Constructed by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1921, Southern Pacific’s fifteen P-8 class 4-6-2s #2461-2475 were obtained primarily for passenger service over the Ogden-Carlin segment of the railroad’s famed “Overland Route”. Over the route’s maximum gradient of 1.5%, a single P-8 was rated for a trailing load of 875-tons, approximately an eleven car passenger train. The P-8s thrived in this service until delivery of the larger, more powerful Mt-class 4-8-2s in the late 1920s. Most P-8s were then transferred further west for service between Oakland and Sacramento, along with the demanding Peninsula commute service between San Francisco and San Jose. Espee’s P-8 class 4-6-2s lasted until the mid-1950s, at which time they were replaced by diesels and retired.
Two Southern Pacific P-8 class locomotives were saved. SP #2467 was donated to the City of Oakland in 1960 and placed on display at Harrison Railroad Park. In April 1959, SP #2472 was donated to the City of San Mateo and placed on display at the Fairgrounds. In the early 1990s, the Pacific Locomotive Association acquired SP #2467 and began its restoration. Completed by July 1999, the locomotive made its operational debut at Sacramento’s Railfair in 1999. SP #2467 is currently on loan for static display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.
In 1976, a group of volunteers began work on full restoration of SP #2472 back to operable service. In the early 1990s the locomotive was used on several local excursions. In 1992, SP #2472 was doubleheaded with SP GS-4 class locomotive #4449 on excursions operated for the National Railway Historical Society convention. Today, the locomotive operates at the Niles Canyon Railway.
Accucraft Trains is proud to announce Southern Pacific P-8 class 4-6-2 locomotives in 1:32 scale, 45mm gauge live steam. Production is limited. These fine scale butane fired models will be constructed from brass and stainless steel. The following features are included:
- Fine scale brass model
- 60 psi working pressure
- Pressure gauge
- Water sight glass
- Axle water pump with bypass valve
- Hand water pump
AL97-035 Southern Pacific P-8 class #2467, butane fired
AL97-037 Southern Pacific P-8 class #2472, butane fired
(Engineering sample of the forthcoming SP P-8 4-6-2 shown)