In 1971, world famous movie director, Steven Spielberg made his directing debut. The film is called DUEL, and was produced as a TV movie. The film is about a driver who is being terrorized by a Truck driver driving a a 1955 Peterbilt 285 with a tanker hitched onto the 5th wheel. The film was shot over Cajon Pass, just outside the L.A. aree. In one seen, the trucker is trying to push the motorist into a moving train. The train is on Southern Pacific’s own line that bypassed the L.A. Area. Several SP Locomotives made an appearance in the film, so lets get started.
The first locomotive seen in the film is Southern Pacific SD35 #6909. Built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors in January 1965, she was outshopped with Serial #29839 and Frame #7761-10. A grand total of 360 SD35’s were built between June 1964 and January 1966. This 1.5 year run for the model makes it more of a Transitional model from the EMD SD24 and the more populare EMD SD40. Of the 360 built, the Southern Pacific rostered the most, with 100 copies of the model built. When delivered, SP 6909 was originally numbered SP 4825. In 1965 during a system wide Locomotive renumbering, the locomotive gained the number 6909. She carried this number for the rest of her SP career until retired in 1982. This is where the trail grows cold, and it seems that this locomotive was cut up for scrap sometime in the mid 1980’s.
Here’s a photo of the 6909 during her deyday on the SP: http://espee.railfan.net/nonindex/sd35_photos/6909_sp-sd35-frank_brehm.jpg
The locomotive trailing the SP 6907 is sister SD35, #6907. Like the 6909, the unit was built in 1961 by EMD, however the the unit was given Serial #29837 and Frame #7761-8. She was delivered to the SP as SP 4823, and in 1965, she was renumbered to as SP 6907. Unlike the 6909, the 6907 led a much longer life. When the 6909 was retired and sold in the Early 1980’s, the 6907 was sent to the Southern Pacific’s main locomotive shops in Sacramento, CA shops, and was upgrade to what the SP called and “SD35R.” When the rebuild was complete, she was sent to Southern Pacific’s Englewood yard in Houston, Texas to work the hump yard. During the rebuild, the locomotive gained a new number, this time as SP 2969. She kept this number until she was finally removed from the roster in 1999. By this time, the locomotive was the property of the Union Pacific Railroad, who merged the SP into the UP on September 11th, 1996. After retirement by the UP, the locomotive was sent to Morrison Knudson in Boise, ID, a locomotive rebuilder. It is believed the locomotive was either scrapped by MPI, or converted into a Genset.
Here’s a photo of SP 6907 before her rebuild: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=21182
Here’s a photo of SP 2969 after she was put into long term storage by the Union Pacific: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2431315
The next two units that we will cover is SP 5321 and SP 3954. Lets start with SP 5321. The 5321 is the 3rd Southern Pacific SD39 that we have covered here at The CineTrains Project. Two others were covered in a previous post about the movie Switchback. The SP 5321 was delivered to the Southern Pacific in March 1970. She has Serial #35818 and Frame #7219-4. The locomotive was never renumbered by the Southern Pacific, and at the end of her standard 15 year lease to the Southern Pacific, the locomotive was sold the Copper Basin Railway in 1984. She did not last long on the Copper Basin, as she was traded off to Helm Leasing in exchange for smaller locomotives that were better suited for the track. She became HLCX 3950. After a couple years, the Locomotive was transferred to Helm-Atlantic, and became HATX. During this time, the locomotive was rebuilt and upgraded to SD40-3 specifications. During the rebuild, she was renumbered to HATX 351. Right now, it is unknown weather or not the locomotive is still in service. It is rumored that the locomotive is currently in service for the Andersite Rock Company in Colorado.
It should be noted that sister Unit, 5322 was used in the movie Switchback.
Here’s a photo of the 5321 while on the Southern Pacific: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=288119&showexif=1
Heres a photo of the unit as HATX 351: http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=55465
The other locomotive in this shot is SP 3954. She was built in March 1956 by EMD in La Grange, IL. This old warrior carried Serial #21305 and Frame #5435-17. She was part of a large order for the EMD SD9’s that helped the SP rid themselves of the remaining Steam Locomotive fleet they had. Built as SP 5480, the locomotive originally wore the classic SP Black Widow Paint Scheme. In the early 1960’s, the locomotive was renumbered to SP 3954. She carried this number for the longest time until 1975, when the unit was sent to SP’s Sacramento shops to be rebuilt into an SD9R. When rebuilt, the locomotive emerged from shops as SP 4401. She carried this number. The locomotive survived on the roster, and was not immediately retired when the Southern Pacific was merged into the UP. In fact, the 4401 was the 2nd to last EMD SD9 on the roster, being retired in July, 1998. Only her sister, SP 4409, lasted longer by another 5 months. After she was retired, the unit was sold to a private individual, Mr. Mat Monson. Her last sighting was in Roseville, CA, and she has not been seen for the past 10 years to my knowledge. I think she may have been scrapped.
Here’s a photo of the 3954 leading a train over Cajon Pass: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=240128
Here’s a photo of the unit, as 4401 in the Roseville, CA dead-line in 2001: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=226390
Southern Pacific SD40 #8485 was built in June 1968. The #8485 was her original number. She was built with Frame #7083-7 and Serial #33677. As built, she was one of EMD’s newest locomotives. She carried this number until the locomotive was rebuilt by the SP shops in Sacramento, CA in 1980. She was outshopped from Sacramento in October 1980, with a new number, 7327. She carried this number for the rest of her life on the SP, and into SP’s new owner, Union Pacific. After the SP/UP merger in 1996, the locomotive stayed on the roster for another 5 years, when she was officially retired and sold to Larry’s Truck and Electric, where she remains today. Surprisingly, I have not found ANY decent photos of the LTEX 7327, but several of the locomotive with its other two road numbers.
Here’s an awesome shot of the 8485 as she works across the world famous Techahapi Loop in 1972: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=353412
Here’s a photo of the unit as SP 7327: http://espee.railfan.net/nonindex/sd40r_photos/7327_sp-sd40r-bob_dengler.jpg
Another 2 units in a single shot! We have SP SD9 #3958 and SP U30C 7931. Lets start with the SP 3958. The 3958 is another EMD SD9. Built in March 1956, she carries the Frame #5435-22 and Serial #21310. When she was delivered, she was in the then standard Black Widow Paint scheme. When the locomotive became part of the 1960’s renumbering scheme, the locomotive was repainted into the new standard of Grey and Scarlet Red and given the number 3958. She kept this number, working in Southern and Central California for the most of the time while it had this number, until 1975, when the locomotive was sent to the shops in Sacremento, CA. When she emerged from the shops, she had become SP 4391. She lasted on the Southern Pacific roster, and did not make it to the merger date with the Union Pacific in 1996. SP retired the old locomotive from its roster in September 1995, and was sold to the Mid-America Rail Car in February of 1996. She was subsequently sold to the Regional Carrier, Montana Rail Link, and became MRL 612. However, the locomotive was sent down to its short lived Subsidiary, I&M Rail Link. When the I&M Rail Link was sold to the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern, the locomotive was not included in the sale, and MRL sold the Unit to DeBruce Grain, where she is used to assist in the loading of Grain Cars in Lexington, NE.
Here’s a photo of SP 4391 after her rebuild: http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=47581
Here’s a photo of the unit after being sold to DeBruce Grain. DBGX has not put any new markings on the unit after they purchased the unit: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2879774
The second locomotive in the shot is SP 7931. This locomotive did not last very long like the rest of the power the we have discussed. She was built in October 1969 by the General Electric in Erie, PA, with the serial number 37173 and frame #1812. She carried the number of SP 7931 for entire life, and was retired and sold for scrap upon her retirement in June, 1984.
Here’s a photo of the SP 7931: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=130301
The last locomotive that I cover is the SP 3928. I have not been able to find out ANY information on this locomotive. If anyone can find any information on this unit, please inform me right away!
I hope you enjoyed this latest installment of The CineTrains Project. As always, if you have any ideas that you would like me to research, just look up how to contact me in the “submitting ideas” tab under our banner. I am always looking for new ideas to research. Until the next time, HAPPY RAILFANNING!
SD9 #3928 was built in January 1956 as the 5454. It was re-numbered to 3928 in 1965. Sometime in the mid 70’s it was rebuilt to a SD9E and again renumbered to 4420. It was retired in 1995 and sold for scrap to Pacific Rail Industries in November of that year.
8485 has been rebuilt and is now hauling iron ore in Australia as BHP 3095:
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That rail line you speak of is not the Palmdale Cutoff. It’s the original mainline into the LA basin. The only long haul freights to use that line now are the west coast Z trains from LA to Portland, OR.
The SP 4401 (ex-SP 3954) is still parked in the Bruggere and Monson leasing yard in Turlock. More recent photographs:
Jeez was there more than the train in the railroad crossing scene? That’s a lot of locomotives.
Which locomotives were on the train in the railroad crossing scene?