Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading
I gathered as much information about the SD7's as I could. What I have is here.
Used up and down the NWP until about 1970. The beloved Caddilacs replaced these on the system until SP closed up shop. All were used as road switchers from Eureka to San Francisco. They operated up and down the line until they were shoved to switching service in SP's West Colton, Taylor, Roseville and Eugene yards. There is but one exception to this, however...
These are the units I identified from pictures and accounts.
From left to right the numbers are original, 1965 renumber, 1973 number, post-GRIP.
* star indicates an existing unit
*5308, 2715, 1415, 1518; (Note: Ex-EMD 990, first SD series unit ever built.)
5318, 2725, 1425, 1527;
5281, 2702, 1402, 1514;
5282, 2703, 1403, 1537;
5283, 2704, 1404, 1538; (Note: Spotted on an ATSF Tiburon-bound paddleboat in 1961.)
5327, 2734, 1434, 1519; (Note: Was in the failed "Halloween" paint as 5327, with solid orange ends to the hoods.)
5325, 2732, 1432, 1524;
*5280, 2701, 1401, 1530; (Note: See PNWR 1501)
5326, 2733, 1433, 1509;
5284, 2705, 1405, 1516;
5322, 2729, 1429, 1503;
5279, 2700, 1400, 1539;
5328, 2735, 1435, 1513;
5311, 2718, 1418, 1542;
5313, 2720, 1420, 1507. (Note: Built with a F7 fueltank. Kept said fueltank until the very end.)
All SD7s had spark arrestors over both exhaust pipes and, if they had it, the steam generator exhaust pipe.
In 1965 the SD7s were renumbered from their as delivered number. This renumbering was system wide; all units on the system were renumbered. The numbering was not sequential (as exhibited).
The 1973 number was due to SW1500's approaching the 2700 range; the SD7's (not yet rebuilt) were bumped down to the 1400's.
1968 saw the beginning of the removal of the SD7s. During the 1968-1971 period many different forms of SP power visited the NWP, including an SD45, a U33C, several SW900 units, a TR6 (part of a cow-calf pair, the calf was scrapped long before), and a few F7s. The SD45 was (amazingly!) in Eureka, meaning that it somehow got through the canyon.
Spotted post-GRIP (1983) in Schellville was *SP 1533, SD7R, and apparently, it wasnt there long. My guess is that it arrived with a MOW train and left after a few days.
Models available are LifeLike (on eBay), Walthers, and a possible Athearn Blue Box SD9 kitbash. The LifeLike unit is the best value if you want a project to work on; Walthers requires (slightly) less modification but is quite expensive, and Athearn's "fatso" SD9 is easy to find but has its flaws.
All but two of them are identical. Those, sans 5313 and 5308, are:
- "Trash can" Mars light
- Steam generators (some, but not all, had these)
- Spark arrestors
- Dual large fuel tank
5313 has these traits, but has an F7 fueltank as of 1960 from a wrecked F7. (Possible kitbash?)
- Steam generator
- Winterization hatch over the first cooling fan
- Dual "blat" Leslie A200 horns
- Retrofitted "trash can" Mars light
- Had Black Widow/Bloody Nose stripes on both ends of the loco, denoting a dual control stand locomotive. SP only ordered GP9's with this capability; this is possibly the only SD series unit to have this capability. It was removed during the GRIP.
SP had dynamics removed/disconnected during the GRIP, but no SD7s were still at Schellville for long periods of time so modelling the removed dynamics is not a problem.
If this is helpful, I'll make one about SD9s.