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

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'Queen Mary'

SP's oldest diesel locomotive

Born November 1937 - died July 1966

E2ABB SF-1 to SF-3 Joe Strapac collection

SP's first 'fully owned' diesel locomotive, was SW1 #1000, SP taking possession April 1st 1939.

However their oldest diesel locomotive, was originally an E-2A #SF-1.

The first City of San Francisco Streamliner was a joint SP/UP/C&NW owned, articulated train, usually known as M-10004. There was also a City of Los Angeles M-10002.

SP, UP and C&NW replaced the original City of San Francisco articulated Streamliner with a new train in 1938. This new City of San Francisco Streamliner, was powered by an E-2A SF-1, and two E-2B's, SF-2 and SF-3, and made up of individual passenger cars manufactured by Pullman.

The City of San Francisco trains left from Oakland Pier, and the departure days were known as 'sailing dates', hence I guess the nickname later acquired by E-2A SF-1 - 'Queen Mary'.

In it's original guise, as an E-2A, SF-1 (and E-2B's, SF-2 and SF-3) had two Winton 201A engines, each developing 900hp, for a total of 5400hp for the three unit 'set'. They all had the distinctive porthole windows in the side of the carbody, and were painted in UP's yellow and grey with red trim.

SF-1, SF-2 and SF-3 were damaged in the 'infamous', 1939 derailment of the City of San Francisco Streamliner into Humboldt Creek, Nevada, and were rebuilt in kind in SP's Ogden Shops.

Demand for space on the City of San Francisco, was so great that another train set was commissioned, and in 1941 a second CoSF entered service, powered by EMD E-6A SF-4, and two E-6B's SF-5 and SF-6.

Still demand was greater than supply, so a third CoSF set was built, this time powered by E-7A SF-7 and E7B's SF-8 and SF-9. This set entered service in 1946, and the CoSF went to tri-weekly.

By joint agreement of all owners (SP/UP/C&NW) all City diesels and cars were renumbered into the UP series in 1946. Later in 1948 they were renumbered again, with a 'J' denoting Joint ownership.

In 1948, the three partners dissolved the CoSF relationship, and due to SP's proportional one third share, SP received three of the Pool diesels, SF-1 an original E-2A, and two of the E-7B's, 986 BJ and 986 CJ.

Numbering History of CoSF diesel locos
No.BuiltModelHP19461948SP - 1948SP - 1949
SF-11937E-2A1800901A983JSP 6011ASP 6017
SF-21937E-2B1800902B983BJ to UP
SF-31937E-2B1800903B983CJ to UP
SF-41941E-6A2000904A985J to C&NW
SF-51941E-6B2000905B985BJ to UP
SF-61941E-6B2000906B985CJ to UP
SF-71946E-7A2000907A986J to UP
SF-81946E-7B2000908B986BJSP 6011BSP 5916
SF-91946E-7B2000909B986CJSP 6011CSP 5917
Source - SP Dieselization by Garmany

At some point in time, likely before SP ownership, SF-1 received a Mars signal light and larger train numberboards, while still painted in UP yellow and grey. Soon after being taken into SP ownership, all three were painted in Daylight colors. SF-1,SF-8 and SF-9 were originally renumbered 6011A,B,C under SP ownership in 1948 but was changed with the 1949 removal of letter suffixes as the above table. #6017 retained her E-2A heritage until 1953, when she was rebuilt with two 567B engines, and lost her long nose and distinctive portholes. After which she was for all intents and purposes an E-7A.

6011ABC Don Roberts photo Joe Strapac collection

SP 6017 was finally retired in 1966, and traded-in to EMD for new diesels and scrapped.

Model References:

  • No E-2A/B RTR models in any scale that I know of, only brass.
  • Although the E-2 was marginally shorter than the E-7/8/9's a kitbash is not beyond the realms of fantasy, the bulbous nose will present a challenge though.
  • Plans for the E-2A and B have appeared in Model Railroader Sep. 1973,
  • and Kalmbach's Diesel Cyc. Vol.2 page 64.
  • Plans for the E-6 appeared in Kalmbach's Diesel Cyc. Vol.2 page 71.
  • and Railroad Model Craftsman Jan. 1975 page 43 with an N Scale conversion article.
  • LifeLike has released an E-6A and in UP City paint
  • LifeLike also has E-7B's which are suitable for E-2B's to E7B's

Decals may be a problem!

see Southern Pacific E-7 Info Page for details of E-7's.

Information for this page was taken from SP Dieselization by John Bonds Garmany,
and Extra 2200 South Issue 59, Jan/Feb/Mar 1977 - 1976 SP Roster Part VI.

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