3F7 - Square-Corner Access Doors and 36" Dynamic Brake Fans24
4F7 - Round-Corner Access Doors and 36" Dynamic Brake Fans40
5F7 - Round-Corner Access Doors and 48" Dynamic Brake Fans58
6T&NO F9M Locomotives (Class DF-14)76
7Cotton Belt FT Locomotives 80
8Cotton Belt F7 Locomotives86
9Customer Improvements and Modifications94
11Snowplow "Snail" F7B Locomotives102
12Visitors and Graduates 106
One of my earliest treats as a young railfan in the 1950s was being given a cab ride in F7 #6160. This story begins then, about the time the very last F7 was being delivered. Fifty years later, a few rusting F7B units remain on the rolls of SP's successor, held in reserve if the rotary snowplows are ever again called out. Museums in Connecticut, Galveston, San Francisco and Sacramento preserve others-units that we can hope to see operate again someday.
Meanwhile, the story of 770 Southern Pacific freight F-units remains to be told. The first arrived on the Cotton Belt during World War II, and over the next nine years SP bought hundreds. By the end of 1972, only four were left-to be written off in 1973. It has been more than thirty years since an F-unit has powered a Southern Pacific freight train.
Our front cover once again is an original watercolor painting by noted rail artist Ernie Towler, going back in time on the Tehachapi loop-when two F-powered freights met in the early 1950s. It's springtime, when the poppies and lupine are in bloom and the winter grass is still green.
The back cover images were made near the end of the F-unit era, after hundreds ofunits had alreadybeen retired. At the top, Norden, California, has the reputation of being the snowiest spot in North America. Technology changes, but the challenge remains: to move trains through a hostile environment. Former T&NO class DF-7 #6436, with white initials applied directly over the orange nose stripes, emerges from the snowshed at Norden on January 26, 1967. Credit photographer Gordon Glattenberg.
Below, even with two new SD40 units to assist, #6278 (and two F7B and two SD9 units) haze the Tehachapi air with run-eight effluent-the better to lift their train up and around the Loop. This heavy eastbound works toward Los Angeles on May 8, 1966 in an image provided by J. W. Swanberg.
On the title page, with green flags flying and dynamic brakes glowing with kinetic energy converted first to electricity and then to heat, the first section of eastbound freight #806 arrives at Mojave on an afternoon in 1952. Don Sims was there to capture the moment.
The image of Cotton Belt PA-1 #300 at the bottom of page 43 in Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 9, was scanned from a duplicate slide that has been in the author's collection since the early Eighties. After publication, it came to light that Al Chione had purchased the original slide from the actual photographer. Mr. Chione still owns the original image and merits credit as the collector of record.
Chapter 1 Introduction
The Southern Pacific, Cotton Belt and T&NO together owned 573 F7 locomotives, more than fifteen percent of the 3,849 that Electro-Motive built between November 1948 and December 1953. No other railroad had a fleet to compare; even the count of SP F3 units put its roster third in size behind Union Pacific and Southern in ownership of that model as well. Between 1949 and 1952, SP took delivery of F7s in batches of up to 112 per order.
PAINT AND LETTERING
Standard "Southern Pacific" lettering was always fifteen inches tall, with ten-inch side numbers. Black class lettering in the red stripe was two inches tall, while the "F' on each flank of the nose was 4* inches tall.
(1) Every new F3, F7, and FP7 was factory painted "black widow" colors of black, aluminum, orange and red. (Cotton Belt FTs were delivered in Confederate Gray and Yellow, but were all repainted to black widow by 1949-50.)
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