McCloud River Railroad Company
McCloud Railway Company
Locomotive #39

EMD SD38-2
Built- 1974
c/n- 74623-1
Horsepower- 2000

Substantially increasing traffic levels in the middle 1970s pressed the three SD38s to their limits. Typical operations would see two units going to Burney while the third switched the McCloud yard during daylight hours, while nights saw two units working the Mt. Shasta line while the third went to Lookout. The round-the-clock operations left little time for maintenance or shoppings, and a mechanical failure on just one unit would tie the railroad up in knots for days. The railroad turned to EMD for a fourth unit to help out, but by this time EMD had substantially upgraded their models and redesignated them as the "-2" line. While the #39 shared the same basic horesepower and other metrics as its earlier counterparts, it also contained many advances such as modularized electronics that the SD38s lacked. Despite being more modern, it still ended up being the odd unit out when traffic on the McCloud Railway started to slide, which together with the high prices "-2" locomotives were commanding then explains its early departure from the property.

Builder's photo of the #39.

A color version of the #39's builders photo. Travis Berryman collection.

Burlington Northern has just delivered the #39 to the McCloud at Lookout Junction. The unit is about to enter its home rails for the first time. Photograph from the Travis Berryman collection.

This photo shows a brand new #39 sitting in the locomotive service area shortly after its arrival on the McCloud in 1974. Photo is by and courtesy of George Landrock.

The #39 in the McCloud yards in the later part of the 1970s. Lee F. Hower.

#39 in helper service between McCloud and Mt Shasta. Photo by and courtesy of George Landrock.

#39 leading a Southern Pacific freight through Portland, Oregon, on 23 January 1979. Keith Ardinger photo.

Another shot of the #39 working on the Southern Pacific, this time in Albany, Oregon, on 5 August 1979.

The #39 and #38 switching in Mt. Shasta City in 1982.

#39 with two sisters crossing the Lake Britton Bridge with a Burney-bound freight. Photo is dated 8 August 1987 and is by and courtesy of Keith Ardinger.

The #39 and #38 switching at Lookout Junction. Photo is by and courtesy of Greg Brown.

Engineer Malen Johnson eyes the camera as he heads for the cab of the #39 in November 1992. The new McCloud Railway has been in business about five months, and the #39 would be relettered shortly after this photo. Dwight Smith photo.

The #39, now lettered for the McCloud Railway, leads a westbound Lookout Job towards McCloud in the spring of 1994. Wayne Monger photo.

The now former McCloud Railway #39 spent several months working in helper service out of Dunsmuir after its sale to the Union Pacific. Jerry Lamper.

The former McCloud #39 after UP had renumbered it from #2824 to UPY #824. Dennis Sullivan collection.