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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific E-9

6046 - 6054

9 units delivered

6046 6047 6048 6049
6050 6051 6052 6053 6054

One of the Black Widow painted E9's

There is - for modelers - for all intents and purposes, no external differences (other than RR options) between E-8's and E-9's. The differences were mostly mechanical, stronger traction motors, more powerful engines and larger steam generators.

A model of an E-8, is therefore quite acceptable as a stand-in for the E-9.

In a final bid to rid steam from all passenger operations, SP bought nine E-9A's in 1954, this allowed the dieselization of the Coast Line, the San Joaquin passenger and mail routes, and miscellaneous other trains. These units would have operated with E-7B's and PA's as required.

Delivered in Daylight paint, with Farr-Aire intake grilles, nose MU connections Nathan M-5 chimes and freight pilots, changes over the years appear to be minimal.

Some units received plow pilots, eg. 6048, 6049, 6053, and perhaps others. All seemed to get two extra vents beside the middle doors, that look to be similar to F9 carbody louvers. As well the skirting between the fuel tank and carbody, started to disappear later in their life.

All units received red/gray paint starting late 1958.

Some of the more 'outstanding' changes are:

  • 6048 and 6050 received full Black Widow paint in 1958, but only wore it for a short time.
  • 6048 also received an F7 nose in 1967, complete with F7 numberboards.
  • 6051 was painted in the Halloween paint - this likely didn't last very long at all...
  • 6052 was given a set of UP style 'airfoils' over the winterization hatch - Utah Pacific 83.

No E-9's were renumbered in the systemwide renumbering of 1965.

One E-9 has been preserved, and repainted into Daylight paint.

Image of SP E-9 #6051, as preserved in Daylight paint, © Dave Henry 1992


  • Kalmbach's Diesel Locomotives Cyclopedia Vol-2 page 76 E8/9A/E8/9B plans, no SP photo's.
  • SP Dieselization by John Bonds Garmany
  • Extra 2200 South Issue 59, Jan/Feb/Mar 1977 - 1976 SP Roster Part VI
  • SP Motive Power Annual 1972 - Passenger E-Units article.
  • SP Historic Diesels Vol.3 E-Units and Pass. F's

Information for this page was also contributed by Tony Thompson and Tom Jones III.

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