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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Chasing a star, Pt 1

Date: 12/23/16 21:08
Chasing a star, Pt 1
Author: cewherry

On April 24, 1977 Southern Pacific 4449 arrived in Los Angeles en route to its home in Portland after completing its cross country role at the head
​end of The American Freedom Train. When the 4449 had last been around Los Angeles in December 1975 and January 1976 many of the working 'rails'
would have loved to had an opportunity to pilot the steamer even if for just a few miles, myself included, but alas I never was in the right 'position' to be
​called for it. I eventually did have my opportunity but not while in the employ of SP, but that's another story. 

​In 1977 I was still working for SP as an engineer and was aware that the 4449 and special train was coming to L.A. from Yuma and that the train also had a diesel 'helper'.
​At the time the freight crew districts required a change of engineers at West Colton. The freight pool was home terminal at Taylor Yard and the engineers
for this train would be called to deadhead from Taylor out to W. Colton. Two engineers were needed, one to pilot Doyle on the steamer and one to run the diesel.
On that Sunday morning I monitored carefully how the pool was moving. I had a chance for either one of the jobs but it was going to be close. About mid-morning
​I checked again and found that I had 'died first out' after both engineers had been called for the train. Close but no cigar.

​Since there were plenty of engineers on the board I went to my Plan B.  If I couldn't be on the train maybe I could get some pictures; so I layed off. Later that afternoon
​I checked with the dispatcher and found that the special was on the move from West Colton so I drove to El Monte, scouted around for a decent photo location and waited.
​Before long the population of El Monte began to increase. I was not alone. Obviously the railfan 'jungle telegraph' was working just fine.

​These three are of the passing of the train at El Monte.


Date: 12/23/16 23:10
Re: Chasing a star, Pt 1
Author: SpHero

What's with the UP aux. tender?

Posted from iPhone

Date: 12/24/16 05:16
Re: Chasing a star, Pt 1
Author: dcfbalcoS1

      For water

Date: 12/24/16 10:25
Re: Chasing a star, Pt 1
Author: UPNW2-1083

Great story and pics, Charlie. I recognized the location as El Monte immediately by the signal bridge. The signal bridge is still there although the signals are long gone.
Caught her a few miles east of El Monte at City of Industry the same day. A buddy and I followed the train from Indio to L.A. that day.-BMT

Date: 12/24/16 18:01
Re: Chasing a star, Pt 1
Author: wpjones

I believe thats the fuel tender that's now at IRM with the BigBlow. When the Turbine was still in KC the tender was still black.

SpHero Wrote:
> What's with the UP aux. tender?
> (SpHero)
> Posted from iPhone

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/16 18:28 by wpjones.

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