The Northwestern Pacific Railroad was an amalgamation of some 60 different railroad companies and was the result of a business agreement between the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads to jointly own and run one railroad through a rugged and sparsely populated region of northern California. The NWP’s 300 mile route ended up full of sharp curves, bridges, tunnels, and short steep grades.

Despite the railroad’s diverse beginnings the motive power roster was remarkably simple in the 1920’s and 4-4-0 and 4-6-0 locomotives provided nearly all mainline power. The only trend through this period is as 4-4-0’s built in the 1880’s wore out they were retired while 4-6-0’s were purchased and maintained.

The chart below shows the numbers of different engine types in this period. Note that the NWP had five 0-6-0 switchers and five Moguls (2-6-0) in this period so their lines overlap.


Averaged over the 1920s, here is a pie chart of the different engine types. Americans and Ten-wheelers clearly dominate.


On my NWP I plan on having lots of 4-4-0s and 4-6-0s but I’ll also have a 2-10-0 or two (surely those cheap Russian decapods would have been attractive?), some 2-8-0s and one small 2-8-2.


Comments are closed.