Does ANYONE know what loco’s ran the Casa Grande local in 1984-86? Images would be great, Thanks!
*edit* I have asked on the Espee Yahoo group, and it looks like the locals were typically GP35R’s, most of the photos that I located on http://espee.railfan.net show Tucson painted on the cab and Tom Fassett took many images of them all over Arizona in the mid 1980’s. Tom’s images have the city (most were in Tucson and Phoenix, but Chandler and Eloy were also locations) and month/year on them to help me out. If anyone else has more info, I would love to know.
The Casa Grande local from 1984-1986 was almost always one or two GP35Rs as you stated. They were often changed out with “fresher” units from the Tucson pool as they had a bad habit of breaking down. I used to listen on the scanner to the crews complaining that their locomotives had broken down (in the summer) without air conditioners and they had no water on board. I would head to the local convenience store and pick up a couple of cold six packs of soda and take them out to them. I got all sorts of (hot) cab rides and tours that way… ;- )
I have pictures of the Casa Grande local from that time period that are not posted online as they were not “roster shots” or what I considered very good photography (I was new to the hobby back then). I’ll look them up and get them posted for you.
Thanks Tom, too bad i did not think of the same idea, but in 1986, I was 10 and living in So-Cal
One more bit of information. I drove a delivery truck back then and always had the scanner going. Back then all movements of the locals were governed by track warrants given out over the radio (those were great times… ;- ). I used to pay attention (and often write down) the locomotive number mentioned by the dispatcher as a way to track their movements and to decide whether I wanted to go chase a particular train to shoot a picture of a locomotive I did not have a picture of. Looking through my old notebooks I only see one instance where anything other than a GP35R in the 6300 series was called the Casa Grande local. That was SW1500 2510. Obviously one of the geeps broke down (again) and all Tucson had to replace it with was the switcher.
thanks for the info, I would love to get more info from the era. I’m looking at the new run of Atlas GP35’s, and renumbering them. Glad to hear that the SW1500’s did not make it out here too often since there isn’t a good N Scale model of one. For my purpose, any photo and any notes would be helpful to me.
In the Summer of 1985 the Casa Grande local consisted of GP35Rs 6300 ans 6343. Both were assigned to Tucson for maintenance. Maintenance info stenciled on 6300 was TU MO 2-85, on 6343 it was TU MO 4-85. The 6343 also had a larger TU stenciled on the cab behind the number.
In May of 1985, both units broke down on the mainline in front of Fertizona (near Peart Road). Neither unit woud load and it tied up mainline traffic for a couple of hours while the crew tried to get the units running. Finally, the dispatcher had a road crew detach their locomotives from their train and push the local power into the siding at Fertizona to clear the main. The Geeps were gone the next day so I assume an eastbound road freight picked them up and took them to Tucson for repair. They were back in Casa Grande a few days later.
Here is the 6300 dead on the line in May of 1985:
Here is the 6343 coupled behind (also dead):
Here is a shot of the Casa Grande local at Casa Grande siding alongside Thornton Road in August of 1985 showing that the same units were still being used on the local 4 months after the previous pictures.
The first set of pictures were taken facing South with the 6300 facing East–this one was taken facing North (the 6300 now facing West) showing that at some time the units were turned around–possibly on the Wye at Picacho.
Tom, again, you’re a wealth of knowledge, and am about to pick up a pair of GP35’s…I think that I will have to model 6300 and 6343. Do you know what the typical mix of freight cars were on that local at that time? Today, it is mostly covered hoppers and tank cars from what I have seen.