lettering for Western Pacific’s aluminum steam lettering - 1930-1955
The Western Pacific, a Jay Gould railroad, was founded in 1903 to provide a standard gage railroad connecting the D&RGW in Denver and Salt Lake City to the West Coast in Oakland, California. This enabled the W.P. to compete with the S.P. and Santa Fe with through freight and passenger service from the East through the Feather River canyon and Oroville. The WP placed it’s first order for standard gage steam locomotives in 1906 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works. These were assigned road numbers 1 through 20. In 1909 Alco delivered numbers 21-65 - all 2-8-0’s. In 1908, Alco delivered the W.P.’s rst passenger locomotives, 2-6-0’s assigned road numbers 71-106, skipping 66-70. Switch engines (0-6-0’s) received numbers 151-166. In 1917, for heavy freight traffic, the WP acquired 10, 2-6-6-2 and given road nunbers 201-210. In 1936, the W.P. purchased 10, 4-8-2’s from the Florida East Coast Railroad and assigned road numbers 171-180. In 1943 the WP received 6 GS type locomotives from Lima copying an SP order in style and looks. These were numbered 481-486. Between 1918 and 1929, the W.P. took delivery of 35, 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotives and assigned 301-336 series road numbers. Others include Challenger types: 401-407; and 2-8-8-2 class: 251-260. By 1951, all had been replaced by diesels, with 3 sets of GM’s EMD FT’s edging their way into service in 1942.
The W.P. normally placed the Feather River Route medallion on enamaled metal signs that were bolted to the tender, and it’s number on the cab on an enamel sign in18” numbers with aluminum/silver paint, which together with road grime soon faded to a white appearance. Initially the name was spelled out in 12” block letters on the tender, but the enamaled sign medallion replaced this practice around 1918, although the photo of #72 below was dated 1931 with the number painted directly on the cab side.
To more fully understand the scope of Western Pacific’s steam locomotives, reference to Guy Dunscomb and Fred Stindt’s volume “Western Pacific Steam Locomotives, Passenger Trains and Cars”, published by the authors, April 1980, is recommended. Also see ”Steam on the Feather River Route” from a collection of Harold Miller’s 5,000+ photographs of WP steam, published by the NMRA’s Memorial Library (2002).
Decal set designed and created at Protocraft Decals
Printed by Microscale Industries