my ESPEE MODELERS ARCHIVE
California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996
Southern Pacific GP9
247 units delivered
SP received their first GP9's for freight service (#5604-5621) beginning January of 1955. These 'Phase II' GP9's also debuted the trademark -- classic! -- SP five light package both front and rear, the passenger GP's had the large dual purpose 'Ash can' or 'beer barrel' signal light. These and most of the subsequent orders were delivered in Black Widow paint.
These GP9's were used on fast merchandise trains on the Coast Line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. One train they were used on was the 'Zipper', photo's appearing in John Signor's Coast Line book on pages 183 and 193.
The next order was for 94 of a 104 order, the other 10 going to TNO, delivered starting February of 1956, these were numbered after a 4 unit passenger order, ie. #5626-5719. Built to the same specs. as the previous order, apparently 25 were converted to dual fuel and ATS (Automatic Train Stop) for service out of Roseville over the Sierras; the rest went to central California.
The 3 ALCo RS11 demonstrators, plus an order for another 7 more, filled the number series until the next order of GP9's.
SP went back for more GP9's in 1956, with #5730-5799 being delivered February of 1957, continuing through to April 1957. Externally these looked the same as previous orders, but internally they had electrical improvements.
1959 saw the delivery of yet more GP9's, with #5800-5844 coming in February, these units were delivered in the 'new' blood nose paint, and were the first 'Phase III' units with 48" fans, among other changes.
SP's last order of GP9's #5872-5891, were delivered in August and September of 1959. These Phase III units came with low noses, 48" fans, and painted blood nose. These were among the 'last' GP9's built by EMD for a US customer, and (despite persistent rumors to the contrary), were the only order of low-nose GP9's built for a major Railroad. GMD in Canada continued building GP9's until 1963.
Note: The Phase designation system has been attributed to the railfan magazine Extra 2200 South; as a system of identifying details and differences important to modelers...
In the 1965 renumbering, all SP/SSW/TNO GP9's were renumbered into one system, in roughly the order they were delivered in. SP freight units starting at 3441 through to 3727, with the TNO and SSW GP9's added in where appropriate. Many received new numbers while still in Black Widow paint.
Starting in 1970 with #3424 all existing GP9's were rebuilt into GP9E's and GP9R's.
see the SP GP9 Overview for Magazine/Book References and available models.
Additional N Scale Model Info supplied by John Barnhill
Additional information re: last units built, courtesy Ed Cooper.
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This document prepared and maintained by Richard.A.Percy.
All Corrections, Additions and Flames should be aimed at Richard Percy email@example.com
This document © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. Richard.A.Percy