Oregon Pacific Railroad No. 128
Last Update:  August 20, 2012
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"Santa Rosa"
Oregon Pacific Railroad No. 1202
Oregon Pacific Railroad Pullman Business Car - "Santa Rosa"  Built 1917
The OPR's intention is to return the car to it's original Southern Pacific name and number from the 1930s.  The previous owner did a wonderful job in having
the car repainted to the former Pullman Southern Pacific colors.   The car will be relettered and renamed Santa Rosa in honor of it's heritage.

Very little was changed on the car by the Kyle Railways and it remains much as it was when last used by the Southern Pacific.  The car appears to contain
most of it's original fixtures and furniture from its SP days.   The OPR has cleaned and refurbished the car and its currently ready for service.  OPR service will
include mostly private charter and some public excursions on the East Portland Branch.   When the OPR's former
SP No. 1127 is restored, the two will operate
as an authentic SP Heritage train.

The layout of the car is as follows.   
Large observation room/lounge - Secretaries room - two connecting staterooms - shower - dining room - crew room - kitchen

Mechanical details are as follows:   
E couplers, grease bearings, drop equalizers, DC electrical system, Waukasha air conditioning system,  Waukasha generator, body mounted cylinders,
cast shoes.

Any additional photos or history on this car that anyone would like to share can be emailed to the webmaster.
These photos were by Ozark Mountain Railcar, the broker who sold the Santa Rosa to the OPR.   
Photos Courtesy of Chris McLarney, OPR volunteer, UP 25198 owner.   Taken 8-18-11
Chris, who is an Amtrak inspector, went down to the Niles Canyon Railroad to perform a full inspection on the car and took these photos of the car while
it was in storage at the Brightside Yard.
About Pullman and Southern Pacific Business Cars

A "business car" is a unique passenger car in rail service.   They were either built originally by the manufacture, such as Pullman, or were later converted by
their respective railroad owners into a business type car.   A business car refers to a car that is generally designed to be largely self contained and carry
railroad executives, dignitaries or VIPs around the railroad in comfort.  The cars were designed to contain only a couple larger size state room sleeping
quarters, a kitchen, dining room, secretary room and an observation room.   The cars generally hosted a dozen people or less or as few as one executive or
VIP and were usually operated by a small service crew to operate the kitchen and service the riders.

Business cars of this type were the corporate jets of their day and were often assigned to high ranking officials within the company to allow them and
sometimes their families to travel to various points on the line in an age where executives would have to travel by rail anyway.     The Santa Rosa, for example,
was assigned to an SP executive during at least its early years.   These cars were sometimes assigned to the same person for many years, such as the Santa
Rosa being assigned to Arthur Edwin Sweet from approximately 1920 through 1934.   Other business cars rotated numerous times and sometimes had their
names changed to reflect their assignment.

They were generally equipped to be the last car in the train, often having special railroad required lighting for either reverse moves or to mark end of train.  
The rear portion of these cars often had a larger observation deck and larger than normal windows.

Southern Pacific Railroad is thought to have purchased and/or converted least 100 business cars over the life of the company.

These types of cars are extremely popular today with private car owners who now operate these cars as private cars that can be equipped to travel and tour
the country as Amtrak certified passenger cars.   However, business cars are fairly rare.    Few were made compared to regular passenger, baggage, lounge
and other cars, designed to accommodate train loads of common riders.

Today, private railroad car owners have an association and publication through the
Railroad Passenger Car Alliance.   
About Arthur Edwin Sweet (Assigned this car 1919-1934)

Very special thanks to the California State Rail Museum Library and Librarian Cara Randall for
supplying some of the information contained here.

Arthur Edwin Sweet was born on October 26, 1865 in Pascoag, Rhode Island to a George Hopkins Sweet and Emeline Juliette Hopkins.   Arthur's first son was born in 1906 and
appears to have passed away in 1981.   He had a wife named Mable and a daughter named Marjorie, all pictured above.  The above picture is said to have been taken in 1923 next to
the Santa Rosa.   This appears to coincide with the known ages of those in the photo.   Shown in the photo are two additional people who were likely SP employees who tended the car
while it was in use.  That would have included at least one cook and a servent/maid of some type.    Executives of this type might also have had a personal secretary and the car was
equipped with personal quarters for all of these people.
Photo taken by and courtesy of Robert Morris.  Click here for his website with many other railroad photos.
Train 51-52, San Joaquin Daylight, SP, early 1960s.   Taken in Oakland at 16th Street.  At first I thought this might be the Santa Rosa, but closer examination leads us to believe it's not
the Santa Rosa, but a very close cousin and a Pullman made around the same era.   It does not otherwise match any other Pullman SP business car photos that we've seen to date.
Photo taken by and courtesy of Robert Morris.  Click here for his website with many other railroad photos.
Santa Rosa pulls out of Glendale, California in 1960, on the rear of the LARK, San Francisco to Los Angeles all sleeper car SP passenger train.  Passengers are waiting for the
northbound Coast Daylight.   Robert indicates that the car may contain SP executives who were at a meeting at 65 Market St.
About the OPR No. 128 Pullman Business Car, Santa Rosa.

This is the history of the Santa Rosa as we know it now.  This page will be updated with as much detail as possible in the near future.   It is currently a work in
progress and all additions, no matter how small and all corrections are more than welcome.  
Email the webmaster here.

This car was built in 1917 by the Pullman Company as a heavy weight business car.   The car was originally ordered by and built for, the El Paso &
Southwestern Railroad.  It was named the Santa Rosa and numbered 500.   It was built under Pullman plan No. 2794 and listed as a private car.   It was the
only Pullman private car to be directly ordered by the EP & SW.

The car appears to have been first used on a regular basis by the general manager of the EP & SW, Arthur Edwin Sweet.   When the Southern Pacific
Railroad took over operations of the EP & SW, but leaving the railroad and name intact, Mr. Sweet continued as the SP general manager of the EP & SW.   
Upon the SP take over in approximately 1924, the Santa Rosa, became a Southern Pacific asset and was renumbered No. 128, in line with the existing
Southern Pacific business car fleet.

Mr. Sweet continued to use the Santa Rosa as his private business car as Southern Pacific manager of the EP & SW through at least the mid to late 1920s.   
He was then promoted to Southern Pacific Assistant General Manager.    It's believed he still used this same private car until his death on October 13, 1934.  
See below for much more detailed information on Arthur Sweet's railroad service and a photo.
Photo of Arthur Sweet Sr. and his family and two apparent railroad employees standing next to the Santa Rosa.   This photo is said to have been taken in 1923
when Mr. Sweet and the Santa Rosa still officially worked for the El Paso & Southwestern railroad.
There is a record of the Santa Rosa No. 128 having been repaired by the Southern Pacific with new fans in 1927.  (thanks to Ken Shattock for the info)

In 1934, the Santa Rosa would cease to be used by Mr. Sweet, upon his death.   Who started using the car after that is unclear.  In approximately 1937, the
Santa Rosa was upgraded by the Southern Pacific and modernized for that era, undergoing a complete rebuild.    Air conditioning and a generator were

Comparing early 1920s Southern Pacific photos to current photos of the Santa Rosa, we know that at some point, major body modifications were conducted.  
This probably occurred during the 1937 rebuild.  The front vestibule area which consisted of an enclosed platform and stairwells, was covered over and
replaced with a car to car enclosed vestibule.   Changes were also made to the roofline and to at least one window while in Southern Pacific service.

By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Santa Rosa seems to have seen regular service in California.   Some sources indicating that it was regularly on the tail
end of Train 51, the westbound SJ Daylight.    During this period and probably through its final days on the SP, sources indicate that it was officially assigned
to the Chief Mechanical Officer of the SP as late as at least 1966.   With the "Del Monte" assigned to the VPO, the "Stanford" assigned to the President of the
SP, "Airslie" to the VP of Traffic and the "Sunset" business cars, assigned to the DJR.  (Thanks to JLY of trainorders for this info)
Sometime in the 1960s, the Santa Rosa was sold to the Yreka Western Railroad, owned by Willis Kyle at the time.  Willis Kyle owned several railroads and
would later acquire more, having purchased the Yreka Western in 1956.   It's not clear exactly when Kyle and the Yreka Western purchased the car.  Some
sources indicate in the early 1960s and others the late 1960s.

Some sources give the date as  March 18, 1968, and the Santa Rosa was apparently renumbered No. 68.  Other sources indicate the Santa Rosa was
purchased in 1962.   Possible reasons for the discrepancy are that the Santa Rosa is being confused with one of two other business cars owned by Kyle at
the time.   Ex-Great Northern No. 18, which was renumbered No. 13 and is mistaken by some sources as the Santa Rosa.   Willis Kyle used the No. 13 as his
residence whenever he stayed at the Yreka Western.  Kyle and the Yreka Western had a 3rd car, ex-Santa Fe No. 409, which was purchased in 1966 and
sold off around 1991  (Thanks to Jeff Moore for passing some of this info along)

It appears that Willis Kyle kept the Santa Rosa at the Yreka Western during most of the 1960s through the 1980s.   Some sources indicated that it was used
on the Kyle's Oregon Pacific & Eastern and Jon Farley photos from 1986 confirms that it was on the OP&E during at least that year.   In 1987 passenger
excursions on the OP&E ended and a lot of the passenger and steam related equipment was moved back to Yreka in 1987 in a "hospital" train.  It's most likely
that the Santa Rosa moved back to Yreka at this time as well.

Willis Kyle died in September 1991, but likely was overseeing the future take over the SP branch lines that would later become the SJVR, in his final days.   In
January 1992, Kyle Railways officially took over the San Joaquin Valley Railroad.   It appears that the family of Willis Kyle decided to bring the Santa Rosa out
of storage and use it on the SJVR.    The Santa Rosa was first delivered to the SP Fresno Yard in 1992.   It was then moved to Glorietta on the SP Friant
Branch and was stored at Wawona Frozen Foods siding for approximately a year.   The owner of Wawona was a personal friend of Willis Kyle and appears to
have allowed the storage as a favor to the family.   Around this time, ownership of the Santa Rosa appears to have officially changed from the Yreka Western
to Kyle Railways.

In 1993, the Santa Rosa was moved to the new San Joaquin Valley Railroad.  It received a fresh Kyle Railways  blue goose paint scheme.  See below for
photos of the Santa Rosa in these colors during the 1990s.    It was then used on the Exeter Branch by the Kyle family and hired out for occasional private
excursions in 1993 and 1994.   It remained stored on the SJVR until at least 1997, when Kyle Railways was bought out by States Rail (RailAmerica today).
Photos taken by and courtesy of Don Bowen.  Click here for his website with many other railroad photos.    Photos from left to right:
Photo 1 and 2:  Coming from Fresno, CA to Exeter, May 1993 --  Photo 3:  Stored April 1994 in Exeter, CA.  Photo 4:  Date unknown VIP special, north of Exeter, CA (probably 1993 or
1994)  Photo 5:  Whistle Stop campaign for a local Sheriff candidate somewhere on the Exeter Branch, 1994.
Some sources indicate that the Santa Rosa was returned to the Yreka Western, which was the only railroad still owned by the Kyle family and former owners
of Kyle Railways.   It appears the Santa Rosa remained at the Yreka Western until sold to a private owner in 2004.  
Photos taken by JT Kennedy and courtesy of Don Ross Collection.  Click here for his website with many other railroad photos.
Photo taken on the SJVR Exeter Branch in 1997.   The Santa Rosa is stored several years after it was last used for tours on the SJVR.   Shortly after this photo was taken, the SVJR and
Kyle Railways parent company would be sold.    Where and when the Santa Rosa left the SJVR is not clear, but it possibly returned the Yreka Western after this.
Photos taken by and courtesy of Robert Souter.  Taken 12-8-09 at the Port of Redwood City, California
Robert caught the Santa Rosa while set out at the Port of Redwood City after the prior owner just had it freshly painted in Pullman green along with other body work and repairs.
Next stop would be the Niles Canyon Railroad a few weeks later (see below).    Owner renamed the car "Niles".
The new owner conducted a partial restoration of the car at the Port of Redwood City where it was repainted and renamed "Niles" in approximately 2009, in
homage to its new future home on the Niles Canyon Railroad.   It was also renumbered RPCX 415.  Some body, sheet metal and steel work was performed as
well as new interior paint.  In January, 2010 the freshly painted car was moved to the Niles Canyon Railroad for storage.   The owner apparently had plans to
use to car and was restoring for personal use, but plans changed and the car would go up for sale in the spring of 2011.
Photos taken by and courtesy of Robert Souter.  Taken 1-13-10 at the Niles Canyon Railway Interchange.
Robert caught the Santa Rosa while being set out by UP's Newark, CA based LRM-54 local at the Niles Canyon Railway interchange.
Additional Resources and Links

Listing of other SP business cars including some specs and photos.
Arthur Edwin Sweet began his railroad service in Jully 1883 at the age of 18 years old as a messenger for the superintendent's office at the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway at Las
Vegas, New Mexico.   In 1886, he moved to the AT & SF's trainmaster's office.   In 1889, he became a clerk to the superintendent of the AT&SF in San Marcial, New Mexico and moved to
El Paso, Texas in the early 1890s.  

He became the Chief Clerk to the Superintendent in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1893, moving to Topeka, Kansas, where he became the transportation clerk for the general
superintendent's Office of the AT&SF.    In 1897 he became the chief clerk to the assistant general superintendent of the AT&SF.  

On Feb 1, 1900 Arther Sweet succeeded JW Robbins as Trainmaster of the of the Missouri Division of the AT&SF at Marceline, Missouri.   On July 1, 1902, he became the Trainmaster
of the New Mexico division of the AT&SF at Las Vegas.

On July 5, 1902 he was promoted to become assistant to general manager of the AT&SF HU Mudge.

On August 1, 1905 he became the General Manager of the Arkansas Southern Railroad at Ruston, Louisiana.   Then on February 1, 1906, he became the assistant to second Vice
President of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railway at Chicago, Illinois.   On April 1, 1907, he became the general superintendent of the Southwestern District of the Rock Island
Lines, Topeka, Kansas.   

On  December 2, 1909 he moved back to Chicago where he became the assistant to the President of the Rock Island Lines, again working for HU Mudge who himself was just
recently promoted.

On February 1, 1911, Mr. Sweet was promoted to General Manager, Second District of the Rock Island Lines and moved to Topeka, Kansas.

In January 1916 he became the Vice President and General Manager of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, again following HU Mudge who became President of the D&RG just a year

In 1918 when the Federal Government took over all railroads in the U.S. for the war effort and brought them under direct control, heads of those railroads often left as the corporations
were temporary suspended and all control handed over to government employees.   HU Mudge was no longer head of the D&RG and Mr. Sweet appears to have left the D&RG as well
during the war.

He is listed as "other non-railroad" business from sometime 1918 to mid 1919.

In July 1919, he was hired by the Federal Government to be the Federal Manager over the still Federally managed (from the war) El Paso & Southwestern Railroad at El Paso, Texas.   
This would begin his relationship with his railroad and the private business car, Santa Rosa.

While the Santa Rosa was built in 1917, it was, in all likelihood, not used by the railroad for its intended purpose during the war.   However, Mr. Sweet almost certainly would have been
assigned this car when he became the Federal Manager of the the EP & SW immediately after the war.

On March 1, 1920, control over the El Paso & Southwestern was handed back to the corporation and Mr. Sweet became the Vice President & General Manager of the El Paso &
Southwestern System (parent company to all related subsidiary railroads..   In that capacity, he would have continued to use the Santa Rosa.

When the Southern Pacific Railroad took over the El Paso & Southwestern System in November 1924, Mr. Sweet became an assistant General Manager of the Southern Pacific
Company, based in El Paso, Texas and continued to run the El Paso & South Western Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The Santa Rosa was transferred to Southern Pacific ownership in 1924 and renumbered from No. 500 to No. 128 to be in line with the rest of the Southern Pacific business car fleet.

He appears to have remained in that role until his death on October 13, 1934.   It's believe the Santa Rosa remained with him as his private car until his death.
Photos of the interior of the Santa Rosa, which include photos of the main observation room, one of the suites and the dining room.
Photos of the Santa Rosa being turned on the Brooklyn Yard turn table in Portland, Oregon.  The car needed to be turned so that it was pointing in the right direction when
it arrived on the OPR for the first time, a few days later.
Length:  83 feet
Hieght:  15 feet
Width:  10 feet
Weight:  185,000lbs
Electrical:  32 volt DC / 115-230 volt AC
Fuel Type:  Propane - under going diesel conversion
Ownership and Road Number
El Paso & Southwestern  No. 500
Southern Pacific  No. 128
Kyle Railways No. 68
Investor  No. 128
Oregon Pacific Railroad No. 128
Photos taken by and courtesy of Jon Farley.
These photos were taken by Jon in the late summer of 1986, showing the Santa Rose painted in mostly white and in storage on the Oregon Pacific & Eastern, another railroad owned
by Willis Kyle.