Southern Pacific SD45s on Kodachrome

Southern Pacific Daylight
At 5:30 pm On April 28, 1991, Brian Jennison, J.D.Schmid, Vic Neves and I had photographed the passing of restored Southern Pacific ‘Daylight’ Lima 4-8-4, number 4449, at Brock siding on SP’s East Valley line. The Daylight was on its way to Sacramento, California, to play its role in Railfair 1991. Nikon F3T with 200mm f4.0 lens Kodachrome 25 exposed at f4.5 1/250 second.

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.

General Motors Electro-Motive Division SD45 diesels
Southern Pacific 7547 leads a manifest freight timetable east at Brock, California, on SP’s East Valley line on April 28, 1991. This 35mm Kodachome image was scanned with an Epson V600. Minor adjustments were necessary using Photoshop to lighten exposure, correct contrast and color balance. The photo is seen full-frame.