the "LINES" from the end of the name on the letterboard.  The third era's interesting as it shows the basic year round consist of the connection with the Californian and continued to use the Ex-EPSW 70ft coaches.

Sample Consists


Here's a photo of SP 2375, a T-32 class 4-6-0, after June 1946 with a square tender, Eddie Sims Collection

1937-38 - SD&AE No.4-6-44 Golden State, Californian, Argonaut Extension


SP 4-6-0
 Does not specify class, but I assume it could be a T-31 or T-32 class based on the notes and the size of the train.

SP 60-B-series Express-Baggage - SD-Yuma and return
SP 77-C-3 (2430-2438) chair car - SD-Yuma-El Paso on Second Section of No.44 Californian
PC STD 16-Section - SD-Yuma-Chicago on No.6, Argonaut
PC STD 8-1-2 - SD-Yuma-Chicago on No.4, Golden State Limited
SP Cafe-Lounge (10907, 10908, 10914, or 10915) SD-Yuma and return

Pullman 8-1-2 "Rock Ridge" - Room side

1946, Oct-1950, Sept - SD&AE No.362 - Imperial Extension


SP 2370 T-32 class 4-6-0 - SD-Yuma (T-32 SP 2383, and T-31 2360 were also used.)
SP 60-B-series Baggage-Express - SD-Yuma
SP (1048-1056) Ex-EPSW 70' Coach - SD-Yuma-Chicago to No.40, Imperial
SP 60-C-Series A/C Coach - SD-Yuma
PC STD 10-1-2 - SD-Yuma-Chicago to No.40, Imperial

SP 1050, one of the Ex-EPSW coaches used in SD-Chicago service

As late as January (regular) and April (protecting 77-C-3 class chair cars) 1946 the Ex-EPSW Coaches, SP 1048-1056-series cars were working on the Californian as through cars.  They returned in October 1946 and continued to be used on the Imperial connections into 1950.

In 1950 the assigned engine is listed as "Any SP 4-6-0 or Any SD&AE 2-8-0"

1946, June - SD&AE No.43-363 - Californian Extension


Engine not specified - Probably T-31 or T-32 road engine with C-class helper

SP Exp-Reefer (Milk) - Tuscon-Yuma-SD from No.47 (SP Mail train)
--- Would have to be a PFE car, as SP didn't own any express-reefers.
SP 60-B-series Baggage-Express - Tuscon-Yuma-SD from No.47 (SP Mail train)
SP 60-B-series Baggage-Express - Yuma-SD
SP 60-C-series Coach w-A/C - Yuma-SD
SP 60-C-series Coach w-A/C - Yuma-SD
SP 60-C-series Coach w-A/C - Memphis-Yuma-SD from Second Section of No. 43, Californian
SP 77-C-3 (2430-2437) Chair Car LW A/C - Chicago-Yuma-SD from Second Section of No. 43, Californian
SP 60-C-series Coach w-A/C - New Orleans-Yuma-SD from Second Section of No. 43, Californian
SP Cafe-Lounge (10907, 10909, 10914, 10915) - Yuma-SD
PC STD 16-Section A/C - Chicago-Yuma-SD from First Section of No. 43, Californian
PC STD 16-Section A/C - New Orleans-Yuma-SD from First Section of No. 43, Californian

SP 10913, similar to the 10914 and 10915, lounge section at far left and kitchen to the far right, with cafe area between.

Models Available


I will endeavor to show what models will work to fit into the consists above.  I should also note here that the consists before June 1946 will also have all the engines and cars marked as "SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES" and not the later "SOUTHERN PACIFIC".  Also in 1946 the SP standardized on painting the smokebox fronts Aluminum, instead of leaving them the same color as the sides of the smokebox, which was a graphite color.  All Pullman HW sleepers in the dark green pool service colors should be lettered "PULLMAN" before January 1, 1949, when the cars were sold to the various railroads.

A Walthers SP HW STD 12-1 Pullman Sleeper, custom painted and lettered in the January 1949 scheme.

Many Pullmans remained lettered as such for years after this change, but many in regular service were repainted for the owning railroad, as such most of SP's sleepers were repainted in SP Dark Olive Green and lettered for SP by the early 1950s.

Engines - 


By 1937 SP was controlling the SD&AE.  Some of the SD&AE's engines were transferred to other SP Divisions and the types needed by the SD&AE were transferred in to replace them.  Some SP engines seemed to be regularly assigned, while other showed up from time to time, obviously to fill in when the regular engines were in the shops.  The SD&AE also used their old 20-class small 4-6-0s, however these were not able to handle the larger trains of 5-6 steel cars.  Trains over 8 cars required a second engine as a helper of the mountains east of San Diego.

SP 4-6-0 (T-28, T-31, T-32 Classes)


SP's T-class Ten-Wheelers (4-6-0) were built as passenger engines early in the 20th century.  By the 1920s they were being replaced on most passenger runs with larger Pacific and Mountain type engines.  The T-classes lasted another 30 years and many found ways to be useful on locals and switching jobs in the San Joaquin Valley around Bakersfield and Fresno and in the Imperial Valley until the mid-1950s.

SP's T-28 class 4-6-0s had inside Stephenson valvegear, this WSM/KTM has a 100-C-series tender.

The SP's most common class of Ten-Wheelers was the T-28 class with inside motion Stephenson valvegear.  SP T-28s were numbered between 2311 and 2352.

The West Side Models versions of the T-23/31s are very nice.  The T-28's usually include a conversion kit to change them into T-31s, unfortunately more T-31 models were imported than the T-28s, so many of us wish today that there was a T-31 to T-28 conversion kit!  The T-31's feature an enclosed gearbox, while the T-28s don't.  This makes DCC & can motor installations easier on the T-31s.

SP's T-31 class 4-6-0s had outside Walschaerts valvegear, also a WSM/KTM model with 100-C-series tender

The T-31 class engines were built with Walschaerts valvegear and 63" drivers.  The SP's largest class of T-32 class engines are basically 69" driver versions of the T-31 class.  The T-31s were numbered between 2353 and 2362.  - Don't mind the mess of wiring for the DCC decoder, I'll be cleaning that up before the 2355 re-enters service.


SP 2381, a T-32 heavily rebuild by Scott Inman from a WSM/KTM T-31 model. Scott Inman photo used by permission.


T-32 class seem to be more common on the SD&AE, but I would probably stick with a T-31 as the models are much easier to come by and are quite affordable.  I will also say that a WSM T-31 is also an excellent choice as a modeler's first brass engine to buy.  They are simple and reliable, easy to repair and nearly bullet-proof as long as they're taken care of.  - It's a sad day to see a brass model that's been abused and left abandoned out in the cold.  Be a good modeler, adopt a Ten-Wheeler!

Converting a T-31 to a T-32 is not for the faint of heart, as there are many frame changes and frame height issues to deal with in doing so.  The T-32s were numbered between 2363 and 2370, with a second group between 2371 and 2384 with higher boiler pressure.  The 2371 was upgraded to class T-40 with a Feed Water Heater in 1927 and remained as a T-40 until retired in 1953.

SP 2-8-0 (C-2, -5, -8, -9, -10 Classes)


A classic "Hog", SP 2775, is a customer's C-9 by Challenger Imports

The SP owned several hundred C-class 2-8-0s.  These were used mostly for freight service, although in slow speed mountain areas with light rail they were also used on passenger trains or as passenger helpers.  In the later years C-class engines finished their lives working in yards or local service.  They were the GP7/9s of their day, definitely a go anywhere do anything engine.

Most of the type assigned to the SD&AE were the larger C-8, -9, or -10 series engines, many of which lasted into the mid-1950s.  Models of SP "C-9" class engines are available in brass from Balboa, Sunset, Challenger, Key, and I'm sure a few others.

Unfortunately, neither of these two types have been made in plastic yet.

Head-End Cars


Baggage Cars - 60-B-series


SP had a massive number of 60ft Baggage Express cars, but only 35 of the style made by MDC/Athearn

Athearn/Roundhouse/MDC makes these 60-B-9/10s which are correct for about 35 cars of the SP's 200+ 60ft baggage cars.

Express Reefers - PFE 50ft


Walthers Wooden 50ft Express Reefer

PFE owned a number of express reefers painted in Dark Olive Green for passenger service and operation at passenger speeds of 90 MPH.

Express Reefers - PFE 40ft


BR-40-10 Express Reefer, model by Red Caboose/IMRC

PFE also rebuilt 50 R-40-10s as Express Reefers with steam and signal lines for use in passenger trains.

Coaches & Chair Cars


60-C-Series with A/C


The SP often used some of their large 556 car fleet of 60ft coaches to cover the local passenger service between San Diego and Yuma, they were also used around the Imperial Valley, and SP's Inter-California Railway in Mexico, and on various other short-haul passenger trains throughout the SP system.

As-built mechanical appearance of 60-C-5 class coach SP 1005, reconfigured as a non-A/C chair car in 1943.

During the late-1930s, the SP upgraded a fair number of their coaches for use on secondary trains and regional service, especially in places like the extreme temperatures between San Diego and Yuma.

PSC Brass model of a rare late 60-C-series car with A/C modifications and retaining the 4-wheel trucks.

Common look of A/C equipped 60ft Coaches with 6-wheel trucks - Photo Jason Hill 2009 at Niles Canyon Rwy

Usually this involved removing all the roof vents and installing A/C equipment under the floors and in the roof.  Some cars received floor mounted A/C gear.  Most fitted with A/C also received 6-wheel trucks or higher capacity 4-wheel trucks (which are very hard to model) to handle the extra weight of the A/C systems.

A model entered into the 2012 SPH&TS Contest (Modeler Unknown), starting from an MP 67ft Coach.

A good stand-in for these Air Conditioned cars might be the Model Power 67ft Coach, which I describe building in SP 2701 Part 1 and Part 2.  However, the model would have to be built with no roof vents, and 6-wheel trucks.

Alternately one of the new Golden Gate Models 60-C-5s could be modified and have A/C systems fitted and new 6-wheel trucks.

Ex-EPSW (SP 1048-1056)


Repainted Walthers Paired Window 70ft Coach is a good model to do SP 1048-1051, but not the 1055 or 1056.

These cars were used in long distance service over the years on the Sunset Route (Argonaut) to New Orleans and Golden State Route (Californian) to Chicago.

I've covered the majority of my modifications to the Walthers Paired Window Coach make the SP 1050 (Part 2) on my blog posts.

77-C-3 Chair Cars


SP 2433 as delivered in Dark Olive Green for General Service on the Californian in 1937.

Athearn-Genesis produced the 77-C-3 in Dark Olive Green in 2015.

SP 2436, one of the last 77-C-3s painted in Dark Olive Green in 1949.

I repainted the SP 2436 (Part 1) to the revised scheme after June 1946 with "SOUTHERN PACIFIC" on the letterboard without the "LINES".  I covered installing window shades and an Owl Mt Models marker kit in my blog.

Food Service


Cafe-Lounge (Ex-72-D-4) - SP 10912, 10913, 10914, 10915


Using Athearn/MDC parts it is possible to kitbash this type of car.

On short trains with only one or two Pullman sleepers SP assigned their Cafe-Lounges.  These were common on the Shasta, the SP-SD&AE connecting trains, and the West Coast, among others.  Sometimes the SP would only assign a diner to the trains if a Cafe-Lounge was not available.



I start to wonder sometimes looking at these consist books, if the SP didn't temporarily convert a HW diner to a Diner-Lounge, or effectively a Cafe-Lounge, by replacing some of the tables with lounge chairs, as they did on the San Joaquin Daylight in 1949 with the triple-unit diners.  Remember also that the only difference between a Diner, a Coffee Shop, and a Cafe car was the menu, price, and what was loaded into the car before the trip.  There was no structural change to the car to change how it was used.

The Lounge areas on cars that were used as dual service cars, such as these Cafe-Lounges and the San Joaquin Daylight's Diner-Lounges were preferred to have their own refrigerator and drink making station, not requiring the passing of waiters through the dining section of the car.  As the Cafe-Lounges generally had a mid-car area for doing this, resulting in the blank spot in below the "C" in the photo above.

Pullman Sleepers


Thankfully in the last 10 years Walthers and Branchline (Atlas) have produced very good models of the HW Pullmans that are needed.  The 16-Section car can be kitbashed as I show below.  Pullman lettered cars should be used if modeling before January 1949.  Modeling eras after January 1949 will start to see more and more railroad names in the letterboard as the cars were sold to the railroads by Pullman on Dec 31, 1948.

STD 10-1-2


Pullman STD 10-1-2 HW sleeper "Lake Cary", from Walthers model

Pullman's STD 10-1-2 designs were one of the most common HW sleepers in the US.  These cars were also one of the best balances of accommodations in one car with 10-sections, 1-drawing room, and 2-compartments.

STD 8-1-2


The only photo I have of a Pullman Pool painted STD 8-1-2 is this high angle view of the "Rock Ridge", by Walthers

The STD 8-1-2 sleepers were considered to be more luxurious and more spacious than the STD 10-1-2s by sacrificing two sleeping sections to allow for larger men's and women's lounge/dressing room space.  (I'll be replacing this photo with a better one shortly)

STD 16-Section


Pullman STD 16-Section Tourist Sleeper 4242, kit-bashed from Walthers HW 14-Section car.

To build the Pullman TC4242 I started with a Walthers 14-Section car as described in my blog.

Soho Pullman TC4206 (windows blanked out in Photoshop to avoid confusing posts)

Alternately a possible starting point could be a brass model, such as Soho's 16-Section "Riverdale"-Series car.  Although the Soho cars suffer from a "flat roof" as a result of the drawings used to produce them being somewhat lacking at the time.  While I like the Pullman TC4206 and the fact that it's a different plan than the Walthers kitbahses I've done.   I will probably aim for more kitbashes of Walthers or Branchline cars in the future.  NKP Car Shops also has made a lovely 16-Section sleeper kit, but I've not acquired one of those yet.

Closing Comments


That will do it for now on the SP and SD&AE connecting passenger trains to San Diego.

Jason Hill

Related Articles Linked Below:
Index of SP HW Passenger Car Models
Index of Pullman & SP HW Sleeping Car Models
Modeling the Shasta
Modeling the Owl (Part 1) WW2-Korea
Modeling SP Mail Trains Nos.55&56, the Tehachapi Mail.

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