Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Santa Fe Railroad Needles Division 1981

A change in direction for the Needles Division blog.  In my first blog on June 4th of last year, I mentioned that my primary focus was on two time periods, either June, 1954, or June 1981.  Then I promptly filled the blog with info and videos from eras of everything that was not 1954 or 1981.  But that has now changed, as I have exhausted my material from other time periods.  For the next few months, it is June, 1981 on the Needles Division.

Why 1981?  Mainly because the Santa Fe had not yet begun their rebuilding process that changed the appearance of many classes of locos, particularly with the addition of smoke deflectors on the top of the long hood, (ugly!) and hoods over the air filters (also ugly!).  Plus, what's a train without a caboose. 

1981.  No doublestacks.  Lots of TOFC/COFC.  Lots of different types of diesels.  GE and EMD at their competitive finest.  Union Pacific.  Cabooses.
So, lets begin with a typical 1981 TOFC train you might see crossing the Mojave Desert.  This train would not be cross country to Chicago.

If you want to start out with a video of this train, please go to:

In this photo we see lead unit GP35 3446.  This custom painted loco is lightly weathered, representing a Geep with "Yellow Bonnet" paint job.  3446 has received air conditioning, raised air horns, and a rotating orange beacon. Notice the air filter partially covered in dust/dirt.
3343 is in it's as delivered paint scheme, generally referred as the "Yellow Stripe" scheme.  The GP35's were the last to have their class completely repainted into the "Yellow Bonnet" scheme, with some units lasting in the delivered scheme into the early 1980's.
This is a custom painted GP30 in Yellow Bonnet, lightly weathered.  Single chime air horns added to each side of this custom painted Geep, along with rotating warning light and can antennae.  The single chime air horns were an exclusive on ATSF GP30's.
 Two 40' trailers, lightly weathered, both models from Trainworx.

Custom painted Rio Grande trailer, an early ConCor model with an MT wheelset.  Silver 40' trailer from Trainworx, dull down a bit.

45' C&NW Micro Trains (MT) trailer, and custom Western Express trailer, with roof and side sills painted silver.  All flatcars on this train are Micro Trains 89 footers and are heavily weathered.

Santa Fe 45' MT trailer and a custom SOU container on trailer.

Custom CO-OP 45' trailer (MT) and Santa Fe 40' drop frame trailer from Trainworx (TWX).

Two more from TWX, a Mopac 40 footer, and a Rock 40' drop frame.  Both slightly weathered, just to take the shine off the trailers.

Kansas City Southern 45' trailer, from Atlas. and a 40' Santa Fe Bicentennial trailer from MT.

Atlas 45' SP trailer.  This trailer's paint scheme was not adopted till sometime in 1984, but I think it looks really cool!  Brillion and Forest Junction has really neat logo on a MT trailer

MT trailers with sills painted and weathered.  WP 40 footer is custom painted and decaled.

ConCor trailer, custom painted and decaled, with MT wheelset, custom YM Line container on trailer.  (This trailer is probably 30 years old!)

MT 45' ICG, and TWX drop frame trailer, both weathered.

Atlas Ce-6 caboose, with red painted platform and steps to resemble Ce-8 class caboose.
Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned for much more of 1981 on the Santa Fe Needles Division in 1981.