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I have a Southern Pacific Locomotive train bell that was scrapped in Todd shipyard, SE Houston, Tx around 1950 it is a 17 inch diameter bell with a number stenciled in to the brass 398. The very top of the bell has the marking CA 5231. I would like to know the history of this locomotive. See pictures attached. http://i991.photobucket.com/albums/af39/John_Lyman/trainbellpicturesp_zpsd3fee988.jpg%5B/img%5D%5B/url%5D
Hi John, IF the number 398 is engraved into the top, (or head) of the bell then this is the Locomotive number the bell was mounted on.
The CA 5231 on the yoke, is a casting #, and probably designates a foundry in California. You can try the website railroadiana.org to do further research. Good luck!
Thanks very much for the info. Will research at the website you referenced.