Doubleheaded freight arriving Salt Lake City
Western Pacific 2-8-2s 304 and 303 bring a freight into Salt Lake City in September 1940. Note the Denver & Rio Grande Western yard and road engines at right.
R. H. Kindig
Freight along the Feather River
Four F units lead a westbound Western Pacific freight past Pacific Gas & Electric’s Las Plumas hydroelectric plant on the Feather River east of Oroville, Calif., in May 1953.
W. E. Malloy Jr.
Reno Branch local freight
A Geep begins the descent toward Reno, Nev., with Western Pacific train 220, the daily-except-Sunday Portola, Calif.–Reno local, on September 8, 1972. It’ll return at noon as train 219.
R. T. Sharp
Freight to San Francisco by car float
Western Pacific tugboat Hercules shepherds a car float loaded with boxcars across San Francisco Bay in October 1938. Like the Santa Fe, WP reached the city only by water.
Classic Trains collection
Freight on Williams Loop
About 15 miles east of Keddie, Calif., a Western Pacific 2-8-8-2 enters Williams Loop with a westbound freight in the 1940s. The train will soon re-enter the picture on the track coming in from the right and pass through the tunnel beneath the locomotive.
Union Switch & Signal
Freight in the streets of Oakland
Western Pacific 2-6-6-2 208 trundles down Third Street in Oakland with a long freight train in the 1940s.
Westbound freight at Keddie
Western Pacific 2-8-8-2 256 leads a westbound freight onto the mainline trestle at Keddie, Calif., on July 4, 1941. In a moment the engine will hit the junction with the Bieber line and then enter a tunnel.
Freight in Niles Canyon
Western Pacific 4-8-4 453 climbs through Niles Canyon, WP’s exit from the Bay Area, with an eastbound freight in November 1950.
John C. Illman
1960s freight out of Salt Lake City
Four second-generation GPs led by Western Pacific GP35 3515 depart Salt Lake City with freight for the Bay Area in May 1967.
J. David Ingles
Westbound freight on Altamont Pass
Western Pacific 2-8-2 308 climbs the east side of California’s Altamont Pass with an Oroville–Oakland freight in the late 1940s. Today WP’s line here is busy with Union Pacific freights and Altamont Commuter Express trains, while the Southern Pacific line below is abandoned.
All through August, Classic Trains editors are celebrating the grit, the glory, and the grandeur that was the Western Pacific Railroad. Please enjoy this photo gallery of images selected from Kalmbach Media’s David P. Morgan Library.
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