This page was last updated on May 5, 2016.
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There were three classes of 4-8-4 steam locomotives on the UP.
UP 800-819 were built in 1937 as coal burners with 77-inch drivers.
UP 820-834 were built in 1939 as coal burners with 80-inch drivers and full 7 axle centipede tenders.
UP 835-844 came in 1944 as coal burners with 80-inch drivers, similar to the FEF-2's but with double stack and different front end pilot.
The first conversion to oil started with 807 on March 10, 1946. Originally this was in response to the threat of a coal strike, but it enabled the FEF's to run for the first time down the oil burning South Central District to Los Angeles over Cajon Pass. All the FEF's were converted to oil by the end of 1946.
Based upon published sources, the UP 800's did not journey into Los Angeles (and therefore over Cajon Pass) until March 9, 1946 on the new passenger train Transcon. The last scheduled use in passenger train service occurred on July 18, 1948 for a total 'Cajon Pass exposure time' of 832 possible days. During this time, their appearance did change.
Dick Harley adds: Only oil fuel was available in Los Angeles. UP Mechanical Department records indicate that UP 807 was converted to oil on March 10, 1946, but the first train into Los Angeles with an FEF (presumably not oil) was on March 9, 1946. (Dick Harley, email dated July 10, 2015)
Ending the timeline in July 1948 was based upon 'regular scheduled use' and the date came from Chard Walker's books. Specials and unusual circumstances are always exceptions to 'standard use'. Not all the locomotives I listed necessarily ran over Cajon Pass, the photos were taken all over the UP system. I was trying to show how gradual appearance change occurs and how late I can run the FEF3 in black without mars and smoke lifters and still be historically accurate. (Robert Rogers, May 10, 2005)
(These later sightings include three in 1949 and one in 1950.)
The last date on Mr. Rogers' listing of July 18, 1948 correlates nicely with the continued delivery of Alco FA/FB diesel freight units. It also matches UP President George Ashby's statement to the UP Borard of Directors that the entire railroad west of Green River, Wyoming, would be fully dieselized by January 1, 1949, due to the completed delivery of the Alco cab units, and even more EMD F3s. That event was delayed for at least a year, but the reassignment of modern steam passenger power to the east in late 1948 to early 1949 was a direct reflection of both that stated goal, and the continued delivery of new diesel locomotives. (Don Strack, May 10, 2005)
The arrival of diesel freight units would allow steam freight locomotives to be moved east, reducing the need for steam facilities used by steam passenger power. The reduction of steam facilities was then used as a reason to replace steam passenger power with diesel passenger power on all trains, not just the Streamliners. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything is connected. (Don Strack, May 12, 2005)
UP began to paint passenger steam locomotives into a two tone gray paint during 1946.
The FEF-3's got the smoke lifters first. The Mars light came in 1947, the gray paint came in late 1946. They worked secondary passenger trains on Cajon Pass.
|11-11-46||836||no||yes||Mty 800's (Portland)|
|1946||805||no||no||Mty 800's LA|
|1946||821||no||no||Mty 800's LA|
|5-25-50||811||yes||no||(last 800 seen on Cajon)|
CRPTP = Cajon Rail Passage to the Pacific
UP484's = Union Pacific 4-8-4 photo books UPRHS
8444 = Union Pacific 8444
LA&SL = Los Angeles & Salt Lake by Signor
TLOTGSta. = The Last of the Great Stations (LAUPT)
Mty800's = The Mighty 800's by Kratville
RRTCP = Railroading Through Cajon Pass
Overland Rte = Overland Route pub by Carstens
Based originally on emails from Robert Rogers, to the Cajon Yahoo discussion group on February 13, 2004 (message 2909) and May 10, 2005 (message 4250).