Saturday, April 19, 2008

Western Pacific with a large round object!

Western Pacific 704, Oakland Yard, November 27, 1960. I am a tender 17 year old, and our family has travelled to Oakland to spend Thanksgiving with my Uncle. Dad and I drifted down to the Western Pacific to see what's what, and find this gem!

Let me explain why she's a gem.

Shortly after the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the UP-WP-MP merger on December 22, 1982, Western Pacific's locomotives were scattered to the winds, partially due to efforts by Union Pacific to erase all remaining signs of the once proud and unique Western Pacific as quickly as possible.

GP7's 701, 703, 704 705, 706 and 710 were sold to Mountain Diesel Transportation in July, 1987. The large round object on the end of the 704's hood is a longtime Western Pacific trademark: a large, single bulb headlight made by the Pyle National company. Nearly all non-streamlined WP locomotives were built with these lights until 1967.

Originally delivered in the road's Zephyr-inspired
Aluminum & Orange paint scheme, we see her here in the Perlman’s Green scheme. Gem? Yes! She’s been immortalized; Atlas made an N scale model of her!

Railroad Stuff: Western Pacific 704, built by General Motors as GP-7, 1,500 horsepower, October 1952, serial number 17028. Became Union Pacific 102 (having difficulty verifying), and sold to Mountain Diesel Transportation in 1987.

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