Posted by pierre fournier on November 12, 2010 
What was a camera car?and before becoming a cam car,what kind of diesel was it?
Posted by Brian Strand on November 12, 2010 
This is a diesel-hydraulic ML-4000 C'C' built between 1960 and 1969 by German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei in Munich, Germany. Powered by two Maybach V-16 engines it generated 4000 HP. SP took ML-4000 number 9113 (originally numbered 9010) and converted it into a "camera car" between 1968 and 1969. In June 1969 it was finally renumbered to SP 8799. Its purpose was to record films for a computerized locomotive simulator for engineer training. SP 8799 was based out of SP's West Colton Yard in Southern California until it was retired in 1984.
Posted by Paul Carr on November 12, 2010 
Just go to for all the info you need!
Posted by Coast Sub Photography on November 12, 2010 
I believe it was used to make sure that the track ahead was in gauge. As to the second part of your question, it was a Krauss-Maffei ML-4000. It was a test engine that was run entirely by hydraulics.
Posted by cmdrflake on November 12, 2010 
This beast was a diesel hydraulic built by Krauss-Maffei, of Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It had a pair of Maybach V12s (1900HP/for traction each) it was the second order from SP for imports, and these were built in the then standard road switcher configuration. Alas, their Maybach engines and Voith transmissions were very expensive to maintain and were over the heads of SP mechanical employees, unless they were given the chance to learn how to keep these beasts going.
Posted by J Moller on November 12, 2010 
This locomotive is currently being restored to its original configuration. The following website has a lot of information about the history of the unit including its time as a camera car, and its restoration.
Posted by Bernie Feltman on November 13, 2010 
Very nice photo, John
Posted by Ron Flanary on November 13, 2010 
Oddly enough, this particular road-switcher configuration of the K-M (without the modified front end on this one unit, which was used for filming the entire SP system for locomotive simulator purposes) is the little icon used by the RP folks for "Screener's Choice," "Photo of the Month," etc. The only difference is, the icon shows the fireman's side (left). I always thought it was odd they picked such an obscure unit. A plain-Jane SD40-2 would have been the more likely choice.
Posted by kennethberto on November 14, 2010 
Looks like an Alco with a helicopter cab. Nice foto John, Saludos.
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