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Real Class | by BearclawPhotography
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Real Class

Southern Pacific Railroad's number 6051 is an EMD E9 diesel locomotive. It was one of nine E9s built for SP by EMD in December 1954 as Construction Number 20100 on SP Order Number P-1041 and EMD Order Number 2068. It entered service on January 4, 1955 at Los Angeles. These nine locomotives allowed the dieselization of the Coast Daylight and "Lark" passenger trains. The units operated with E7s, ALCO PAs, and other passenger equipped diesels as required. Assigned to the Los Angeles passenger pool for its entire career, it worked north via the Coast Line to San Francisco or east on the Sunset route to El Paso or New Orleans. When SP and Rock Island began pooling locomotives on the Chicago-Los Angeles "Golden State" in 1967, it also worked those trains until they were discontinued the following year, often in mixed SP/Rock Island consists.


SP 6051 is the only surviving Southern Pacific passenger-dedicated diesel locomotive, and it currently resides at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.


This evening a beautiful display of historical locomotives were to be had in Downtown Sacramento during a wine-tasting event inside the museum. This beauty along with eight other locomotives were on display for all to enjoy. I took full advantage of the rare outing and the beautiful light in which she basked. Even in complete darkness. This beautiful machine has pulled some of the classiest trains on the planet and has been the only one restored in a full operational condition. This rare and unique outing for her made it that much more special for me to capture her through my lens. The last time I saw this beautiful machine was a morning in August 2006 when Union Pacific's Southern Pacific heritage locomotive (UP 1996) was unveiled to the industry and later that same to the railfan community and general public.


SP's classy 6051 will forever hold a soft-spot in my WP-bred heart.


© D. Felice Strong-Baker Photo, All Rights Reserved.


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Taken on January 18, 2012