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Southern Pacific 4449 World Fair Daylight Chase 5/84

by Chris Guenzler

With the Southern Pacific 4449 going to pull the World Fair Daylight from Portland to New Orleans I tried to get tickets for the San Francisco to Los Angeles segment over the Tehachapi Mountains and the famed loop. That did not work out so I got tickets on the return for the segment from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Bill and I decided to photograph the Southern Pacific 4449 over the Tehachapi Mountains, across the Antelope Valley then down Soledad Canyon. Two days later we would then photographer the Southern Pacific 4449 heading east out of the Los Angeles Basin into the Low Desert. The Saturday before Bill and I went to the Tehachapi Mountains to check out photo locations as we always go for quality shots over volume shots.

Southern Pacific 4449 North of Bakersfield to Los Angeles 5/12//84

Bill picked me up early and we drove over the Grapevine to Bakersfield then north to Saco on the railroad where we patiently waited. The Southern Pacific 4449 came speeding by minus it's Auxiliary Tender which I learned later had been set out at Mountain View. It made for a very realistic Daylight looking train complete with 52 in it's number boards.

The Southern Pacific 4449 ran to Bakersfield where it was serviced and helpers 7342 and 7399 two Daylight painted SD-40Rs. We headed to our spot below the Tehachapi Loop to wait for the train. The shot was tight and when we went to leave, the gate to the 58 Freeway was open which got us chasing right away. We saw the Southern Pacific 4449 go around the Loop from the Freeway then easily got to Cable for our next picture.

Back on to Highway 58 and with the Southern Pacific 4449 stopping in Tehachapi for water , we went ahead to Cameron and had another helpers on the point runby, We ran towards Mojave but traffic started to back up. Bill being the quick thinking excellent driver he is, found a dirt road, crossed the tracks and ran south along the Mojave Yard.

They cut the helpers off which allowed us to get a shot of Southern Pacific 4449 leaving Mojave.

Bill then got us back onto Highway 14 and I took this picture as the Southern Pacific 4449 climbed Ansil Hill.

Now back to our plan, we took CA 14 to Avenue S in Palmdale where there is a nice little hill overlooking an S curve.

We returned to CA 14 and as we neared Vincent Hill Summit the Southern Pacific 4449 slowed to 14 MPH as it had tried to climb Vincent Grade without a helper. The Southern Pacific 4449 cut the booster in and made the grade unassisted.

After a great railroading moment, we returned to CA 14 avoiding Soledad Canyon Road to the canyon's west end. We exited at Sand Canyon Road and found this next location for our next picture.

We heard they were going to do a photo runby but we left that for the passengers on the train. Bill and I instead went to Burbank Junction getting to see the Coast Starlight pass through before the Southern Pacific 4449 came in the last light of the day.

Southern Pacific 4449 east of Los Angeles 5/15//84

The morning began with Bill doing an outstanding job of driving through the Rush Hour traffic to get us west of the El Monte Trench for our first picture of the day.

The Southern Pacific 4449 had the Auxiliary Tender back in the consist.

We managed to get onto Interstate 10 to Pomona where we got a shot off the Humane Way Bridge. Back on the Interstate 10, we made our way east to Etiwanda Avenue and beat the Southern Pacific 4449 there by a few minutes.

Heading east on the 10 again, we made it to Pepper Street in Colton for this view.

They did a photo runby at the Santa Ana River Bridge, which gave Bill and I plenty of time to get to Mountain Avenue Bridge over the Southern Pacific mainline for this view with four dirty T-2s added to the point.

We took Interstate 10 over to Beaumont and made it to Cabazon for another helper on the point picture. Hearing on the Scanner that the helpers would come off at Garnet, we headed into the tree lined right away east of there for our next shot. A VW Bug was racing the 4449 at this point.

Back on the Interstate to Indio and while the 4449 was watered there, we headed to Ferrum, our final photo location of the day. Here is a coming and going picture at Ferrum.

To read about my westward trip on the World Fair Daylight click on the link below.

4449 West

Southern Pacific 4449 Leaving Los Angeles for Portland 6/19/84

Here are a few pictures I took at Union Station on that morning the World Fair Daylight left Los Angeles.

The train was beautiful in the early morning light. I returned home after that.