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Southern Pacific Krauss-Maffei ML 4000 9010 Debut Runs 7/20/2019

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up, checked E mail then loaded the car and went to MacDonald's for hot cakes and sausage. I gassed up before taking Interstate 205 West to Interstate 580 West to Interstate 680 South to CA 84 West to Niles Blvd and pulled into a parking lot near the Southern Pacific Niles station and parked.

The Southern Pacific Niles station.

The Southern Pacific searchlight signal.

Western Pacific bay window caboose 467.

This building has a model railroad museum.

A wig wag crossing signal.

A crossing gate. I went to Walmart to pick up a few items before I returned to the parking lot across the tracks then checked in and received a gift and my train ticket.

Event Information

The 11 year restoration work on No. 9010, the last survivor of 37 German-built Krauss-Maffei ML 4000 C'C' diesel-hydraulic locomotives in the United States and Brazil, is nearing completion, and will be mostly finished when the locomotive makes its official inaugural runs on July 20th.

The locomotive has undergone a complete cab rebuild, a re-fabrication of its hood and pilot, installation of a "new" used C-C rear truck repatriated from France and a restoration to its 1964 appearance. The engine is undergoing a complete rebuild of the top as well as installing a hydraulic pump to drive cooling fans.

This event is limited to 150 passengers for each event so we can do photo run-bys in Historic Niles Canyon on the final link of the Transcontinental Railroad, opened in September of 1869. Two excursions on July 20th with a Pre-boarding ceremony is at 9:00 a.m. First train will depart our Niles Station at 10:00 a.m. and the afternoon train departs at 1:30 p.m.

When the train arrives in Sunol, passengers can visit our Gift Shop, as well as visit the Depot freight room to see the Stanford University exhibit of historic photos and artifacts titled The Chinese and the Iron Road. This exhibit provides a visual understanding of the difficult work accomplished by the 12,000 Chinese laborers who built the railroad, and what became of these men after they connected the West. Of course, the photo opportunities will be abundant with the two locomotives in Sunol.

Plan to arrive early and check in at the ticket window at 9:30 a.m. to pick up your tickets and a special souvenir. The train will depart at 10:00 a.m. With your fare is a lunch prepared by the Niles Canyon Commissary team in the Niles Station Garden. Join the group for lunch at 1:00 p.m.

Our Trip

I got there and at 9:00 AM they started the pre-boarding ceremony.

My first view of the restored KML 4000 9010.

My second picture of the engine.

The restoration team.

The restoration team with their locomotive.

The crowd of railfans.

Two views of the engine and the Southern Pacific Niles station.

Our train we will be riding at 10:00 AM. The train consisted of KML 4000 9010, Southern Pacific Black Widow GP-9 5623, Southern Pacific Baggage Car 6719, Southern Pacific articulated coaches 2453 and 2454. I will be riding in the Coach 2454.

Southern Pacific Black Widow GP-9 5623. Next one of the crew members showed me and a friend the working engine.

The inside of the rear engine compartment.

The builder's plate. After that I was time to board so I led the way to the Coach 2454.

The inside of Coach 2454.

The Southern Pacific Niles station.

Looking south from the train.

The Southern Pacific Air Conditioner Covers which there was four in our coach.

The rear end of coach 2454. I went to the snack car for a free Coca-Cola which I took back to my seat.

The trip started so I went to the rear vestibule for a good picture. I was on new mileage until we got to the east switch of the wye. We went through Niles Canyon and stopped at the stairs. I was first off the train and led the way to the photo line at the top of the hill.

The photo scene. Once we were ready, the train started backing up.

The back up move.

Photo Runby 1. We all reboarded then backed two tenths of a mile to pick up our flag man.

The wig wag crossing signal at Brightside Yard.

Brightside Yard.

Southern Pacific NW-2 1195.

Southern Pacific SD-9 5472.

The front of the train.

We are at the east end of Brightside Yard.

Semaphore signals in Niles Canyon.

The view forward.

The semaphore signals at Sunol.

The Sunol station where the train took a twenty minute stop and I bought a T-shirt.

When the train left Sunol station I was on new rail mileage again until the photo runby. Now sit back and enjoy the views from the back of the train of my new rail miles.

The views along my new rail mileage.

Arroyo de La Laguna Creek bridge.

The views along my new rail mileage.

The interchange track with Union Pacific Railroad.

The final views along my new rail mileage. Most of us detrained and set up a photo line.

The Verona station sign.

The back up move.


Photo Runby 2. We reloaded the train and traveled back to Niles where back to Niles where the trip ended. It had been a unique railroad adventure and a big thank you to all the Niles Canyon Railroad staff. From here I drove down to Alum Rock for my next rail adventure.