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Southern Pacific SD40R #7342

Yellowbird images from Bob Dengler and the Gary Hall collection.

Daylight images from Rob Sarberenyi, Frank Keller, Kevin Stevens and Dan Furtado.


In early 1980, SP started to rebuild the 1966 and 1968 delivered 8400 series SD40's, the first SD40R released being 7300 in June 1980. The rebuilds continued through to August 1981, when 7385 was released.

Meanwhile back in late 1980, 7342 was released in an experimental paint scheme, based loosely on the Daylight scheme.

When it was first painted the paint separation between the orange and gray was actually down the center of the roof as above. This model appeared on eBay and generated a lot of discussion as to its accuracy. It is accurate and was not liked by Management, so was sent back to be repainted as below, prototype photos will hopefully be forthcoming. Anecdotally, it did operate in the above scheme before being repainted - again, hopefully photos may appear.

right hand side three quarter roster shot of #7342 in Yellowbird paint at Oakland, CA. from the collection of Gary Hall left hand side three quarter roster shot of #7342 in Yellowbird paint at Oakland, CA. from the collection of Gary Hall
(C) 1981 Bob Dengler - right hand side three quarter roster shot of #7342 in Yellowbird paint at Roseville, CA. (C) 1980 Bob Dengler - left hand side three quarter roster shot of #7342 in Yellowbird paint at Roseville, CA.

As released, the unit was predominantly Daylight Orange, the front of the nose, and the rear of the long hood were Red, more likely to be SP Scarlet than Daylight Red.

A Standard red wing with 'feathers' appeared on the right hand side of the nose, but the left hand side had a solid red wing.

The lettering and cabside number on the left hand side was red, on the right hand side the lettering was white, on both sides the lettering was stacked, Pacific under Southern, rather than all in one line. A white Gothic SP was applied to the front of the nose.

The truck sideframes, fuel tank, pilots, snowplow and side sill appear to be painted a very dark gray, SP Lark Gray? as well as the top of the long hood, cab roof and the side of the long hood down to a point parallel with the bottom of the dynamic brake blister.

The step wells were Daylight Orange, and the vertical part of the stepwell handrails were white to the first stanchion.

Image of SP SD40R in Daylight paint, Copyright Rob Sarberenyi 1986, 1997 left hand side three quarter shot of #7342 in Daylight paint as last unit on a pig train at West Colton, CA. from the collection of Gary Hall
Image of SP SD40R in Daylight paint, Copyright Frank Keller 1986, 1999. Take note in this image of #7342; of the two engine room vents each side of the dynamic brake fans... Image of SP SD40R in Daylight paint, Copyright Dan Furtado 1986

Here are a couple of References for this version:

  • SP Dieselization by Garmany has a photo of the left hand side of SD40R 7342, on page 391, dated Feb 1981, showing the full orange long hood, and the red stacked lettering, it also has the red wing 'shape' on the nose, no feathers?
  • Railfan & Railroad May 1981 page 2 shows a right hand side shot of 7342, dated Dec 1980, showing the full orange long hood, white stacked lettering, and feathers in the red wing.

7342 was later painted to match SP 7399, which had been released in Nov 1981.

This was closer to the Daylight paint we all know. SP Scarlet and Daylight Orange long hood, with a black roof, trucks, fuel tank, pilots and plows.

The entire nose was painted all red, including the top, the sides and the front.

Lettering on both sides was white and remained stacked, rather than 7399's all in one line lettering.

Here are a couple of References for this version:

  • Rail Classics November 1982, pages 38,39 has an undated photo of the rhs of 7342, in the red/orange paint. white lettering, full red nose.
  • SP Motive Power Annual 1983-85 by Joe Strapac, page 115, black and white photo of 7342 coupled to 7347 waiting for returning Louisiana Daylight (4449) in 1984.
  • SP Motive Power Pictorial 1987/88 page 29 has a photo of the right hand side of 7342, dated June 1988 ?, in the later red/orange paint. The nose is fully red ie. no wings.

Further References:

  • Railfan & Railroad Sept. 1984 and Trains magazine Oct. 1984, both had article's on the 1984 Louisiana Daylight, with color photo's of both units.
© Kevin Stevens - 7342 and 7399 at Bakersfield ready to help the 1984 Louisiana Daylight over the Tehachapi's.
Shown here is the difference in lettering.
(C) kevin_stevens - 7342 and 7399 at Bakersfield ready to help the 1984 Louisiana Daylight over the Tehachapi's
7342 at Taylor Yard, CA. - 3/98 Long since repainted back into standard SP scarlet and gray; #7342 was found in the deadline at Taylor Yard, CA. in March of 1998.

The Daylights

SP SD40R Info page




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All Corrections, Additions and Flames should be aimed at Richard Percy espee@railfan.net
This document © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. Richard.A.Percy

24/3/2007