World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Southern Pacific 4449

Southern Pacific 4449
SP 4449 under steam in Tacoma, WA in June, 2011.
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Lima Locomotive Works
Serial number 7817
Build date May 1941
Configuration 4-8-4
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver diameter 80 in (2,032 mm)
Weight on drivers 275,700 lb (125,100 kg)
Locomotive weight 475,000 lb (215,000 kg)[1]
Locomotive and tender
combined weight
870,000 lb (390,000 kg)[2]
Fuel type Bunker oil
Cylinder size 25.5 in × 32 in (648 mm × 813 mm)
dia × stroke
Performance figures
Maximum speed 110 mph (180 km/h)
Power output 5,500 hp (4,100 kW)
Tractive effort 64,800 lbf (288,000 N), 78,000 lbf (350,000 N) with booster
Factor of
Operator(s) Southern Pacific
Class GS-4
Number in class 28
Number(s) 4449
Nicknames "The Daylight"
First run May 30, 1941
Retired October 2, 1957
Restored Removed from Oaks Park on December 14, 1974
Current owner City of Portland, Oregon
Disposition Currently going through 15-year inspection and overhaul; based in Portland, Oregon, at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Southern Pacific 4449 is the only surviving example of Southern Pacific Railroad's (SP) GS-4 class of steam locomotives. There is one other GS-class locomotive surviving, but it is a GS-6. The locomotive is a streamlined 4-8-4 (Northern) type steam locomotive. GS is abbreviated from "Golden State", a nickname for California (where the locomotive was operated in regular service), or "General Service". The locomotive was built by Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio, for SP in May 1941; it received the red-and-orange "Daylight" paint scheme for the passenger trains of the same name which it hauled for most of its service career. No. 4449 was retired from revenue service in 1956 and put into storage. In 1958 it was donated, by the railroad, to the City of Portland, who then put it on static display in Oaks Amusement Park, where it remained until 1974. It was restored to operation for use in the American Freedom Train, which toured the 48 contiguous United States for the American Bicentennial celebrations. Since then, 4449 has been operated in excursion service throughout the continental US; its operations are based at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland, where it is maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers called Friends of SP 4449. In 1983, a poll of Trains magazine readers chose the 4449 as the most popular locomotive in the nation.[3]


  • Original service 1
  • Display at Oaks Park 2
  • American Freedom Train 3
  • 1981–present 4
  • Disposition and maintenance 5
  • Filmography 6
  • References in popular culture 7
  • References 8
  • Sources 9
  • External links 10

Original service

4449 was the last engine manufactured in Southern Pacific's first order of GS-4 (Golden State/General Service) locomotives. 4449 was placed into service on May 30, 1941, and spent its early career assigned to the Coast Daylight, SP's premier passenger train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, but it also pulled many other of the SP's named passenger trains. After the arrival of newer GS-4s and GS-5s, 4449 was assigned to Golden State Route and Sunset Route passenger trains. 4449 was reassigned to the Coast Division in the early 1950s. One of 4449's career highlights happened on October 17, 1954, when 4449 and sister 4447 pulled a special 10-car train for a railway historical society from Los Angeles to Owenyo, California, and return. In 1955, after being one of the last few Daylight steam engines in Daylight livery, 4449 was painted black and silver and its streamlined side skirting was removed due to dieselization of the Coast Daylight in January of that year. 4449 was then assigned to Southern Pacific's San Joaquin Valley line, occasionally pulling passenger trains such as the San Joaquin Daylight between Oakland and Bakersfield as well as fast freight and helper service.[4] 4449 was semi-retired from service on September 24, 1956, and was kept as an emergency back-up locomotive until it was officially retired on October 2, 1957, and was placed in storage along with several other GS-class engines near Southern Pacific's Bakersfield roundhouse.

Display at Oaks Park

In 1958, when most of the GS class engines had already been scrapped, a then black-and-silver painted 4449 was removed from storage and donated on April 24, 1958, to the city of Portland, Oregon,[3][5] where it was placed on outdoor public display in Oaks Park.[6] Since the equipment was considered obsolete, 4449 was not actively chosen for static display. It was picked simply because it was the first in the dead line and could be removed with the least number of switching moves. During its time on display, 4449 was repeatedly vandalized and had many of its parts stolen,[7] including its builder's plates and whistle. The locomotive quickly deteriorated due to neglect. It was evaluated for restoration in 1974 after becoming a candidate to pull the American Freedom Train. Its size, power, and lines made it an efficient fit for the train. After finding that 4449's bearings and rods were in good shape, it was chosen.

American Freedom Train

4449 was removed from display on December 14, 1974, and restored at Burlington Northern's Hoyt Street roundhouse in Portland and returned to operation April 21, 1975, wearing a special paint scheme of red, white, and blue. As part of the American Freedom Train, the engine pulled a display train around the most of the United States. Afterwards, 4449 pulled an Amtrak special, the Amtrak Transcontinental Steam Excursion. After nearly two years on the road, 4449 was returned to storage in Portland, this time under protective cover and not exposed to the elements.[8]


Along the Kootenai, west of Troy, Montana, 2009

In 1981, 4449 was returned to its original "Daylight" colors for Railfair '81 and the opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.[8] In 1984, 4449 pulled an all-Daylight-painted train from Portland to New Orleans, Louisiana and back, to publicize the World's Fair. The 7,477-mile (12,033 km) round trip was the longest steam train excursion in US history.[9] In 1986, 4449 went to Hollywood to appear in Tough Guys, and pulled business trains for the Southern Pacific.[10] 4449 had a notable moment in 1989 when the engine and famed 4-8-4 Union Pacific 844 made a side-by-side entrance into Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal in 1989 for the station's 50th anniversary celebration.[11] 4449's 3 chime whistle was replaced with a Southern Pacific 6 chime whistle for the special event. The two locomotives then raced each other on Santa Fe's and Southern Pacific's parallel main lines through Cajon Pass,[11] with 4449 eventually taking the lead. In the spring of 1991, 4449's Southern Pacific 6-chime whistle was replaced with a Northern Pacific 3-chime Hancock whistle. No. 4449 returned to Railfair in Sacramento in 1991 and again in 1999. In 2000, 4449 was repainted black and silver for a Burlington Northern Santa Fe employee appreciation special. It was painted black and silver to mark that BNSF is a freight railroad and to commemorate the days of the 4449's and other GS locomotives assigned to freight, helper, or local passenger trains. 4449 was repainted into the previous American Freedom Train scheme again from early 2002 to 2004 after the events of the September 11th terrorist attacks.[12] In the fall of 2004, 4449 returned to the classic Daylight paint scheme, this time in its "as delivered" appearance.

On May 18 and May 19, 2007, the engine made another appearance with UP 844 in the Pacific Northwest for the "Puget Sound Excursion", on BNSF Railway tracks from Tacoma to Everett, Washington, round-trip.

SP 4449 decked out as the Holiday Express

On March 24, 2009, it was announced that 4449 would attend Trainfestival 2009 in Milwaukee Road 261 lent some of their first-class passenger cars, including former Milwaukee Road Super Dome #53 and Cedar Rapids Skytop Lounge for the 4449 and for the other excursion trains at the festival. The train left its home at Brooklyn Roundhouse on July 2 and left the city of Portland the following day on July 3. It returned to the city Portland and Brooklyn Roundhouse on October 20. In the fall of 2010, 4449's old Northern Pacific 3-chime Hancock whistle was replaced with a new Southern Pacific 3-chime hancock whistle which it currently uses, spending all of 2010 in Portland. Future excursions are being planned to follow the locomotive's mandatory 15-year inspection and overhaul, expected to be complete by the fall of 2015.[13]

Disposition and maintenance

From 1981 to 2012, No. 4449 resided at Union Pacific's (née Southern Pacific) Brooklyn Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC), a new restoration facility and public interpretive center adjacent to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in southeast Portland. The ORHC opened to the public on September 22, 2012.[15][16]

4449 is maintained by


1979: The Dukes of Hazzard in the episode "The Ghost of General Lee."

1986: Tough Guys as the locomotive for the Gold Coast Flyer Express.

1990: Come See the Paradise

References in popular culture

The NimbleBit game Pocket Trains contains a train set named the Daylight, which is painted in the colors of The Daylight.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Painter, John (January 23, 1984). "Restored bicentennial train gears up for Portland-to-World's Fair haul". The Oregonian.
  4. ^ Huxtable (1987), pp. 37, 43.
  5. ^ Diebert and Strapac, p 238.
  6. ^ "Third Locomotive in Oaks Collection". (April 25, 1958). The Oregonian, section 3, p. 14.
  7. ^ Huxtable (1987), p. 59.
  8. ^ a b Huxtable (1987), p. 65.
  9. ^ Huxtable (1987), p. 75.
  10. ^ Huxtable (1987), p. 95.
  11. ^ a b Lawrence, Elrond G. (August 1989). "Happy Birthday, LAUPT: The 50th Anniversary of Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal prompts California's biggest steam show in years". Pacific RailNews, pp. 20–29. Glendale (CA): Interurban Press.
  12. ^ Foyston, John (October 20, 2004). "Old No. 4449, spruced up, chugs on tour". The Oregonian, p. C1.
  13. ^ Franz, Justin (8 June 2015). "SP 4449 poised to steam in 2015". Trains Magazine News Wire. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Redden, Jim (December 28, 2007). "Running out of steam? Three locomotives chug toward homelessness, unless new site is OK’d".  
  15. ^ Tims, Dana (September 20, 2012) [print edition September 21]. "Oregon Rail Heritage Center ready for grand opening Saturday, Sunday".  
  16. ^ "Oregon Rail Heritage Center opens its doors". Official blog of Portland city commissioner  
  17. ^ Larabee, Mark (November 1, 2009). "Portland's locomotives will get new $3.5 million home".  
  18. ^ Johnsen, Kenneth G. (2006). Southern Pacific Daylight Steam Locomotives. Specialty Press Publishers and Wholesalers, North Branch, MN. ISBN 978-1-58007-098-0.
  19. ^ Huxtable (1987), p. 19.


  • Diebert, Timothy S. and Strapac, Joseph A. (1987). Southern Pacific Company Steam Locomotive Conpendium. Shade Tree Books.  
  • Huxtable, Nils (1987). Daylight Reflections. West Vancouver, BC: Steamscenes.  
  • Wright, Richard K. (1975). America's Bicentennial Queen Engine 4449 "The Lone Survivor". Wright Enterprises. 

External links

  • Friends of SP 4449
  • Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation
  • Restoration of 4449 and the 1975-1976 Bicentennial American Freedom Train
  • NRHS 1992 Fremont, California
  • SP 4449 Photography - Cross-country excursion to TrainFestival 2009
  • Video of SP 4449 in Michigan in 2009
  • Southern Pacific Coast Daylight Engines
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.