Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Night Steam

A wonderful video just published on YouTube!  Enjoy!


Published on Dec 30, 2017
Fox Movietone's cameramen visited the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1929 and brought back this sound footage. Some of the scenes are in the Sacramento engine shops, the rest show some of their largest steam locomotives out for a run. The scenes include: 0:00 The drivers of a SP-1 4-10-2 as it accelerates. All the SP's 4-10-2's had three cylinders. Listen for the six-per-turn exhaust. 1:02 Scenes of boiler work in the shops. (Note: the sound for this segment has been lost.) 1:27 Putting a connecting rod back on a 4-10-2. There seem to be a large number of shop personnel working on this locomotive. Maybe they all wanted to be in the movies. 2:46 More shots of a 4-10-2's drivers. A suit rides the pilot beam and checks the driver hardware afterwards. 4:18 Cab-forward AC-5 No. 4124 and SP-1 No. 4005 and 4003 running side-by-side. First take, too much smoke. 5:03 Back up for a second take. 5:12 Take two. 6:19 Beautiful pacing shot of the AC-5. 6:15 Pacing shot of all three locomotives. The Movietone people apparently liked these side-by-side locomotive shots, and the Southern Pacific appeared happy to oblige. This film comes from the Fox Movietone News outtakes at the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Resource Collection (




  1. Cool video. And a little more information on the SP Mallets.

    Thank you!

  2. What a great find. Really neat video.
    John, thanks for the link. At least one of the cab forward locomotives wasn't scrapped.