The star attraction at the National Train Day event at Portland’s Union Station was the SP 4449, which used to pull the Southern Pacific Coast Daylight coaches from LA to Portland. It’s one of three locomotives owned by the city. Visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation website for more information about the other locomotives and learn about the foundation’s efforts to build a permanent home for these historical locomotives and other rolling stock.
The SP 4449, built in 1941, is 110 feet long, 10 feet wide and 16 feet tall and weighs 433 tons. It’s got 5,500 horsepower and can reach speeds over 100 mph. In 1958 it was put on display at Oaks Park, but was restored in 1974 so that it could pull the 1975-1976 Bicentennial Freedom Train.
According to the OHRF:
[The SP 4449 is] the only remaining operable “streamlined” steam locomotive of the Art Deco era, this grand Lady of the High Iron pulled Southern Pacific “Daylight” coaches from Los Angeles to San Francisco over the scenic Coast Route and then on to Portland until 1955. She is arguably one of the most beautiful locomotives ever built — and kept that way by the all-volunteer Friends of the SP 4449.
The last time we checked out an old locomotive we regretted not bringing a thermos full of hot cocoa. This time the regretted substance was sunscreen.
I dig the retro-futuristic art-deco-ish graphics on the National Train Day poster.
More photos of the SP 4449 . . .
Most of these photos courtesy Mile73‘s Heather!