my ESPEE MODELERS ARCHIVE
California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996
from the Yardclerk collection via Rob Jacox
The RS-3 was another model unique to Cotton Belt, not rostered by parent SP or T&NO.
The first 4 (of eventually 17) units (#311-314) were delivered in early 1951, in switcher paint of black and orange and lettered St. L.S.-W. with the Cotton Belt Route Logo on the cabside, (the later passenger units would receive Black Widow paint and signal lights). Of these, the #313 and #314 had steam generators, 65:18 gear ratios and split 800gal/1200gal fuel/water tanks, allowing them to act as backup passenger power. The #311-312 had the lower 74:18 gear ratio's more suitable for freight service.
The next four #315-318 arrived late 1951, and were specified the same as the previous #311-312 freight units.
Early 1952 saw the freight units with 74:18 gearing: #311-312, 315-318 renumbered into one series #350-355. With the two backup passenger units with 65:18 gearing remaining as they were.
Another 4 units arrived in mid 1952, #308-310 were built with all the requirements for backup passenger service, as well as signal lights and came painted in a variation of the Black Widow scheme, although still lettered St. L.S-W. The other unit was numbered #356 and built as a freight unit, probably painted in switcher black and orange.
The final 5 units arrived in late 1952, one unit was numbered #311 (the second unit to have this number), built for backup passenger service but without a steam-generator, only steam generator controls and piping for passenger service. The other 4 units, #357-360 were built as freight units.
As delivered, the freight units were painted in the Cotton Belt 'switcher' scheme, ie the black and orange scheme, see the SSW RS-3 photo gallery from Don Ross .
The later passenger units were delivered in Black Widow paint, with signal lights. The Head light looks to be a vertical DA 1012, and the Signal light looks to be a vertical DA 1009, with red? lens. The Black Widow paint was the SSW version which was slightly different to SP's, and lettered St. L.S.-W. with the Cotton Belt Route Logo on the cabside.
All SSW RS-3's were setup long hood forward, and passenger units had the Steam Generator in the short hood. Passenger units had dual 800gal/1200gal fuel/water tanks, freight units had 2000gal fuel tanks. All were delivered with MU capability and an air-cooled turbosupercharger. Later they were modified with a water-cooled turbosupercharger, this changed the orientation of the exhaust stack from fore and aft, to across the hood.
St. L.S.-W. Lettering was dropped in the mid 50's, and Cotton Belt lettering applied. The MR article listed below *, hazards a guess, that none were painted in Blood Nose, although they lasted until 1968, and informed opinion tends to agree also.
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