Friday, December 16, 2022

Consist Photo Analysis (Part 3) - 1940 circa, Owenyo Local

SP 2578 No 788 - Owenyo 1940 - Phil Serpico - owensvalleyhistory,com southern_pacific015_sml

The Owenyo Mixed, No.788 arrives at Owenyo, ducking into the siding to clear.  Notice the train has what appears to be a 60-BP-30-1 and a 60ft coach bringing up the rear of a train appearing to be solid boxcars.

Employe Timetables & Pre-war Mixed Trains

San Joaquin #158 1938-02 Owenyo Branch - SheldonPerry collection

Moving forward in time to 1938, the SP shows four scheduled trains on the Jawbone.  Nos. 802/803 were the "Searles Turn" working from Mojave to Searles to interchange with the Trona Rwy.  Nos.788/789 are shown as Mixed trains to Owenyo with flag stops as needed along the run. Running times are 6:30 eastward and 7:15 westward.

Notice that the Searles train (Nos. 802/803) is out and back to Mojave before the train from Owenyo arrives (No.789) and then departs again (as No. 788).  I find this interesting, as it basically shows that the local crew was resting each day in Oewnyo, except on Sunday when the schedule does not run.  

1941 Owenyo Branch Employe Timetable, note the telegraph codes! - SheldonPerry collection

The 1941 ETT is the last one showing Nos.788/789 as mixed trains.  My guess at this point is that they were kept until the end of the war.  Then the new ETT for 1946 changed the operations to reflect the post-war operations moving forward with no scheduled provision for a mixed train. 

The question of US Post Office and Passenger service becomes an interesting point of research.  The Highway Post Office service (which sorted en route like an RPO) on US Hwy 395 wasn't established until 1953.  So there must have been some sort of service, perhaps non-sorting US Postal Truck service that went between each of the local post offices on the route.  During the post-war years, I've heard stories of 'passengers' riding in the caboose as needed to get back and forth over the Jawbone Branch with the crew.  I don't know much more than that about how those arrangements worked.

SP C-class 2-8-0 Engine

It's clear that the engines are not assigned by ETT, but by a regular assignment based on the service and tonnage required of the train.  The Consolidation (SP's C-class) type on the SP wasn't used very often in regular passenger service, but they worked many local assignments later in their lives, before WWII this often meant working mixed train services.

SP 2850 with stock local (LMRC circa 2014, J.Hill photo)

There are multiple options for where to find an SP 2-8-0 in brass, such as Sunset Models, PSC, Balboa, etc.  Hopefully, with-in a year or two we will have some options for kitbashing Bachmann 2-8-0s into SP/UP style C-class engines.

SP Boxcars

SP 24864, B-50-10 class single-sheath boxcar from Accurail kit. (Jason Hill collection, 2022 photo)

The SP owned over 8000 single sheath cars, like B-50-10 class SP 24864 (shown above) during the 1930s-1940s.

SP 26948, B-50-12, one of only 1000 USRA boxcars.

Tichy/IMRC makes the standard USRA boxcars, which SP only had 1000 of until the Summer of 1949.

SP 20095, B-50-15/16 class car, Paul Doggett model & photo with permission

The B-50-15/16s were built during the late-1920s as the final production of composite boxcars on the SP, accounting for about 4300 cars.

SP 82992, B-50-20 class pre-war XM Boxcar.

For the circa 1940 consist, there's only one steel AAR type car at the rear of the train, possibly in some sort of L.C.L. service along the branch.  These cars would only be a couple of years old, suggesting that they're still being used in more premier services than the Jawbone Branch needed.

Foreign Freight Cars

NC&StL 15337 waiting decals... (Jason Hill, 2022 photo)

Accurail 36ft Fowler boxcar, which is going to get a set of decals from Westerfield to finish it as NC&StL 15337, to match prototype photos.

ACY 1195, Mathers boxcar

ACY was one of the larger operators of Mathers-series boxcars, which used multiple-height cars.  I'll have to renumber this car to be in a more correct number series.

FtDDM&S 14007, Mathers boxcar

Mathers pattern boxcars were leased to smaller railroads.  In the late-1990s I picked up four of these as R-T-R models from P2K, which was an easy way to get some single-sheath boxcars into my pool of cars.

PH&D 1509, Mathers Boxcar

PH&D only had about a dozen cars of the Mathers design, so a rare catch to see on the west coast.

TC 7702, Mathers boxcar

Similar to the PH&D cars, the TC only operated about 10 cars of the Mathers design.

Mixed Train - Passenger Cars

Before the end of WWII, many locals which ran on SP rails included a small RPO apartment/baggage car and a 60ft standard coach for any local passenger service requirements.  The SP and T&NO both had a number of 15 or 30 foot RPO apartments installed in either 60, 69, or 70 foot carbodies.  On the SP all of the 60 foot combined RPO/Baggage cars were fitted with 4-wheel trucks, where as all of the larger cars were fitted with higher-capacity 6-wheel trucks, which also rode better at higher mainline speeds.  This suggests that the 4-wheel truck cars would be assigned to more low-speed local assignments.

SP 60-BP-30-1 RPO/Baggage
SP 5187, a 60-BP-30-1 kitbashed from MDC parts

Express, Baggage, and US Postal Service, which included payrolls would be shipped on the mixed RPO/Baggage car.  It's hard to tell from the photos of the passenger and mixed trains on the branch if the RPO apartment was 15ft or 30ft in size.

This car is currently lettered for the post-1946 SP letterboard, after the LINES was dropped.  If I'm going to want to model a pre-1946 consist, then I'll do one painted and lettered with the SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES version of the lettering.

60-C-Series Coach
SP 1190, an early 60-C-series coach from Ken Kidder

The 72-seat coach on the mixed train was generally more than large enough to take care of any passengers and company pass holders over the 143 mile branch.

Optional: 60-C-Series Chair (ex-Coach Conversion)
SP 1005, a refitted coach which had chair seats after 1943 until retirement.

If I want to expand the consist with a chartered chair or sleeper to Little Lake, I'll probably add SP 1005, which had been refitted during the war as a non-A/C chair car, which had fewer seats installed... making it more acceptable possibly on these local mixed train services where the passengers will be sitting for 8-12 hours as the train rattles along in the middle of nowhere.  I cover construction and history of SP 60-C-5s, (Part 1) SP 1005 here.

In Closing

I guess to say in closing, I wish the photo was a better angle to show who owned these various cars in the train.

SP 2578 No 788 - Owenyo 1940 - Phil Serpico - owensvalleyhistory,com southern_pacific015_sml

I guess I can put a cap on how to model this consist by saying, get a string of Tichy USRA single-sheath boxcars - various roads, Accurail single-sheath boxcars - various roads, SP B-50-8/10/11/13/14/15/16s, and resin single-sheath cars.  I'm guessing that probably 50-70% of the cars are SP/T&NO cars.

Jason Hill

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