When the Southern Pacific purchased the El Paso & Southwestern Railroad from Phelps-Dodge Corporation in 1924, the Southern Pacific had to agree to purchase coal from the Phelps-Dodge owned coal mine in Dawson, New Mexico. This mine was originally developed to provide fuel for the P-D copper smelter in Douglas, Arizona. The terms of the contract were that Southern Pacific had to purchase a specified amount of coal from this mine for 25 years. Originally all EP&SW locomotives were coal-fired since Phelps-Dodge owned a coal mine.
As the SP assimilated the EP&SW locomotive fleet, most former EP&SW engines were converted to oil-burners and some SP oil-burners were converted to coal-burners. The twelve AC-9 class locomotives delivered in 1939 burned enough coal to fulfill the obligation to purchase the amount of coal required from the Dawson mine. Many older SP locomotives were converted back to oil-burners as the AC-9s were delivered. When the contract to purchase coal ended in 1949, the mine at Dawson shut down as the SP was the only customer (the smelter had been converted to use fuel oil years before) and the AC-9s moved west to SP's Modoc line.
The Modoc line traversed northwest Nevada, northeast California and southern Oregon. They were converted to oil-burners by using former Chesapeake & Ohio oil tenders from articulated locomotives as large oil tenders were required. Pictures in this book are from the coal-burning and oil-burning eras of these attractive engines.
The El Paso & Southwestern had acquired the El Paso & Northeastern which built a line to connect El Paso, Texas with the Rock Island at Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Trackage rights were acquired on the Rock Island to Tucumcari, New Mexico. A branch line was built from Tucumcari to Dawson to haul coal from this mine. The AC-9s were too large of a locomotive for this branch and they did not operate to Dawson. These locomotives were used between Tucumcari and El Paso during their coal-burning years.
This book features a photographic anthology of Southern Pacific's iconic AC-9 class articulated steam locomotives. Unlike SP's famous cab forwards, the AC-9 class was designed for operation as coal burning engines on the Rio Grande Division. Ordered shortly after SP's streamlined Daylight locomotives, the dozen AC-9s from Lima Locomotive Works also featured a skyline casing and were the only semi-streamlined articulated engines ever produced. Many previously unpublished images are supplemented by historical information, technical specifications, and tender records.
Aeronaut Books, softcover, 152 pages, 174 photographs in B&W.