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Southern Pacific Snowfighting Equipment Southern Pacific Snowfighting Equipment


Original 6 Locomotives

    Southern Pacific originally modified 6 GP38-2's to replace the SD9Es in snow service. They were units 4809, 4817, 4839, 4840, 4841 and 4843. All were modified with Icicle breakers, heated horns, grating on the front windows, snow shields, rotating windows and Blomberg "B" trucks, replacing the as delivered "M" trucks. These engines were also wired to allow a conductor to remotely operate flangers. All were conveyed to Union Pacific after the merge, and continue in snow service.

SP # UP # Built Serial Notes
4809 572 5/80 786272-10 None
4817 580 5/80 786272-18 None
4839 602 6/80 786272-40 None
4840 604 6/80 786272-41 None
4841 600 6/80 786272-42 None
4843 606 7/80 786272-44 None




Union Pacific Locomotives

    After the 1996 merger, UP took control of all the equipment. Originally, all 6 units were kept in snow service. UP removed 606 (SP 4843) at some point from this service and made it into an RC engine. UP modified 585 (SP 4822) to take its place, at some point before 2005. UP then modified 605 (SP 4844) in 2011 for an addition snow service engine. Yet again, UP added another engine to the snow service fleet, UP 569, also in 2011. This engine has all the above mentioned features as well as a new design of icicle breaker which are also being retrofitted to the older engines, It appears these breakers are power operated, either by air or electric. They also began to move the horns to the middle of the hood. Starting around 2009 UP converted several other former SP GP38-2s into snow service as trailing engines by adding snow shields and addition of Blomberg "B" trucks. In 2012 UP added 609 to the snow service fleet as well as a lead engine.

UP # SP # Built Serial Notes
569 4805 7/80 786272-6 This engine was modified by UP (2012) to be added to the snow fleet (post SP), New icicle Breakers.
572 4809 5/80 786272-10 New icicle Breakers
580 4817 5/80 786272-18 New icicle Breakers. All weather windows added.
585 4822 7/80 786272-23 Replaced 4843, has new style icicle breakers.
600 4841 6/80 786272-42 New icicle Breakers
602 4839 6/80 786272-40 New icicle Breakers. All weather windows added.
604 4840 6/80 786272-41 Lacked snow shields for several years. Reinstalled around 2010. New icicle Breakers
605 4844 7/80 786272-45 This engine was modified by UP (2011) to be added to the snow fleet (post SP), New icicle Breakers.
606 4843 7/80 786272-44 Unit was removed from snow service by UP at some point and stripped of its appliances.
609 4842 7/80 786272-43 This engine was modified by UP (2012) to be added to the snow fleet (post SP), New icicle Breakers.
566 4802 5/80 786272-3 Trailing engine
567 4803 5/80 786272-4 Trailing engine
574 4811 5/80 786272-12 Trailing engine
575 4812 5/80 786272-13 Trailing engine
576 4813 5/80 786272-14 Trailing engine
583 4820 5/80 786272-21 Trailing engine
587 4824 5/80 786272-25 Trailing engine
589 4826 6/80 786272-27 Trailing engine
590 4827 6/80 786272-28 Trailing engine




Flangers

    Southern Pacific built its current fleet of flangers based on the original design out of the early 1900's. The modern ones all seem to be built around 1938 or so. These featured a small cabin on one end, leaving the blade mechanism exposed. In the 1950s these were rebuilt with a wood body covering the entire car. Again in 1971, they were rebuilt with steel sides. During all of these rebuilds the blade mechanism was never changed. The flangers were wired so they could be controlled from the leading locomotive. In 2004 Union Pacific began to upgrade the flanger fleet. The original pair were sent to Coast Engine and Equipment Co. in Washington. The rebuilds featured new trucks, couplers, windows, lighting and other simple upgrades as well as new Yellow paint. Another batch was sent in 2006 to have the same work done. These emerged with small generators in the carbody as well. The rest of the fleet was upgraded as well by various sources (noted below). In 2010, 325 was rebuilt by the Rosevlle shops after being rebuilt by a contractor in Tracy, CA. It emerged in new Orange paint, with am all weather window on the side. Inside, they were redone with new flooring, insulation, etc. Their is currently another in the shops getting the same treatment, but it is yellow. I assume the work performed by CEECo was not up to high enough standards. Note that this is not a complete roster of flangers, just those that are still around.

# Assigned/location Notes
SPMW 316 Oakridge, OR Steel sheathed, Never rebuild in the 1971 program. Appears to be stored.
SPMW 318 Retired Never rebuilt in 1971, Bay window side. Donated 1981 to CSRM-Sacramento, CA
SPMW 319 Dunsmuir, CA Rebuilt 1971 to steel sided. Rebuilt Winter 2004 by CEECo. Named "Winter Professionals".
SPMW 320 Roseville, CA Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt Winter 2006 by CEECo.
SPMW 321 LaGrande, OR Never rebuild in the 1971 program. Reconditioned 2008 by UP in house.
SPMW 322 Retired Never rebuilt in 1971. Donated 2001 to Train Mountain-Chiloquin, OR
SPMW 323 Klamath Falls, OR Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt 2009 by UP in house.
SPMW 324 Roseville, CA Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt Winter 2004 by CEECo. Named "Snow Fighters". Rebuilt again in 2011 by Roseville Shops, all weather window added, name removed.
SPMW 325 Roseville, CA Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt Spring 2006 in Tracy, CA. Rebuilt again in 2011 by Roseville Shops, all weather window added.
SPMW 326 Roseville, CA Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt 2006 by CEECo. Rebuilt again in 2013 by Roseville Shops, all weather window added.
SPMW 328 Retired Never rebuilt in 1971. Donated 1981 to PNWC-NRHS-Brooks, OR
SPMW 329 Oakridge,OR Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt 2009 by UP in house.
SPMW 330 Retired Never rebuilt in 1971. Donated 1981 to SOC-NRHS-Medford, OR
SPMW 331 Roseville, CA Rebuilt 1971 to steel. Rebuilt 2006 by CEECo.




Jordan Spreaders

    Jordan Spreaders have been one of the main snow removal tools on Donner since their inception in the early 1900s. I am not including a roster of all of SP's Jordans over the years. The following list is solely what is currently in service today for UP on the West Coast, as their are still several SP Jordans that were not built for snow service in use throughout the system. SP started out in the 1960s with Three of Jordans new models, the Type J, which is an all new, all hydraulic machine. The spreaders were delivered with medium height front blades, and 2 were broken wing machines (4030, 4033), one straight wing (4034). Southern Pacific continually upgraded these machines for snow work, including an extended crew cab, rotating front windows, control stands, heaters, etc. In 2009 UP contracted with Thunder Machine Works , who in turn used NMI Industrial, and rebuilt a new pair of spreaders, 4031 and 4032. These were never snow duty spreaders. 4032 was rebuilt from a UP spreader, 903031. The rebuilds were from the ground up, with new everything. Cabs, crew cabs, trucks, generators, were all new. The following spring, 4030 and 4034 were sent for the same treatment. Since then, UP has been sending a pair each year for upgrading from their own original UP fleet.

To learn more about Jordan Spreaders see the following link:
Jordan Spreader Information

# Built Type Assigned/location Notes
4030 1/62 J Truckee, CA SP added crew cab. Rebuilt in 2010 by NMI INdustrial.
4031 1974 J Truckee, CA SN 1431. Rebuilt in 2009-10 by NMI INdustrial/Thunder Machine Works.
4032 1970s J Truckee, CA Former UP 903031. Rebuilt in 2009-10 by NMI INdustrial/Thunder Machine Works. New Everything.
4033 1960s J Oakridge, OR SN 908. SP added additional crew cab. Rebuilt by NMI Industrial in 2012.
4034 9-62 J Truckee, CA SP added crew cab. Rebuilt in 2010 by NMI INdustrial.
8001 1974 J Klamath Falls, OR None




Rotary Snowplows

    Like most other railroads of the era, Southern Pacific found the rotary’s to be an essential part of snowfighing duty. There are enough resources that document their steam era, so I will jump right into the diesel era. SP converted their first plow, 7205 to electric operation in 1958. The blades were powered by a set of 4 traction motors on a pair of shafts, feeding a large central gear. This gear in turn spun the main shaft. Also inside the carbody was a steam generator, used for keeping vital components (antenna, wing hinges, windows, etc) thawed out. The rotary’s were able to control the pushing units with their own control stands inside. Originally the rotarys were powered by a trailing EMD F unit. In the 1970s SP began a program to convert retired F7Bs into dedicated rotary power units. The side panels were replaced by welded sheet metal, steam lines ran around the radiator fans to keep them thawed as well as removal of the traction motors. SP planned to do them for the entire fleet, but the program was canceled. 4 units were completed, and another was almost finished, which is now at CSRM. In March of 2012, UP sent SPMW 207, and B unit 8207, to Albia, Iowa, to be rebuilt. The rebuild includes a new carbody, windows, controls, all new traction motors, lights, roller bearing shafts, heat, steam generator, as well as many other upgrades. The B unit was completely repowered with a new 645 engine, generator, cooling equipment and electrical gear. The pair finally returned in November of 2013, and final outfitting finished in February 2014. The rotary was moved East on flatcar KRL 152, and West on QTTX 130503. The B unit moved on its own wheels.

# Built Serial Builder Status Location Previous Numbers Converted Notes
205 11/1920 56591 Alco-Cooke Retired Sacramento, CA 715 (1st), 706 (2nd), 7205 (3rd) 1958 Retired and donated by UP to CSRM in 2005. Last used 1967? No wings. Assigned to Sparks, NV until 1994, re-assigned Truckee, CA in 1999.
206 3/1925 65440 Alco-Cooke Retired Chiloquin, OR 709 (1st), 710 (2nd), 7206 (3rd) 1958 Retired and donated by UP to Train Mountain in 2001. Last used 1982?. Wide wings. Last Assigned to Eugene, OR.
207 10/1926 67038 Alco-Brooks OOS Roseville, CA 708 (1st), 711 (2nd), 7207 (3rd) 1967 Last used 1995? Rebuilt by Relco, 2012-13. Assigned to Roseville, CA.
208 9/1927 67429 Alco-Brooks Retired Portola, CA 707 (1st), 712 (2nd), 7208 (3rd) 1969 Donated to WPRRM 2005. Last steam rotary SP used. No wings. Last used 1982 with SD9 4319. Assigned to Roseville, CA, reassigned to Sparks, NV by 1994. Reassigned to Truckee, CA in 1999.
209 9/1929 68038 Alco-Brooks Active Roseville, CA 706 (1st), 713 (2nd), 7209 (3rd) 1968 Last used 2011. Wide wing. Assigned to Roseville, CA.
210 3/1925 69019 Alco-Schenectady Retired Truckee, CA 7210 (3rd) 1958 Last used 1973. No wings. Donated to CSRM in 1983. Donated to Truckee Donner RR Soc. in 2008. Last Assigned to Sparks, NV.
211 10/1937 69020 Alco-Schenectady Active Roseville, CA 7211(1st) 1958 Last used 2011. Wide wing. Assigned to Roseville, CA.
221 11/1922 58143 Alco-Cooke Active Roseville, CA 7211(1st) 1966 Last used 1998?. Wide wing. Assigned to Roseville, CA.
222 11/1923 65353 Alco-Cooke OOS Roseville, CA 718 (1st), 709 (2nd), 7222 (3rd) 1958 Stored OOS in Roseville, wide wings. Last used? Once assigned to Klamath Falls, CA.
8205 6/49 7136 EMD SP 6145B (1st) SP 8090 (2nd) Never Set aside to be converted 1970, but was never completed.
8206 6/49 7143 EMD SP 6148C (1st) SP 8097 (2nd) SP/TNO 541 (3rd) Never Set aside to be converted 1970, but was never completed.
8207 2/1953 18146 EMD Active Roseville, CA SP 8299 1970 Rebuilt 2012-13 by Relco, with SPMW 207.
8208 12/1952 17223 EMD Active Roseville, CA SP/TNO 545 1970 w/ Rotary 209
8209 6/1949 7134 EMD Retired Sacramento, CA SP 6144B (1st), SP 8088 (2nd), TNO 540(3rd) 1970 Was never finished, now at CSRM, Supposed to be Scrapped.
8211 2/1953 18161 EMD Active Roseville, CA SP 8291 1970 w/ Rotary 211
8221 2/1953 18150 EMD Retired Portola, CA SP 8300 1970? w/ Rotary 208. Donated by UP in 2005 to WPRRM
8222 12/19523 17222 EMD SP/TNO 554 Never Set aside to be converted 1970, but was never completed.




Snow Service SD9E

    Before the GP38-2's took over the snow duty, a fleet of SD9E's were converted for use. These engines had all of the same features outlined in the GP38-2 chapter such as icicle breakers and rotating windows (on some). The following table outlines the units that were converted for snow service. Note that they are in no particular order. The SD9E snow fleet was phased out in the late 1980s with the arrival of the converted GP38-2's. Original numbers for these will be added at a later date.

SP # Built Serial Notes
4305 5/54 19459 None
4317 4/55 19984 None
4319 1/55 20223 None
4338 unkw unkw None
4343 3/55 19944 None
4348 unkw unkw None
4349 2/55 19931 None
4350 unkw unkw None
4364 unkw unkw None
4372 5/55 20211 None
4373 5/55 20215 None
4389 3/55 19954 None
4427 unkw unkw None
4438 2/55 19938 None
4450 unkw unkw None
4451 4/54 19452 None




    Most of this information is compiled from locomtoive footnotes on various pages (RR Picture Archives, The Diesel Shop), as well as first hand research. Rotary roster information is from G. M. Bests book "Snowplow", of course updated to current status. Info on the B units is from Andrew Toppan's online roster (A great tool, but severly out of date at this point).

    At some point in the near future, I would like to add the Rotary consits as well as photos.

    This page is still very much a work in progress. Last update 2/23/14