Fresh into our yardmaster’s office today is this big win off of eBay, showing Southern Pacific Railroad SD-9 4426 and partner(s?) leading a string of cars under the old Eleventh Street overpass in 1981, headed out of town toward Banta and Mossdale.
This view can no longer be replicated for several reasons, not the least of which is the tear-down and rebuild of the old overpass.
The train is identified as the OAMJM, a symbol your correspondent cannot decipher, even after consulting several old timetables. Any ideas?
UPDATE: Various sources, including Winterail majordomo Vic Neves, have informed us that the OAMJM symbol stood for OAkland to MoJave eMpties. This might be best termed as a “regularly-scheduled special” that returned empty cement cars from the “new” Dumbarton Bridge construction site near Newark to a cement plant on the SP’s Creal branch in the early 1980s. (Some sources tell us that the train’s symbol was actually OAMJN.)
According to Paul Young in the Southern Pacific Railroad group on Facebook, “The train was typically routed via Tracy/Lathrop to Fresno and on south down the Valley to Bakersfield. Destination station of Mojave but the cars ultimately went up to the California Portland Cement plant on the Creal branch, which is compass west of Mojave by about eight miles.”
(See below for more discussion on this subject.)
Built in 1956 by GM’s Electro-Motive Division, this powerhouse began its life as SP’s 5468, then was renumbered in 1965 as 3942.
A 1977 rebuild came with one final set of Espee digits as 4426, and she nearly made a full thirty years of service on the Friendly before being tossed aside in July 1995.
Picked up by the Nevada Northern as their 204, the venerable beast continues in service, according to their website, where she “now runs excursions and provides engineer rentals.”
Nevada Northern photo courtesy of the Nevada Northern Railway, Ely, Nevada.