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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific RSD12

7000 - 7020

2950 - 2970

21 units delivered

as delivered
7000 7001 7002 7003 7004 7005 7006 7007 7008 7009
7010 7011 7012 7013 7014 7015 7016 7017 7018 7019

re# 1965
2950 2951 2952 2953 2954 2955 2956 2957 2958 2959
2960 2961 2962 2963 2964 2965 2966 2967 2968 2969
The Survivors
2954 2958 2962 2962

Stan Rothwell has kindly contributed this 'potted' history of the SP RSD12's, thanks Stan, more contributions like this welcomed.

These units are interesting in that they were carried as "rebuilds" on the SP books. In 1961 SP sent 21 RSD-5s (SP #5294 - 5307, 5336 - 5339, 5445 - 5447) back to Schenectady for rebuilding. A new 251 prime mover was used; trucks and generators were reused. I'm not sure if new frames were fabricated, but they were all were low nose.

In 1965 these units were reclassified as switchers and renumbered 2950-2970.

Quite a few of these wound up in the Los Angeles area in the 1970's, and were quite common on the Taylor-West Colton transfer drags, along with the double-engined units and whatever else SP could scrape up for the occasion. One of the more interesting consists I saw in 1977 consisted of an SD45, an SW1500, an Alco C415, an RSD12, a U50 AND a DD35B (as well as a couple other EMD's which I don't remember)!

A few of these units were stored in the Bullring Yard (old SP passenger yard N of Chinatown) by 1980, and later moved to Aurant Yard in Alhambra (5-6 miles east of downtown LA) where they were heavily vandalized. They didn't actually leave SP property until 1986 when SP did some housecleaning.

Two of these units wound up in Long Beach at Metropolitan Stevedore, and were recently donated to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris. They are currently on BNSF property awaiting rail shipment to Perris once certain brake repairs have been completed to satisfy FRA requirements.

Latest on the units above, from Stan Rothwell is that they are now at Perris. Present status is that the units run 'somewhat', but require some further brake work and have more than their share of flat wheels.

Late News: The numbers of the Metropolitan Stevedore units at Perris are 2954 and 2958.

Chapter xx of the Joe Strapac listed below provides further information on the RSD12's. These were RSD5's with the flawed Alco 244 engine, Alco agreed to do a frame up rebuild with 251 engines. They received carbodies similar to the then current RS11.


  • SP Dieselization by Garmany - Chapter 13 has photos.
  • SP Historic Diesels Vol.8 Alco Roadswitcher Locomotives by Joe Strapac

Addtional information contributed by Bruce Conklin and Stan Rothwell.

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