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SP Railroad train symbol MJDOL at Harold, CA

SP Railroad train symbol MJDOL at Harold, CA

Harold (originally Alpine Station) was a watering hole for the railroad's steam engines. As trains grew heavier, the railroad established a terminal for helper engines at Palmdale in 1890. This shifted most of the work away from Harold.

SP Railroad train symbol MJDOL climbing the grade up to Vincent SP Railroad train symbol MJDOL climbing the grade up to Vincent at MP 419

The Searles Turn operated out of Mojave at night. It took empty covered hoppers to the interchange with the Trona Railway at Searles and returned with the loads. Most of this potash traffic went for export out of Los Angeles. The train for LA was generally out of Mojave by 6AM. However, on October 29, 1976 things were not going well. The train only had three working units on the headend before leaving Mojave and lost one unit on the three unit helper set climbing the grade out of Lancaster. If you look closely at the last picture, you will see that the third unit is not making any smoke. Extra 5301 East (train symbol MJDOL) is down to a crawl climbing the 2.2% grade up to Vincent. The speed was so slow that I was able to grab a couple pictures at a location few railfans visit. Disk 48

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