Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cool Chromes -- My First California Trip (Part 3 - SP 4449 Edition)

Cool Chromes is a semi-regular feature where we look at slides that have recently passed through the scanner.
Southern Pacific 4449; Klamath Falls, Ore.; April 28, 1991
In the last couple of editions of Cool Chromes we have been looking at my first trip ever to railroad heaven -- also known as California -- in April and May 1991. In the first round we looked at some random images from around the Golden State, while in the second round we concentrated on the Santa Fe Railway. The reason I had ventured to California was to visit RailFair at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. As part of the festivities, a few guest locomotives were being brought in.. One of those locomotives was Southern Pacific "Daylight" 4-8-4 No. 4449. This would be my first encounter with the 4449 and it instantly became one of my all-time favorite locomotives. In this post we'll chase the second day of 4449's journey to Sacramento (the first day took it from its home base of Portland, Ore., to Klamath Falls) on April 28, 1991. We pick up the train on a misty morning just north of the California border in Klamath Falls, Ore. (above).

Next up, we catch the train just as it's departing Klamath Falls. The skies were still cloudy as the train headed southward.
Southern Pacific 4449; Klamath Falls, Ore.; April 28, 1991
At Black Butte, Calif., the train would get a pair of diesels put on the point to assist with braking down the mountains. Southern Pacific provided squeaky clean GP40R's 7112 and 7113 to assist the train. We next see the train leaving Black Butte.
Southern Pacific; Black Butte, Calif.; April 28, 1991
The diesels would be cut off at Lakehead, but just before arriving there the train popped out of a tunnel and onto a massive bridge near the north end of Shasta Lake.
Southern Pacific; Lakehead, Calif.; April 28, 1991
Once again running unassisted, the Daylight entered the flatlands, passing the massive elevator at Biggs. The matched orange and red consist made for one of the most beautiful trains top oprate anywhere in the U.S. in quite some time.
Southern Pacific 4449; Biggs, Calif.; April 28, 1991
Finally on the outskirts of Sacramento, the train crossed the American River and circled past Elvas Tower. Many years later the tower was dismantled and moved for eventual reconstruction (at least partially) at the California State Railroad Museum. When the tower was moved, it was said that "the building has left Elvas."
Southern Pacific 4449; Elvas Tower, Sacramento, Calif.; April 28, 1991

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The interlocking controls at Elvas were removed, but the Tower was demolished. They felt it would be too expensive/intensive to transport the tower five miles west to the museum facilities.

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