Southern Pacific Daylight in California’s Central Valley
It was a clear bright evening, and rather than continue our pursuit of 4449 we opted to remain at the east switch at Brock for a few freight trains that were pending. (As a matter of record, SP’s rigid directional interpretation of its timetable meant that while Brock siding was geographically north-northwest of Sacramento, as far as the railroad was concerned it was timetable-east of the California capital. Thus ‘eastward’ trains were actually traveling in a northwesterly direction.)
Twenty Cylinder Diesel Sound Show
About an hour after the restored streamliner passed, SP’s Redding Turn returning to Roseville Yard took the siding at Brock. Then at 6:55 pm, a manifest train roared eastward led by pair of SP SD45Es. While the SD45s weren’t the main event, and in fact remained in my ‘seconds file’ for two decades, I’m really pretty pleased with the results today. My old Leica M2 with the 50mm f2.0 Summicron, loaded with Kodachrome 25, did the honors. For me the SD45’s most impressive attribute lies beyond the realm of photography. These locomotive were powered by the 20 cylinder 645-E3 diesel, which produced a resonating low-base throb that for my ears was one of the most memorable sounds of the diesel era.