Southern Pacific #1195

Model              EMD SW900R

Built                 June 1954

Horsepower    900

SP 1195 appears as it did after a 1974 rebuild at the railroad’s Houston Shops, giving it the ‘R’ in its model designation and modifiying the characteristic SP signal light clusters at both ends. Further visual modifications occurred after 1978, when pilot footboards (step platforms at each end, for switch crews to stand on) were federally outlawed for safety reasons.

The locomotive was built with a Construction Number of 19645 as Railroad Class DF-306 (Diesel Freight) and given road number SP 4630. It was equipped from the factory with multiple unit controls and connections, to enable it to operate in unison with other locomotives so equipped. Its Class changed to DF-606 in 1963, and again in 1965 to ES409-2 (EMD Switcher, four-axle, 900HP, second order) — the more specific coded information about type and horsepower being helpful to dispatchers and road superintendants. It was given road number SP 1176 at that time.

In 1974 it was rebuilt with upgraded electrical systems and other improvements, and given its current number, SP 1195. It was retired by the Railroad in 1986, and in 1987 was sold to the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation, where it operated in colors of blue and white on their Richmond Pacific Railroad, a terminal switching operation in its namesake city. (Movable step platforms at each end, to allow crew passage between locomotives in multiple, were likely removed during this tenure.)

SP #1195 at the Richmond Pacific Railroad – Howard Wise photo
SP #1195 at the Richmond Pacific Railroad – Howard Wise photo

The Niles Canyon Railway acquired the locomotive from Richmond Pacific in 2012 and quickly returned it to active service. It was professionally repainted to its 1958-86 SP color scheme in 2018.

#1195 prepares for its repaint with the removal of all of the long hood doors which were sent for sandblasting and priming. – Bob Zenk photo
#1195 receiving its Southern Pacific paint in the NCRy Car Shop in June of 2018 – C.R. Hauf photo

Niles Canyon Railway crews particularly enjoy the responsive running qualities of the locomotive’s upgraded two-cycle V-8 567-Series diesel prime mover.

SP #1195 provided the power to carry passengers and photographers for the December 2020 ‘Ride the #7 for the #1744’ photo specials. The train is seen here on the Niles wye. – C.R. Hauf photo
#1195 pulls our SP Twin Unit coach during the February 2020 Lerro Photography steam charter. This train carried the photographers from location to location. – C.R. Hauf photo