Like many a major railroad, the Southern Pacific made room for quite a roster of 0-6-0 switchers over the years. Unlike a good many roads, however, certain members of the breed were to be among the last steamers in service. Six wheeled switchers were to be found system-wide; no one terminal or division seemed to have had a monopoly on the engines until the final years of steam. By the early 1950s, though, the 0-6-0's were beginning to consolidate at certain points through out California. By 1954, the major of these was Oakland; this was home for a considerable group of 1200s.
Large numbers of engines were involved in the 1000 and 1100 groups, but the best known 0-6-0s were those of the 1200 group. Actually, the 1200s comprised some seven classes: S-10 1210-1214, S-11, 1222-1225, S-10 1232-1240, S-12 1 2471284, S-14 1285-1294, S-8 1295-1297 (ex-Arizona Eastern), S-10 1298-1299 (ex Arizona Eastern). In appearance, the engines were quite similar. The main difference was to be had in drivers; the 8-12 and 8-14 classes were of 57" diameter, all others were 51".
Because of the popularity of the S-12 class in the modeling world, we might consider just this class alone at this time. Several Japanese imports have been made available over the years in HO. The fine old firm of Lobaugh did the engine in O gauge as a kit both before and after World War II. Model Railroader magazine published its plans sometime before the War; these may also be found in Kalmbach's original Model Railroad Cyclopedia, still in publication as of 1947. The plans were done in 1/8" scale.
Courtesy of the Railway and Historical Society 's Bulletin No. 94, here are the vital statistics:
S-12 0-6-0 57-20x26-153000-200-31020 Road Numbers 1247-1254 were built at the Southern Pacific Shops, Sacramento, as numbers 101-108 in 1919; Numbers 1255-1256, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 109-110 in 1920; Numbers 1257-1262, Espee Shops, Los Angeles, as 7-12 in 1921; Numbers 1263-1278, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 117-132 in 1921; Numbers 1279-1280, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 33-134 in 1922; and 1282-1284, Espee Shops, Sacramento, as 135-138 in 1923.
From the historian's viewpoint, the fact that the class was entirely constructed at the company shops is significant. The construction dates, too, make these fairly modern switchers. Though the differences among the class were mostly minor, the typical Espee penchant for "tender swapping" was most apparent --- as will be seen in the accompanying photos!
A considerable number of Espee engines have fortunately been saved for public display. Of these, 1200- class 0-6-0s are the most numerous. The S-12 group is represented by four engines:
1251 - Stockton, CA, San Joaquin Jr. Museum
1258 - Martinez, CA, City Park
1269 - Richmond, CA, Nicholl Park
1273 - Los Angeles, CA, Griffith Park (Travel Town)
This information via A Travelers Guide to Southern Pacific Motive Power on DisplayRichard C. Hagerty, El Paso, TX.