Southern Pacific Historic Diesels Vol. 20: Passenger Cab Units Reprise

Southern Pacific Historic Diesels Vol. 20: Passenger Cab Units Reprise
Over the years, we’ve noticed that—while everyone has his preference as to SP diesel freight locomotives—we all seem to agree that the passenger units were special. They worked for the SP from 1947-48, losing their Daylight red-and-orange paint in 1958-60, and finally falling to SP’s train-off policies of the late 1960s. (A few FP7A and passenger F7B units did survive into Amtrak colors, however.) Our books on the subject of SP’s carbody-style A- and B-units (Volumes 3 and 9) quickly went out of print, prompting numerous requests for reprints.
Not just a reprint would do. A number of one-of-a-kind pictures were used in those earlier volumes and simply had to be carried over in Volume 20. So many previously unpublished images have been made available that the book kept growing, finally going to press with 176 pages—sixteen of them in full color. In all, there are more than 340 photos included in this book.
Southern Pacific considered passenger locomotives to be distinct—they should deliver 2,000 or more horsepower per unit and would ride on six-wheel trucks that carried traction motors only on the outer axles, leaving the center axles as idlers. These locomotives were all initially purchased wearing distinctive “passenger” paint jobs. Eventually, SP would accumulate a roster of 28 Electro-Motive and 66 Alco passenger diesels, all of them in service together for the few brief years between 1955 and 1962.
In addition to its formal passenger diesels, SP ordered over two hundred passenger-equipped four-axle F7, F7B and FP7 units. They provided backup power for mail trains, passenger locals, holiday specials, troop movements and even many railfan excursions. Every one of these (with the glaring exception of one Cotton Belt FP7) was painted as delivered in “black widow” freight colors. One hundred fourteen passenger F7 A-units carried steam generator controls on the fireman’s dashboard—but not a one had its own steam generator aboard. Only the passenger F7 B-units and the seventeen FP7 A-units could make train-heat steam.
These EMD and Alco machines are documented in detail in Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 20: our biggest and best yet! There are chapters on each model from each builder, illustrations of variant paint jobs and extensive discussion of SP policies for passenger locomotive utilization. The closing chapter adds a bonus—sixteen pages of color.
342 photos (32 in color). A complete roster and detailed photo captions.

Author(s): Joseph A. Strapac
Publisher: Shade Tree Books
Pages: 176
Language: English
Edition: 1
Year of publication: 2015
Dimensions: 28 x 21,5 cm
Binding: Softcover
Weight: 0.70 kg
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