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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific
'Cab - Forward'
Class AC-8

28 units built

4177 4178 4179
4180 4181 4182 4183 4184 4185 4186 4187 4188 4189
4190 4191 4192 4193 4194 4195 4196 4197 4198 4199
4200 4201 4202 4203 4204

(C) A.F Bostwick - date and location unknown

© A.F Bostwick - date and location unknown

Text to follow...

4199 suffered a boiler explosion on May 3, 1941 at Cooper, California.

The details of the incident are in the 13th Annual Report of the Director, Bureau of Locomotive Inspection issued 30th June 1941. This info and three more photos are courtesy Ray State.

3 photos from Van Overhouse.

3 more photos from Ray State.

The force of the explosion tore the boiler from the running gear and it was hurled forward and alighted in reverse position (ie turned completely over), striking the smokestack, feed water heater and front dome on the outer rail of an adjacent siding. It then rolled to the left and came to rest in an upright position 107ft ahead and 40ft to the left of the point of explosion. Parts of the wreckage were blown for various distances up to 562ft from the point of explosion. This shows the running gear and tender after the explosion of the boiler shown in Plate 4. The front driving wheel is resting on part of the crown sheet which together with parts of the firebox casing sheets and right and left firebox side sheets was blown from the back end of the boiler and came to rest on the track 491ft forward of the point of explosion The main frame is broken forward of the front driving wheel. This shows part of the casing or outside sheets of the firebox after the explosion of the boiler shown in Plate 4. These parts estimated to weigh between 14000 and 16000lbs were blown 324ft diagonally forward and 288ft to right of the track.


  • A Century of SP Steam Locomotives - Guy L. Dunscomb
  • SP Co. Steam Locomotive Compendium - Diebert & Strapac
  • Cab-Forward - Robert J. Church
  • Cab-In-Front (The Half Century Story of An Unconventional Locomotive) - John.B.Hungerford © 1959
    • reprinted by PFM 1974

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