California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific

#137 Dynamometer Car

Some information has been compiled from postings to the SP Mailing list.

Delivered in 1926, it was built by Standard Steel Car Co. with dynamometer equipment provided by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

For more information on #137, please refer to the article in the SPH&TS Trainline No.64 Summer 2000 issue.

Initially painted SP Olive Green with a black roof and Dulux Gold lettering, it was repainted in two-tone gray mid 1957 and solid gray late 1961.

#137's crew car from 1951 to 1953 was a 72 seat 60-C-4 Coach built in 1911 and originally numbered CP #2300. It was converted to an instrument car to travel with #137 for a series of steam power tests obviously ending in 1953 it retained the same number but lettered SP by then. It was then renumbered #2318 in 1953 and placed in the crew car pool and finally retired in 1954. Modifications were mostly internal with the only external addition being a large cylindrical water placed under the car. Internally it received work tables, bunks and a shower. It was also known as a 'wide window' car, most windows being 4' 3¼" wide.

Later (1968) an ex 4-4-2 sleeper #9110 was modified by Oakland Shops to a crew car and numbered #138. This was a Pullman-Standard Plan 4069H 4 Compartment/4 Double Bedroom/2 Drawing Room Sleeping Car built in 1942.

SP #137 traveled all over the SP system testing not only locomotive performance, but also freight car characteristics, anyone can easily justify owning and running a model. Either spliced into (or right behind), a consist of locomotives gathering performance data, or between or at the end of a string of freight cars gathering freight car data or measuring buffing forces.

SP #137 is preserved at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

Model Dynamometer Info Page


  • Kyle Wyatt
  • Ron Boham
  • Ken Harrison
  • Timothy O'Connor
  • Tony Thompson


  • Model Railroader July 1944 - article with scale plans (prototype dimensions)
  • SPH&TS Trainline No.64 Summer 2000, pages 15-22 (floorplan)
  • Southern Pacific Passenger Cars Volume.1 Coaches and Chair Cars - by The Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society
  • Southern Pacific Passenger Cars Volume.2 Sleepers and Baggage-Dorms - by The Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society

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