Diesel Locomotives of the West


Type Southern Pacific GP9 "Torpedo Boats"
Description SP owned three of these passenger diesels, which were purchased especially for the short run from San Francisco to Monterey, California. The orange and silver "wings" at both ends indicates that these were bidirectional units, capable of operating equally well in both directions.

They got the name "torpedo boats" from the air tanks on top of the long hood. These were re-located from under the frame, to make room for tanks of water, for the steam generator. Though this position of the tanks meant that the locomotive could not be fitted with dynamic brakes, these were unnecessary because of the flat terrain over which they operated.
Notes These images are based on the work of Nikolaus Mohr, at Nimoweb.
{LocoStart}FILE=[FILE-LOCATION]\SP_GP9tbL.dib;LABEL=SP GP9 "Torpedo Boat" (Southern Pacific);GT=V;EPOCHE=3;ULAND=USA;OL=N;DT=J;ZG=63;ZUG=US_G;{LocoEnd}

{LocoStart}FILE=[FILE-LOCATION]\SP_GP9tbR.dib;LABEL=SP GP9 "Torpedo Boat" (Southern Pacific);GT=V;EPOCHE=3;ULAND=USA;OL=N;DT=J;ZG=63;ZUG=US_G;{LocoEnd}
Download This zip file contains these two locomotives



Type Southern Pacific Fairbanks-Morse Train Masters
Description 2400 HP roadswitcher, using 16 cylinder OP (opposed piston) engine.

Long the masters of the peninsula commute, out of San Francisco, SP's Train Masters were the first diesels that could match the acceleration and power of the 4-8-2 and 4-8-4 steam locomotives then in use on the service. The last unit was retired in 1975.

These 2400 HP giants were the first high horsepower road switchers in service in the US. In 1953, when EMD and ALCo's most powerful units had a maximum output of 1800hp, FM produced a true quantum leap in diesel power.

Various factors, such as a nasty fight for control of the company, kept production of the Train Master to a relatively low 105 units. However, this was enough to ignite the first "horsepower war", that culminated with the SD45 and U36, in the late '60s.

These will be included in my Traffic library, coming soon



Type Chicago & North Western GP-9
Roadnumbers 1711 - 1718
Description These Geeps were truely "general purpose". Each was equipped with both a steam generator and an HEP electrical generator, to allow them to handle any type of passenger train. The HEP generator was housed in the "cheeks" at the end of the long hood.
Notes The logo on the long hood is an advertisment for the "400", C&NW's preimere intercity train.
Download These locomotives are included with the C&NW bi-level cars, on the C&NW commuter page.