The mighty Southern Pacific, known affectionately to railroadiana fans as the SP or “espee,” was the railroad empire that grew out of Leland Stanford's California-based Central Pacific. On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific’s tracks, which began in Sacramento, California, were linked to the Union Pacific’s at Promontory, Utah. In 1885, after expanding north to Portland and southeast all the way to New Orleans, the Central Pacific was reorganized as the Southern Pacific.

SP model trains run the gamut from steam (SP mostly used oil not coal) to diesel and recall espee's glory days with its famed Daylight and Sunset routes. One vintage manufacturer from the 1940s was Marx, whose O-gauge Southern Pacific model trains included a red-and-silver, tin AA diesel engine. This snubnose workhorse was sold in a set with a Wabash gondola, a Pennsylvaniaboxcar, and a Southern Pacific caboose.

Trains that have been re-created as models in N, HO, and other gauges include 1940s Daylight locomotives and passenger cars made by Kato. Among other trains, these sets reproduced the Daylight, from its streamlined GS-4 steam locomotive to its red-and-orange horizontally striped cars (the dining cars were articulated) to the rounded tavern car in the rear.

In the 1980s, Lionel produced similar Daylight locomotives and tenders in O gauge. These Lionel locomotives pulled cars made out of extruded aluminum and featured windows dotted with the silhouettes of passengers.

Other companies that have produced Southern Pacific locomotives and cars include Atlas, Athearn, and Bachmann. Brass Southern Pacific model trains range from black, cab-forward locomotives made in Korea by Ajin and imported by Overland Models to unpainted variations of the same train made in Japan by Katsumi Mokeiten and imported by Westside Models.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Airfix Model Railways

Airfix Model Railways

Dave McCarthy's Airfix Model Railway treasure trove is an in-depth archive of the company's plastic railway kits fr… [read review or visit site]

Gateway NMRA

Gateway NMRA

This great reference site for model railroaders, from the Gateway (St. Louis) division of the NMRA (National Model … [read review or visit site]

HOseeker.net

HOseeker.net

This site is a treasure trove of HO scale model railroad manufacturer catalogs and other reference information, inv… [read review or visit site]

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Bernie Schulz’s Lionel Trains Library focuses exclusively on postwar Lionel trains and accessories. The site cont… [read review or visit site]

Eric's Trains

Eric's Trains

Eric Siegel's site displays his collection of O-gauge/O-scale trains, tracks, turntables, and other accessories. A … [read review or visit site]

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

MIT's model railroad club, as one might expect, has one of the best websites for learning about how people play wit… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Precision Scale Southern Pacific Sw-1 Diesel Locomotive * Tiger Stripe * BrassHo, Sunset Brass, 2-10-0 Steam Loco, Southern Pacific, Sp, T&no, Saap D-1Pacific Fast Mail Southern Pacific 2-8-0 Locomotive & Tender * Brass * O ScalePrecision Scale Southern Pacific Black Widow Emd Sd7 Diesel Locomotive * BrassKatsumi Ho Scale Brass Southern Pacific 0-6-0 Class S-12 Steam Loco & Tender ExBrass Mb Austin Sp C-10 Consolidation 2-8-0 Project Locomotive Ho ScaleKey Imports Southern Pacific Black Widow F7 A&b Diesels * Brass * O ScaleLionel 6-38071 Southern Pacific Ac-12 Cab-forward Locomotive & Tender Mt/boxWestside 2-8-0 Southern Pacific No. 1 Hon3 Item 3388 Brass LocomotiveWestside 4-6-0 Southern Pacific No. 9 Hon3 Item 3389 Brass LocomotiveWsm Brass Sp 0-6-0 #966 Shop Switcher Sunset Models Inc Ac-12 Southern Pacific Cab Forward Factory Painted Brass HoN Scale Brass Sp Southern Pacific Steam C-10 2-8-0 Nib/factory PaintedN Scale Bachmann 4-8-2 Light Mountain Steam Locomotive & Southern Pacific CarsAthearn-ho-southern Pacific Diesel Locomotive #9224 -dcc Ready-Akane - Southern Pacific Lines Class Ac-9 UnpaintedAthearn Genesis Fp7/f7b, Southern Pacific #6460 And #8303Precision 0 Scale Rarity: Southern Pacific Mckeen Car N. 61 With Trailer €Broadway Limited Sp Ac-4 4-8-8-2 Steam Dcc/sound, NibLionel 6-38071 Southern Pacific Cab Forward ScaleAhm Rivarossi Ho 4-8-8-2 Southern Pacific Cab Forward Locomotive Needs WorkPrecision Scale Southern Pacific Bay Window Caboose * Brass * 2 Rail * O ScaleSpeedwitch Media K118 A-50-4 40' Auto Boxcar Kit Southern Pacific Sp 6 Lbf Boeing Skybox Air Craft Parts Cars Southern Pacific, Ttx Great Northern BnMth Premier No.20-2156-1 Emd Gp38-2 Southern Pacific DieselAthearn Genesis Gp9, Southern Pacific #3384Athearn Genesis Gp9, Southern Pacific #3759Southern Pacific Lines, Gs Gon-sugar Beet Car, Precision Scale Co. #15417Precision Scale #15448-1 Precision Scale Co.southern Pacific Mckeen Car Ho ScaleAthearn G22090 Ho Modernized F7 A/b, Sp/black Widow #6375/#8080 Ex/boxPecos 2433 Ho Scale Brass Southern Pacific O-50-13 Tank Car Ex/boxAthearn Genesis Gp9, Southern Pacific #3778N Scale Steam Locomotive Southern Pacific Daylight 4-8-4Precision Scale Company 15254 Ho Scale Brass Southern Pacific C-30-2 Caboose LnLot Of 8 N Scale Amtrak Superliner Set A&b Kato, Mtl, Atlas, Bnsf, Sp, Sf, Up 1961 Lionel Ho 5757 - Southern Pacific Steam Freight SetKato N Scale Southern Pacific Daylight Passenger CarsHo Brass Southern Pacific Sunset Ltd. Budd Baggage/rpo #5005-10 Tcy#0931 MintSunshine Models Sp Boxcar, Ho Scale, Resin KitNo Resverve! Rare! Lionel 18071 "4449 Gs-4 Southern Pacific Daylight" Mint!Southern Pacific Stock Car, Road Class S-40 Aar Class SmAthearn G22091 Ho Modernized F7 A/b, Sp/black Widow #6402/#8303 Ex/box Fujiyama Sp M-4 2-6-0 HoKadee N Scale Kit Lot Of 14 Boxcar Hopper Cn Sp Wp Mopac Rutland Bn Atsf St. LouLionel 6-37975 O Operating Freight Terminal, Sp Ln/boxAmerican Flyer 971 "moe & Joe" Southern Pacific Lumber Unloading Car BoxedLionel Southern Pacific 6pc. Aluminum Passenger Car Set (mib) *rare* Sp B50-15 Boxcar Ultra Scale Assembled Body 'o' Scale L@@k N Scale Kadee Kit Lot Of 8 Boxcars + Tanker + Caboose Cp Up Sp Atsf Mobill Sp&sCon-cor Ho Galloping Goose / Dcc Ready /southern Pacific.nscale 2-6-0 Steam Locomotive Southern Pacific With Vandy Tender #1806Vintage Marklin 1888 Sp Mitropa Tin Plate O Gauge 4 Axle Dining Car Made 1929-38Overland Brass G.e. U30c Early Bn C&o C&nw Mp Sp Soo Omi #1960 NiceSouthern Pacific Lines, C-30-1 Tapered Cupola Caboose, Precision Scale Co. 15859Ho Brass Union Terminal Southern Pacific Economy-baggage F/p 1027-4 No ReserveMth Southern Pacific Daylight 5-car Passenger Set 80-60029Usa Trains R22303 Sd40 Southern Pacific #8475 Diesel Dual Motors Smoke/lites NibStewart Sp&s Baldwin Vo-1000 Custom Paint NibStewart/ Kato Ho F3a Black Widow Southern Pacific #s 8215 & 9240 Both PoweredMth Premier O-scale Southern Pacific Sd45 With Scale Wheels And Fix Pilot