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Steam & Excursion > Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong


Date: 07/29/20 01:11
Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: Evan_Werkema

In a thread yesterday, MojaveBill mentioned an SP narrow gauge steam locomotive being displayed at Tehachapi Loop in California during the dedication ceremony for a historical marker.  The marker, which can be seen at the following link, gives October 25, 1953 as the date of its dedication: 

https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=134430

An article in the October 26, 1953 edition of the Los Angeles Times says the keynote speaker was SP General Manager R.E. Hallowell, who described the engineering challenges the pass presented and the role of the loop in surmounting them.  SP and Santa Fe reportedly both provided "new diesel locomotives" for display in addition to "old-type steam," but the railfan photos I've found of the event only show the steam.  A couple of those photos are below, courtesy the Western Railway Museum Archives.  One is by an unknown photographer and the other by E.K. Muller, who lived in the Bakersfield area at the time.  Santa Fe 4-6-4 #3450 was making its last appearance under steam; her fire was dropped for the last time at Bakersfield on October 26, 1953.  SP 8 didn't have long to run either, leaving SP's roster in February of 1954.  Thankfully, both engines survive, ATSF 3450 at Pomona, CA and SP 8 at Sparks, NV.






Date: 07/29/20 02:03
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: BCHellman

The pole in the first photo, labeled WUT towards the bottom, belongs to the Western Union Telegraph. While giving me a tour of the signals on the Hill, retired Southern Pacific Assistant Signal Supervisor Bill Stokoe pointed out the few remaining Western Union poles still occupying the ROW. They were out of service. Sometimes Western Union used Southern Pacific poles (maintaining individual cross-arms) and other times providing its own poles. This is the first photo I've seen that clearly shows WU's pole.

Wonder why SP couldn't provide a standard gauge steam locomotive?



Date: 07/29/20 10:15
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: 2-10-2

I have a set of those aluminum WUT letters in my collection. Western Union (I assume) was removing the lines around the loop and cutting down some of the poles. I pried those off a downed pole in the early 80s.

I like those two kids on 3450 - that looks like Mom down on the ground keeping watch on them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/20 10:17 by 2-10-2.



Date: 07/29/20 11:35
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: PHall

Normally Western Union just leased space on railroads pole the same way the phone and cable companies lease space on the power company poles.
But if you had a case where they had a lot of circuits, i.e. LA to SF Trunk Line, it may have made more sense to have their own pole line.
This line could have been shorter then the railroad's route thus saving Western Union the cost of the extra facilities and equipment.



Date: 07/29/20 11:49
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: MojaveBill

Thanks for the memories!!!!
Also, that's how the SP NG locos were transported to Taylor Yard for service.

I was a senior at Antelope Valley High School that year...
We didn't have a high school in Mojave then, and when it was built it was across
the street from where we lived, allowing my sister to walk to school instead
of riding rattle-trap buses or by car.
She is now the mayor of Tehachapi!

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/20 11:53 by MojaveBill.



Date: 07/29/20 13:55
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: Bogiewuggs

I believe the SP ng steam engines were serviced in Bakersfield. The photo in this thread is on the Tehachapi Loop between Mojave and Bakersfield. I have not seen any information of SP ng engines serviced in LA.  If such info exists, I would like to hear about it.

Ron



Date: 07/29/20 16:49
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: wingomann

It looks like the SP8 and the flatcvar it's sitting on were freshly painted for the event.
As for the Western Union poles, Western union had their own poles in Niles Canyon.  The SP lines are on the south side of hte ROW, the remains of the WU ones on the north.  The WU poles were square - rumor has it that they are really old. 



Date: 07/29/20 17:07
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: PHall

wingomann Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It looks like the SP8 and the flatcvar it's
> sitting on were freshly painted for the event.
> As for the Western Union poles, Western union had
> their own poles in Niles Canyon.  The SP
> lines are on the south side of hte ROW, the
> remains of the WU ones on the north.  The WU
> poles were square - rumor has it that they are
> really old. 


As long as they pass the hammer and prod test they're climbable.  Though trying to use climbers on a square pole could be "interesting".

 



Date: 07/29/20 21:42
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: engine3420

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> wingomann Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > It looks like the SP8 and the flatcvar it's
> > sitting on were freshly painted for the event.
> > As for the Western Union poles, Western union
> had
> > their own poles in Niles Canyon.  The SP
> > lines are on the south side of hte ROW, the
> > remains of the WU ones on the north.  The WU
> > poles were square - rumor has it that they are
> > really old. 
>
> As long as they pass the hammer and prod test
> they're climbable.  Though trying to use climbers
> on a square pole could be "interesting".
>
>  Those square Redwood poles were a little difficult to climb.... but those old half round cedars were worse....SP comm dept took over the pole lines from Western Union starting in the 1960's.

Chris



Date: 07/29/20 22:15
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: Evan_Werkema

Bogiewuggs Wrote:

> I believe the SP ng steam engines were serviced in Bakersfield.

Here's another Muller photo showing narrow gauge 4-6-0 #18 on a flatcar in Bakersfield ca.1951.  Judging from its condition, I'm guessing it's just arrived for servicing:
 




Date: 07/30/20 20:28
Re: Muller and other: ATSF 3450 and SP 8 at Walong
Author: coach

And if you look closely just to the right / in front of the steam engine pilot, there are lots of people roaming around the Loop Ranch, including on the Loop hill.

That must have been great!



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