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Southern Pacific GP-9 No.3194

Jay Jacobs 

Southern Pacific No.3194 (ex T&NO No.281, SP-5895 and SP-3001) is a General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) GP9 equipped with steam generator and bi-directional control stands for passenger service.

After the flood of streamlined cab units purchased by the Southern Pacific from 1947 to 1953, (see F-Unit page) the motive power department made a shift in purchasing decisions. Hood units could be built with the same mechanical specifications, but would have better rearward visibility and be easier to work on, as the whole hood could come off for maintenance.

SP subsidiary Texas & New Orleans purchased the first GP9's on the system in 1954. Four of those, Nos.280-283 were equipped with steam boilers and dual controls for bi-directional use in passenger service.

As passenger service in Texas decreased, this series of locomotives was transferred to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1960 and 1961, working the Sacramento locals, the Del Monte and the San Francisco to San Jose commuter service. The No.281 was renumbered to 5895, the next open number in the GP9 block. It was during this time that it was painted gray and scarlet and lost its Gyralight ash-can signal lights in favor of the more compact Mars signal light package. It was renumbered to 3001 in the 1965 SP general locomotive renumbering, placing it in the 3000-series with the other passenger GP9's Nos.3000-3010 and the Fairbanks-Morse TrainMaster Nos.3020-3035.

In the mid 70's, SP rebuilt most of the EMD 9-series locomotives. SP-3001 was rebuilt as the No.3194. It continued in San Francisco - San Jose commuter service until new equipment was purchased in 1985 by CalTrain and the Peninsula Joint Powers Authority. The SP-3194 went into freight service until it was retired in 1998. It was purchased and donated to GGRM at that time.

The locomotive now is in good condition, although it did suffer from lack of attention during its later years in freight service. The GGRM diesel department has done a great job of bringing this locomotive back to serviceable standards.

SP 3194 at 7th Street, San Francisco, 1985 Dave Roth
SP 3194 at 7th Street, San Francisco, 1985 Dave Roth
SP 3194 at Brisbane, 1985 Dave Roth


Number History
Built as Texas and New Orleans 281
Renumbered 1961 SP 5895
Renumbered 1965 SP 3001
Rebuilt and renumbered 1977 SP 3194
Acquired by GGRM 1998
Manufacturer Electro-Motive Division, GMC
EMD Model GP9
Date Built May, 1954
Construction Number 19483
S.P. Order Number 5335-3
Weight 252,000 pounds
Length 55' 9" (over coupler pulling faces)
Maximum Height Above Rail 14' 6"
Width Over Handrails 10' 3"
Original Maximum Speed 71 mph (61-16 gear ratio)
Interim Maximum Speed 77 mph (60-17 gear ratio)
Current Maximum Speed 65 mph (62-15 gear ratio)
Diesel Fuel 1200 gallons
Engine Cooling Water 250 gallons
Steam Generator Water 1200 gallons