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  • From the Company's Own Shops

    A view into the Espee's popular 5-12


    A well-weathered 1264 steams it up at Tracy, California, early in 1953. The existence of the small cab window just ahead of the large one was rather unusual at this late date. Red finish of small window's sash and cab door is still apparent - though this, too is quite weathered along with the rest of the engine's finish. Photo by the author.
    Prototype Modeler - October 1978 - Page 42 Prototype Modeler - October 1978 - Page 43

    Like many a major railroad, the Southern Pacific made room for quite a roster of 0-6-0 switchers over the years. Unlike a good many roads, however, certain members of the breed were to be among the last steamers in service. Six wheeled switchers were to be found system-wide; no one terminal or division seemed to have had a monopoly on the engines until the final years of steam. By the early 1950s, though, the 0-6-0's were beginning to consolidate at certain points through out California. By 1954, the major of these was Oakland; this was home for a considerable group of 1200s.

    Large numbers of engines were involved in the 1000 and 1100 groups, but the best known 0-6-0s were those of the 1200 group. Actually, the 1200s comprised some seven classes: S-10 1210-1214, S-11, 1222-1225, S-10 1232-1240, S-12 1 2471284, S-14 1285-1294, S-8 1295-1297 (ex-Arizona Eastern), S-10 1298-1299 (ex Arizona Eastern). In appearance, the engines were quite similar. The main difference was to be had in drivers; the 8-12 and 8-14 classes were of 57" diameter, all others were 51".

    Because of the popularity of the S-12 class in the modeling world, we might consider just this class alone at this time. Several Japanese imports have been made available over the years in HO. The fine old firm of Lobaugh did the engine in O gauge as a kit both before and after World War II. Model Railroader magazine published its plans sometime before the War; these may also be found in Kalmbach's original Model Railroad Cyclopedia, still in publication as of 1947. The plans were done in 1/8" scale.

    Courtesy of the Railway and Historical Society 's Bulletin No. 94, here are the vital statistics:

    S-12 0-6-0 57-20x26-153000-200-31020 Road Numbers 1247-1254 were built at the Southern Pacific Shops, Sacramento, as numbers 101-108 in 1919; Numbers 1255-1256, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 109-110 in 1920; Numbers 1257-1262, Espee Shops, Los Angeles, as 7-12 in 1921; Numbers 1263-1278, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 117-132 in 1921; Numbers 1279-1280, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 33-134 in 1922; and 1282-1284, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 135-138 in 1923.

    Page 44: The 1253, at Oakland, California, on this unknown date - probably sometime in the late 1940s. Nice, clean finish too. The tender was originally a 70-C type of 7,000 gallons. These were rebuilt into the clear vision configuration. Photo via Warren Miller.

    Little engine on a big table. The 1273 is seen here in an unusual pose - smack in the middle of the Oakland, California, turntable. Between the years 1952 and 1956, Oakland was the key point for 0-6-0 activity; a good two dozen 1200s in attendance being a good possibility. The huge wooden sanding tower, often seen for a background for many a locomotive portrait photo, appears at the right in the middle distance. Photo by the author.

    Page 45: A broadside of the 1274 in the Bayshore Shops deadline; January, 1959. Photo by the author.

    The 1258, dead in Oakland as of mid-1956 - just months before the close of steam. Photo by the author.

    A fine, clear morning sun highlights the 1268 as she rests in the dead line at Bayshore, South San Francisco. The date is a late January, 1959. The tender is of the 70-C-10 class, a later-day rebuild of the 7,000 gallon 70-C road tank. This particular style tender has never been offered in HO, though in O gauge it has appeared with Lobaugh's 0-6-0. Photo by the author.

    Page 46: The 127 squats under the steam pipes for stationary boiler service at Bayshore, South San Francisco, early in 1952. Her slim "cigar" tank was to become a common sight with many a 1200. Photo by the author.

    Terminal switcher 1278 undergoes repairs at Bayshore Shops, sometime during 1953. Her tender was a 70-C-9, like engines 1253 and 1274. Even at this late date, the little pot was in full color: boiler and cylinder jackets in royal blue (now faded, here) silver smokebox, stack, and headlight, running board edging in a more subtle silver tone (front steps also edged), tuscan red cab roof, bright red cab window sash and doors, along with red injectors and other plumbing junctions. Running gear, rest of cab, and domes were black. Handrails, too. Smokebox numberplate was black with silver numerals; rest of markings were white. Cab medallion was in full coloring of blue, white, and gold. The indicator numbers seen in the foreground were a constant reminder of the "current" engines in for repairs (or scrapping?) in this section of the shops. The parallel foreground track had been the recent host to Consolidation 2566; the engine 's own indicator numerals marking the spot! Photo by the author.
    Prototype Modeler - October 1978 - Page 44 Prototype Modeler - October 1978 - Page 45 Prototype Modeler - October 1978 - Page 46

    From the historian's viewpoint, the fact that the class was entirely constructed at the company shops is significant. The construction dates, too, make these fairly modern switchers. Though the differences among the class were mostly minor, the typical Espee penchant for "tender swapping" was most apparent --- as will be seen in the accompanying photos!

    A considerable number of Espee engines have fortunately been saved for public display. Of these, 1200- class 0-6-0s are the most numerous. The S-12 group is represented by four engines:

    1251 - Stockton, CA, San Joaquin Jr. Museum

    1258 - Martinez, CA, City Park

    1269 - Richmond, CA, Nicholl Park

    1273 - Los Angeles, CA, Griffith Park (Travel Town)

    This information via A Travelers Guide to Southern Pacific Motive Power on DisplayRichard C. Hagerty, El Paso, TX.

    Article Details

    • Original Author Ronald Kuykendall
    • Source Prototype Modeler
    • Publication Date October 1978

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