Perhaps you are like me; I had no idea Union Pacific Railroad train number indicators were not always on the top of the smokebox and ahead of the stack, after about 1900. So it was a considerable surprise to me when I discovered the drawings below. I asked Sandy McCulloh if he knew the approximate date of the first application of engine number indicators (1) to Common Standard locomotives. He replied he did not, but I should look at page 86 in his book (2) which has the photo of a new UPRR P-1 locomotive. I noted the date stated in the caption, which established the certainty of the first application as prior to 1903. The photo also revealed yet another position for locomotive number indicators on Common Standard locomotives. I have not been able, as yet, to locate a drawing of the “yet another position” indicators. If anyone has additional information, I invite your comments.
(1) Later referred to as train number indicators.
(2) “A History Of Union Pacific Steam”, Gordon McColloh
Copies may be purchased at the Union Pacific Historical Society website.