SP 214 and SP 8706 - Southern Pacific - Chester Subdivision

SP 214 and SP 8706 on Union Pacific's Chester Subdivision at Airflite Road.
SP 214 and SP 8706 - Cahokia, IL

Southern Pacific 214 sits in the siding, as Southern Pacific 8706 leads a manifest freight south on the Union Pacific's Chester Subdivision. This photograph was taken at Airflite Road, near Parks Airport, now called Downtown St. Louis Airport. SP 8706 and its train have just come through Valley Junction, which is about 1.5 miles north of this location, and is heading toward Union Pacific's Dupo Yard, though, Dupo Yard was not the train's final destination.

This shot was taken about a year or so after the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific merger, which occurred in 1996. Both locomotives were owned by Union Pacific, but they had not been patched. This meant that the locomotives retained their full Southern Pacific paint schemes, lettering, and numbering. A patched locomotive is one that will still retain the former railroads paint scheme, but the current owning railroad's reporting marks or name has been applied to the locomotive, as well as possibly a new locomotive number.

The image was captured on a 35mm slide/transparency, and it was scanned using a Nikon CoolScan 9000ED scanner. Post processing was done in Adobe Photoshop.

Photograph taken: May 1997, at Cahokia, Illinois.


  1. that's pretty cool , and important . )

  2. robert daniel


    The chance of seeing two un-patched SP units side-by-side now a days is quickly diminishing.

  3. Tom Gatermann  are you a rail-roader ? Notice what is a train! as stated in the book of rule's . It's an engine couppled together with or with, out car's displaying marker's.

  4. one or more engine's cuppled together,

  5. robert daniel

    I'm not a railroader.

    I'm confused by your statement, "Notice what is a train!" I'm aware of what a train is. Were you just making a general knowledge statement here, or am I missing something?

  6. Thanks Anthony Pawley.

    The vibrant red on the front of those SP locomotives was sharp looking.

  7. you mostly don't see Southern Pacific these days

  8. No you don't Dereck Escobar. There aren't many SP units in service anymore. Most have been repainted, retired, or patched with Union Pacific numbers and emblems. I still see the occasional unpatched SP unit roll through town, but they are looking really worn now a days.

  9. poor Southern Pacific they been scraped :(

  10. Dereck Escobar The Southern Pacific was bought out by the Union Pacific. My dad was an engineer for 43 years. He hired out on the Denver & Rio Grande Western out of Durango, Co. (Narrow Gauge). The Rio Grande was then purchased by the Southern Pacific and then finally by the U.P. The Red, white and dark gray engines are still around, but barely. They've mostly all been painted up with U.P. gold.

  11. Anthony Pawley Occasionally I see SP power here in Fort Collins, Co. I miss the old Rio Grande Orange and Black. I have a picture of me, my baby son and my dad on Rio Grande #3909. It was the last time I was on the engine with my dad before he retired. Ironically, he's still running trains ... in his back yard on a G scale railroad empire. We just bought him the 0505 caboose that he used to shuffle in Durango. Man ... the pictures my dad has. Narrow Gauge in Durango, Co and Chama, N.M. before they tore the track out and made the D&SNG and C&T R.R.'s. He was the last engineer to travel through the Royal Gorge and the last engineer with the UP to shut down LaVeta pass in Colorado. As a kid I used to go from the first coach behind the tender, over the tender and into the cab with my dad. He took pictures on every trip with the D&RG, SP and UP. I hope someday he sits with an author and shares his knowledge and pictures. He has album after album of picture's. He can still recite train orders for every trip that he ran on the the narrow gauge.

  12. Dereck Escobar He hired out when he was 18. He was an engineer by the time he was just shy of 20. He was approached several times to take Road Foreman or Train Master jobs but all he ever wanted to do was run. 43 out of his 44 years were as an engineer. He's said many times how blessed he was to be an engineer.


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