southwest corner

by John Hathaway

SOUTHERN PACIFIC announced plans July 22 to convert the City of San Francisco, operating between the Bay area and Ogden, to tri-weekly service instead of daily. SP also hopes to apply a similar schedule to the Oakland-Portland Cascade but at last word the railroad has been told that it must maintain a daily schedule at least until January 1, 1970.

One of the system's defunct Krauss-Maffeis has received a reprieve from the scrapper's torch. Instead, its being readied in the road's Sacramento shops for duty as the camera car for SP's locomotive training simulator.

SP's been expanding its locomotive roster in a big way this year: 87 SD-45's (SP 8982-9051, COTTON BELT 9052-9068), and 18 SD-39's (SP 5300-5317) are all new EMD road switchers. 30 EMD SW-1500 yard switchers (SP 2493-2510, COTTON BELT 2511-2522) are going into service currently. And GE is also in the picture with 30 3300-hp U33C's (SP 8600-8629). All the new units are for freight service, needless to say.

SANTA FE's San Diegan has been doing a booming business during the summer months as the picture of #77 passing through Elvira on August 23 testifies. That train required four units for its 18 cars. This has been typical for the weekend runs which have been leaving the San Diego station In two sectlons to be hooked together just south of Old Town. The trains are so long they would block Ash Street and Broadway if put together at the depot.

Below is the San Diegan schedule for those interested in catching a glimpse, or even riding one of these long trains. If it is the length that interests you, your best bet is a weekend San Diegan.

  #73 #75 #77
San Diego 7:00 AM 11:30AM 4:00 PM
Los Angeles 9:55 AM 2:25 PM 6:55 PM
  #74 #76 #78
Los Angeles 7:30 AM 11:00 AM 7:45 PM
San Diego 10:25 AM 1:55 PM 10:40 PM

A nice ride is to leave San Diego on #77 at 4:00 PM and return on #78, arriving at 10:40 PM. On Saturdays these are both long trains. For further info call the AT&SF at 232-2961 or 232-0495.


New motive power is also appearing on Santa Fe and has been finding its way quite regularly into San Diego. SD-45's currently being received on the system have been assigned numbers in the 5590 class. A total of 25 of these new engines are now in service. They feature controls for mid-train 'slave-unit' service which has been utilized on the steep grades of Cajon Pass between San Bernardino and Barstow.

Other new locos for SF Include an order of 20 GE 2250-hp branch locomotives (SF 7000-7019), 20 GE 2300-hp road switchers (SF 4000-4019), and 25 of GE's larger U33C's.

The number series of these new locomotives will fit into the new classification of all Santa Fe diesels. The present numbering series came into being during the last days of steam and many illogical gaps still remain which were once occupied by now long-gone steam engines. All of the system's road engines will be receiving new four-digited series.

Santa Fe's bright red cabooses are beginning to appear frequently throughout the state and have been into San Diego once or twice. The rebuilt and repainted cabooses feature shock control couplers, thermal-pane windows, electric heaters and marker lights, and numerous other modern innovations. Until recently they passed over California rails only behind Santa Fe's crack Super C, but now they're being reconstructed in the system's San Bernardino shops and will be more and more in evidence around here.

THE ANGEL'S FLIGHT RAILWAY in Los Angeles, quot;The Shortest Railway in the World," was dismantled last May 18 to make way for an urban renewal on Bunker Hill. Plans call for it to be restored and returned to its original location after the Bunker Hill project is completed. The one-block line started service on Dec. 1, 1909 between Hill and Olive Streets on Third Avenue. The fare remained at its original 5i throughout 60 of the best bargains around.

THE DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN finally received ICC permission to discontinue all of its narrow gauge operations with the exception of the Durango - Silverton passenger run. The railroad must now provide service to its customers on its motor transport service at rail rates. Scrap value of the line is 1.3 million dollars, but a Colorado-New Mexico bi-state authority or the US Park Service are possible contenders for the line, if the D&RGW is willing to sell it. The last train to run on the Antonito to Durango line was Dec. 5, 1968. This Information was from issue #58 of the Iron Horse News available free from the Colorado Railway Museum. To obtain a subscription, send six business size envelopes, self-addressed, to Iron Horse News, Box 641, Golden, Colorado 80401. Another best bargain around!

THREE 'NEW' UNION PACIFIC CARS have arrived at the Santa Fe depot. Joining PSRMA car 576 and Jack Stodelle's private collection are cars 5110, a dormortory kitchen: 5111, a dlner; and 6205, a club lounge. They were built in 1953, 1953, and 1949 respectively and were remodeled by UP at Omaha in 1959. These cars were used together on the City of Denver until July 1968. They were purchased by used car dealer Sailor Main who wants to resell them for $25,000.