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Nostalgia & History > Orangebird in West Oakland


Date: 12/16/12 23:44
Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: TonyJ

SP Engineer Ralph Jachens was on hand at West Oakland, CA on 12/20/1980 as SD40R SP7342 showed up in the experimental paint scheme of lots of orange paint. The engineer's side had white lettering, while the fireman's side had red lettering. The C-50-10 caboose SP #1 was also decked out in this new paint experiment. One side featured red paint on the bay window with white "SP" block letters behind the windows, and 'SP 1" under the windows on the red paint. The other side featured red paint on the side behind the window, with block 'SP" in white on the red paint.








Date: 12/17/12 00:53
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: Fizzboy7

Love it!
Studying the caboose pic, I'm struggling to see what the purpose of the white, curved handrails above the trucks are for. I believe regular bay windows had them too.



Date: 12/17/12 01:00
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: coach

I'm guessing those curved handrails allowed an employee to grab hold while the train was moving forward, then allowing his hand to glide upward, all while climbing onboard. Bigger, easier to grab, and your hand can travel with it, as it moves toward you and you climb up the stairs.



Date: 12/17/12 04:20
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: ats90mph

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm guessing those curved handrails allowed an
> employee to grab hold while the train was moving
> forward, then allowing his hand to glide upward,
> all while climbing onboard. Bigger, easier to
> grab, and your hand can travel with it, as it
> moves toward you and you climb up the stairs.


Most Cabooses had them actually, easier to hop on while carrying all your crap...

Also you were always supposed to board the trailing end of the caboose, hence the position...



Date: 12/17/12 06:13
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: ddg

Emporia, Ks was a crew change point on the Santa Fe until the late 89's. There would always be several crews at the old depot going on or off duty, or waiting for their trains to come in. It was fun to sit out on the wooden benches and watch all this take place. One time a westbound train ahead of mine came in, changed head end crews, pulled by, and slowed to about 5 mph for the rear end guys to change. The KC crew dropped off, and a car length away, our Middle Div. crew was in position, waiting to mount up. The brakeman swung up & went inside, but the conductor missed it completely. He had his grip in his left hand, put up right foot, and his right hand, completely missed both the step, and the curved hand rail. He kept his balance, but just stood there for a few seconds with his hand out and one leg in the air as his waycar rolled west without him on it. The brakeman radioed the head end to stop, so he could walk a hundred yards down the track and get on. The curved hand rails worked great if you were sober. We got a good laugh out of that, and talked about it for years. When stuff like that happens, there's always an audience.



Date: 12/17/12 06:55
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: WAF

Jachens was RFE in Oakland, IIRC



Date: 12/17/12 07:12
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: mopacrr

I never liked on a caboose more than 5-7 mph. Some engrs were so good at slowing down you could almost step on without looking up; others it was a challenge just to get on; much less hold on while getting on.Like I said a few days a go on a post, we used to make rolling crew changes on trains like the Ford Train, I have a hard time making these young guys believe it.



Date: 12/17/12 07:32
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: wabash2800

IMO, good thing SP didn't adopt this scheme. It's horrid in my opinion and the paint would have cost more.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/12 07:32 by wabash2800.



Date: 12/17/12 08:21
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: TonyJ

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jachens was RFE in Oakland, IIRC


My error. I should have caught that. Thanks!

Tony J.



Date: 12/17/12 15:43
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: gobbl3gook

Fizzboy -- next time you find a caboose in a park or a museum, stand next to it and imagine boarding those rear stairs at 10 mph. Reach out your hand and grab that rail, and swing a foot up onto the bottom step. You'll figure out just how handy that curve is.

I agree that the paint scheme isn't nearly as good as scarlet and grey. This scheme would have really made the power look dirty in the later years of zero wash budget.
Ted



Date: 12/17/12 19:43
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: lwilton

ats90mph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Most Cabooses had them actually, easier to hop on
> while carrying all your crap...

I'd bet it was more than most of them. The ICC Safety Equipment decisions in 1923 (or thereabouts, I forget exactly) made them mandatory equipment on cabeese.



Date: 12/18/12 15:51
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: dcfbalcoS1

Handrails are for getting on and off, not associated with the length of the cabin placed on the frame. I too have seen some make this boarding so easy and while carrying a handful of 'grip', lantern, lunchbox, etc too. Almost magical.



Date: 12/18/12 19:13
Re: Orangebird in West Oakland
Author: tracktime

The 7342 when originally released also featured solid orange (sans the gray section on the roof) on one side only. The view from the roof was especially bizarre, as there was a gray/orange separation right down the centerline of the roof.

Cheers,
Harry



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