Western Pacific GP7, No. 613, doing a regularly scheduled passenger service from Niles depot to Sunol depot. The Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) has owned this locomotive since 1985 and have kept her in operating condition. The PLA is open every Sunday through out the year, and runs both steam and diesel.
Lima SN 2465, built in 1911 she served on the Westside Lumber Company until the late 60’s when it was bought by Roaring Camp. Retaining her number, she was the 3rd operating locomotive and was most recently overhauled in 2007.
Lack of updates due to obscene amounts of trains and excursions over the past few weeks. Author’s not dead, just getting a full head of steam. Here is a little preview of things to come in following weeks.
SP GS-4 as the American Freedom Train. Happy 4th of July!
Always a busy day when the only surviving GS-4 arrives for a railfan trip in 1984.
Built by Lima in May of 1941 for Southern Pacific, this locomotive remained in revenue service up and down the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington until 1957. In 1958 it was donated to the city of Portland, Oregon. Returned to service by the Burlington for the 1977 Freedom Train, it was not until 1981 that the train was returned to the City of Portland and released for railfan excursions. As of 2014, it is currently in the process of recertification for excursions.
Summer has arrived and so has my 100th follower. So here is something special, photos from the archives of my collection. 4449 is seen crossing the Gaviota bridge in a photographer’s special held in 1984. The first photo with the locomotive burning extra oil for photographic effect, and the second with normal firing.
1924 Buffalo Springfield Steam Roller
This Coal fired steam roller is a perfect example of the dying steam engine markets of the late 20’s. The only reason an internal combustion motor is not fitted to this piece of mechanical beauty is that steam power, unlike internal combustion engines, produces almost full torque from start making jobs like road rolling much easier with steam power. It wasn’t until the 1930’s when internal combustion transmissions were advanced enough for road rolling applications that steam was dropped.
Spending most of its life in Des Moines, Iowa it was retired in the late 1930’s and somehow made it to California to be included in the Root’s of Motive Power collection in Willits. Here it is shown in fully restored condition at the Roots Steam Operation and Safety course, fired by wood instead of coal for the beginners that would be handling it.
This Whitcomb 44T locomotive has an unknown manufacturer’s date because the builder’s plate has been removed. The Roots website doesn’t even list this locomotives so its origins are unknown to me, but I can say that gasoline locomotives such as this one served across the United States during WWII, and were popular with short line railroads because as was mentioned with the GE 44-Tonner this locomotive was under the 45 ton requirement for a fireman.
Sonora #7 and Dixiana #1 waiting for the first morning run at Roaring Camp.
The Best of Steam Collection in celebration of National Train Day.
A collection of my favorite steam locomotives from across California.
- 4294, SP Class AC-12 at the CSRM
- Dixiana, 2 Truck Shay at Roaring Camp
- 2467, SP Class P-8 at the CSRM
- #1 Bluestone Mining and Smelting, 2 Truck Heisler at Roots of Motive Power
- Tuolumne, 2 Truck Heisler at Roaring Camp
- California Western #45, Baldwin 2-8-2 at the Skunk Depot in Willits, Ca