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

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific SD38-2

2971 - 2976

6 units delivered

0000 2971 2972 2973 2974 2975 2976 0000 0000 0000
0000 2971 2972 0000 2974 2975 0000 0000 0000 0000
0000 2971 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000

Built in April of 1973, delivered in May of 1973, and finally mated with the exALCo 6 axle slugs at West Colton in July of 1973; they came with creep control and controls and cabling to operate with the slugs, although only on the rear end. They were designed to operate in pairs spliced by a exALCo 6 axle slug. These were bought, built and specifically assigned to the then new automated hump yard being built east of Los Angeles at West Colton.

These are non-turbo units with a Farr air-filter box in front of the 'reversed' dynamic brake hatch, and built on a standard SD40-2 underframe, although the trucks have 3 brake cylinders per side.

Lighting is also non-standard, (for SP), with a standard EMD vertical twin sealed beam headlight in the nose, horizontal twin sealed beam on the rear in the standard position, and no 'espee' signal lights at all. The top position between the numberboards being blanked out.

After the retirement of the exALCo 6 axle slugs, the SD38-2's were teamed with SD7R's, SD9E's and SD35(E)'s still on the West Colton hump.

Very occasionally they made it into road service via drag freights between West Colton and Los Angeles (Dolores yard).

All six units were still on the final day roster,

Prototype References:

  • SP 1973 Motive Power Annual by Joe Strapac, Page 41.
  • SPSF 1986 Motive Power Pictorial by Joe.W.Shine, Page 106.
  • SP 1987/88 Motive Power Pictorial by Joe.W.Shine, Page 106.
  • SP into the '90's by Joe.W.Shine, Page 190.
  • SP 1995 Motive Power Annual by Bill Shippen - Four Ways West Publications.
  • SP in Transition by Bill Shippen and Joe Shine - Four Ways West Publications.
  • Southern Pacific Rails - a motive power finale by Peter Limas has a number of images and data

If anybody out there has any further references, that are available to anyone, please let me know, this is just one loco of many, that information is scarce for.

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