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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific

~ Snow Fighters ~

~ Spreaders ~


? units

Spreaders were originally invented for trackwork uses; which can include, but are not limited to: cutting and clearing drainage ditches, spreading ballast and removing sand blown over tracks. They later came to be used to remove snow, providing it is not too deep, and also on double track; to push accumulated snow onto a track so that a Rotary Snowplow can remove it.

Employee Timetables give the maximum speed for a Jordan Spreader as 25 MPH on main tracks, 20 MPH on branches moving backward and 35 MPH moving forward. Operational speed was approximately 5 to 8 MPH depending on depth of snow and other constraints...

(1999) -- #4030 and 4034 call(ed) Truckee, California home. They were both built in 1964, their superstructures are the same, but the blade assemblies are quite different. For several years (both) were hauled to Roseville for summer repairs and painting. The blades were repainted primer red and front "plows" were orange. Fortunately, the Roseville paint team never attempted a bastardized "Daylight" scheme. - Guy Wilbur


#3409 #3409


Richard Percy photo from Amtrak train heading to Oakland 1996

Dennis Mann photo - at the Dobbas scrap yard at Antelope, CA in November 2006. Believed to have been scrapped...






#4031 #4031


(1999) -- #4033 has been stationed at Oakridge, OR for quite some time. - John Mosbarger

(2004) -- #4033 was painted in "Daylight" paint in either 1987 or 1988, but no later than 1988. - Joel Ashcroft

#320 #320


#4034 #4034

(2001) -- #4037 went to CORP (Central Oregon & Pacific) - Chuck Friedlein


#4040 #4040

(2003) -- Notes as seen stenciled on retired SP Jordan spreader SPMW 4047 at Chiloquin. The specifics are "cots 7-89 EGN," and "Blt 5-53". Am I correct in assuming that EGN is Eugene?" Of more importance to me is the Blt 5-53 stenciled on the spreader. I know from the old SP data cards at the CSRM library that the spreader was built in 1929, either in June or July. Am I correct in assuming that it may have been rebuilt and therefore re-capitalized in 1953? Also, I assume there is an SP, or UP, retirement date sometime after 1998. Any definitive info on that? Was it sold or donated to the Train Mountain group along with the old SPMW 206 rotary? - John Shaw

An SP 1956 Roster gives SPMW 4047 as a Jordan spreader, built on July 10, 1929. So that 1953 date must be a rebuild. - Tony Thompson





Overland Brass has made SP Jordan Spreaders in both HO and N Scale.

Roundhouse used to offer a Spreader kit, but it did not resemble anything remotely SP.

Walthers has a Jordan Spreader kit, but it also does not resemble anything remotely SP.


  • Chuck Friedlein
  • Guy Wilbur
  • John Mosbarger
  • John Shaw
  • Tony Thompson
  • Joel Ashcroft

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