As its steam locomotives grew in size, Southern Pacific faced a problem - the occupants of the loco cabs were getting smoked out in the many tunnels and long snowsheds along the railroad's mountainous routes. SP solved the problem in a unique fashion made possible by their choice of oil fuel for their steamers. They simply turned around the locomotive and ran them "cab forward", piping the heavy fuel oil to the firebox along the length of the locomotive. This put the engine crew ahead of the stack and its exhaust.
While no Cab -Forwards operate today, one of the last is well protected an cared for as the crown jewel of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Here we see a slightly smaller example as an O-Scale model of an early cab forward 4-8-8-2 rumbles past on the New York Society of Model Engineers railroad in Carlstadt, NJ.
Model RailroadsPicture of the Day NEW