my ESPEE MODELERS ARCHIVE
California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996
|Black Widow #5623|
|Black Widow #5623's official website|
see also: the GP9 Detail photo collection
SP and subsidiary T&NO, both bought EMD GP9's with steam generators, and dual control stands, for passenger service on their respective lines.
see TNO pass GP page for information on these units.
At the cessation of passenger service on T&NO Lines, 4 dual control GP9's (#280-283) were transferred to Calif. and joined the commute fleet, renumbered #5892-5895.
The SP Geeps were delivered in Black Widow paint, and had the wings at both ends. The T&NO GP's #280-283 were also dual control units, so also had wings both ends when delivered in Black Widow.
The T&NO GP's #240-249 although delivered in Black Widow, were not dual control, so just had the more standard single wings only on the front.
SP GP's 5600-5603, and T&NO #240-249 and #280-283 were all delivered with the large Mars barrel signal light on both ends, SP #5622-5625 had the smaller round/oval Pyle signal light - eg: DA 1001.
The non-dynamic units SP #5622-5625 had roof-mounted air tanks, and these as well as SP #5600-5603 had a different pilot to the rest. Details West makes the appropriate part in HO Scale - DW 141. These were bought to haul The Del Monte a long distance commute train needing more fuel than a standard GP9 could carry.
Radio antenna where fitted was originally the wagon wheel type.
All look to have the Nathan P3 chime horn in the center of the cab roof, although the misnumbered #3422 (ex T&NO #283) had a 5 chime horn in a photo on page 20 of the 1973 SP Motive Power Annual
Steam generator stacks changed over the years, but most SP units originally had a round tall stack, later a lower more standard looking stack. T&NO units seemed to have the standard low stack, and some received other styles. Photo's are essential of particular units in your time period.
Fuel tank capacity also varied, 800, 1100 and 1200 gallons depending on unit. Later two were modified with 2 x 1200 gallon fuel tanks, 3008 and 3009, this meant the air tanks had to be placed between the frame and the fuel tank, similar to what would become standard on later GP's.
SP #5600-5603 received Halloween paint (black/orange ends) from ~1958 to ~1961.
All units received red and scarlet paint (eventually...) those with dual controls, getting wings both ends.
The large Mars signal light equipped units eventually lost this feature, not sure when, possibly after 1965. The small square Mars light seemed to be the preferred replacement?
As rebuilt GP9R's painted in the Blood Nose paint, they only carried the Red Wings on the short hood, as they had had their dual controls removed in the rebuild process.
3186 (ex3003) and 3187 (ex3000) both received a Farr Paper Air Filter housing behind the cab. This was a feature of the rebuilds up to 1975/76. After that SP? had found a way to make the paper air filter a fully internal modification.
Some were later purchased by Caltrans, for use when they took over the San Francisco-San Jose commuter line. eg: 3187
see the SP GP9 Overview for Magazine/Book References and available models.
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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, 2008. Richard.A.Percy