Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Southern Pacific Cab Forwards
Saugus, California

Color film, silent, shows trains being pulled (and pushed) through Saugus by Southern Pacific 4-8-8-2 cab forward locomotives in the early 1940s, courtesy of SCV resident Eric Jackson (2019).

From a series of 8mm home movies made by Jackson's grandparents, Zachariah and Alberta LaPrade of Hobart Boulevard in Los Angeles. Zachariah was a DWP engineer, and Alberta was a schoolteacher. At 01:35 in the film, Zachariah is seen climbing the side of the Pacific Fruit Express car, so Alberta would be the camera operator, at least for that sequence. (Jackson grew up in the San Fernando Valley and moved to Santa Clarita with his wife in 1985.)

Engine No. 4113 in 1933. Photo by Budd Laws, from

Union Pacific Engineer Jeff Hosford (2019) pro­vides a "latest date" for the film: "The entire film is at Saugus. At one time, there were nine tunnels in Soledad Canyon whereas now there are only two. This tunnel [beginning of film] was in a hill that no longer exists and was 'day-lighted' [blasted away] in July of 1943, so your film is before then. Essentially, that hill would be where the Autozone is now, just east of the Del Taco [at Bouquet Junction]. The wooden water towers were also replaced with a larger steel one that same year."

Hosford adds: "About 33 seconds before the end, you can see a glimpse of the rare Hall disk signal, which has been preserved at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, Ca."

The last few frames show the distinctive water tower at the SPRR Saugus Depot, which stood at the southeast corner of Bouquet Canyon Road and Drayton Street.

Locomotive No. 4113, seen toward the end of the film, was one of 16 Class AC-5 cab forwards built in 1929 by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Pennsylvania.

The same engine No. 4113 can also be seen parked in front of the Saugus Depot in 1936.

Bouquet Cyn Rd/
Magic Mtn Pkwy
(NW Corner)


Aqueduct Camp 1911


Wayfinding Signs 1926


Looking North & South (2 Views) 1/4/1938


FILM: Cab Forwards, Early 1940s


Film Clip 1940s


Rollerama & SPRR Track 1965


Dapper Dan's 2013 x3

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