Los Angeles Area Steam Locomotives
Travel Town Museum, Los Angeles
Travel Town boasts the largest collection (14 locomotives) of steam
locomotives in California. The Travel Town Museum is located in Griffith
Park which is located in the heart of LA between the Golden State (5) and
Hollywood (101) Freeways. There is a 16 inch gauge train which was obtained
by Chet Peterson (RRSC President) from Gene Autrey's Melody Ranch in Saugus
CA about 1977 that give rides around the Griffith Park area.
This photo shows three of their locomotives:
Here is a closer view of Stockton Terminal & Eastern 4-4-0 #1. It was
built in 1864 by the J.A. Norris-Lancaster Locomotive Works for the Western
Pacific. It has 16x22 inch cylinders, a boiler pressure of 135 lbs., and a
driver diameter of 63 inches which results in a tractive effort of 10,258
lbs. It was donated to the city of Los Angeles in August, 1953.
- Stockton Terminal & Eastern 4-4-0 #1
- Sharp & Fellows Prairie (2-6-2) #7
- Western Pacific Consolidation #26
This is Southern Pacific A-3 Atlantic #3025. 3025 was the first of the SP
A-3 Atlantics (4-4-2s). They were built between 1904 and 1908 by Baldwin,
Schenectady, and Brooks. They had 81 inch drivers, Stephenson valve gear,
and were superheated.
Los Angeles County Fairplex, Pomona
The Los Angeles County Fairplex is the home of the Southern California
Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. The locomotive
display is only open the second Sunday of each month. Two things are
immediately apparent when viewing their collection:
Even though they don't have a track on which to run any of these locomotives,
each is being kept in "operable" condition. While I was there, the Big Boy
was having one of its pistons overhauled. The cab interiors of all
locomotives were complete (how often do you see that in a displayed
locomotive?). Not only were all of the valves and controls in place, but all
were kept in perfect operating order. I was completely impressed. If you
like big steam, their collection will certainly impress
you too. It includes a Big Boy, two large 3-cylinder locomotives, a Centennial, and a Hudson.
- The collection includes large, impressive, and famous steam locomotives.
- From the pilot to the cab interior, each locomotive is kept in excellent condition.
Santa Fe Hudson 3450
This Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Hudson (the first of 10) was built in 1927
at a price tag of $73,735.60. They were the lightest Hudsons in the United
States. They were built with 74 inch drivers, but in 1937 were rebuilt with
more modern appliances and 79 inch drivers which allowed them to cruise at
speeds over 100 MPH. 3450 was donated to the museum in October, 1955.
Southern Pacific 3-Cylinder 4-10-2 5021
This is the only surviving Southern Pacific three cylinder 4-10-2 (out of
49). The first of this type (class SP-2) was built in 1925 by ALCO. The
first axle is cranked to allow clearance for the center connecting rod on the
second axle. The Southern Pacific named this wheel arrangement after their
own name (Southern Pacific). Crew members nicknamed the 4-10-2s "stuttering
decks" for their unusual chuff rate (6 per revolution) and 10 drive wheels.
The Union Pacific also had locomotives (10) of this wheel arrangement (none
survived). They named them "Overlands". This locomotive has 63 inch
drivers. With its three cylinders, it could develop 4,100 HP. Its top speed
was 60 MPH. They were used for both freight and passenger service over
Donner Pass until it was determined that they were too rigid for the curves
there. 5021's last revenue service took place between Portland and Eugene,
Oregon in 1955.
At the 1961 Fair, 5021 was fired-up and operated back and forth on 900 feet
of track, after almost six years of inactivity. 5021 has been under steam
four or five other times in the sixties. Mostly it was run back and forth
under the Mt. Vernon Overcross. Early in the sixties it was stored near the
oil bunkers off Fourth St. Later in the sixties, it was stored a couple of
hundred feet east of Mt. Vernon next to the shop buildings.
Today, 5021 is kept in excellent condition. This is partially due to
circumstances that occurred in the 1970s. In preparation for excursion runs
in the Southern California area after the Freedom Train had made her visit,
5021 was taken to the San Bernardino Roundhouse (Santa Fe) and completely
overhauled. The overhaul was completed and during certification, a question
was raised concerning the traveling into and out of the Los Angeles County
area: Does the locomotive have a "smog" device? The answer was no, so
approval from the APCD was denied. The cost to bring the engine into line
with this requirement was too large to be absorbed, so the locomotive was
moved from the roundhouse back to the fairgrounds immediately after the
departure of the Freedom Train for storage.
Union Pacific Big Boy 4014
Big Boy 4014 was donated to the museum in January, 1962 which makes it the
latest locomotive acquired by the Souther California Chapter. The cab interior
of 4014 gives the impression that all it needs is coal and a fire and it will
come to life. Of all the Big Boys I have seen, 4014 appears to be in the best
Union Pacific 3-Cylinder 4-12-2 9000
Here are three views of UP's only surviving three-cylinder 4-12-2. It was
brought to the museum in May, 1956 under its own power. This wheel
arrangement was unique to the Union Pacific and they named it after their own
name (UP). 88 of these locomotives were built for the UP by ALCO between
1926 and 1930. 9000 saw service for almost 30 years and was used mainly
between Green River, Wyoming and Council Bluffs, Iowa. This locomotive is in
excellent condition. The 9000s had 67 inch drivers and could generate 96,650
lbs of tractive effort. Their top speed was 60 MPH and they could produce
4,750 HP. Specifications are available on
these 4-12-2s. More information on three cylinder
steam locomotives is also available.
Heritage Park, Santa Fe Springs
This photo (obviously taken late in the day) is of an AT&SF class 870
Consolidation (2-8-0). Originally, this locomotives was numbered 101 of the
Saint Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific RR. Ownership was transferred to the
Santa Fe in 1915 and renumbered 870. It was sold to the Albuquerque and
Cerrillos Coal Co. at Madrid, NM in 1940. It was abandoned around 1950 and
acquired by Santa Fe Springs in 1988 from the town of Madrid, NM. There is a
bronze plaque at the museum that states that the tender is from engine 874.
Lomita Railroad Museum
The Lomita Railroad Museum is one of the best, smallest railroad museums
I have seen. It was built by Irene Lewis and later donated to the city
of Lomita. Irene's husband founded Little Engines
(they manufactured live steam locomotives). A club that once met at the Little Engines/Lewis Home is called
the Southern California Live Steamers. They are
now located in Wilson Park in Torrance, CA.
It is located in a residential area south of Los Angeles
at the corner of 250th St. & Woodward Ave. The locomotive on display
is a Southern Pacific class M-6 Mogul (2-6-0) built in 1906 by Baldwin
Locomotive Works. Although a Mogul is typically a freight locomotive,
1765 was equipped for, and sometimes used in light passenger service.
1765 was sent to the National Metals scrap yard on Terminal Island in 1958.
However, she was rescued when the city of Lomita purchased her for the
Notice that 1765 has a half-round tender commonly called a "whaleback" tender.
This tender is not the one originally built for the locomotive, but is larger
and has a greater water capacity for long-distance hauling.
Hart Park, Newhall
Southern Pacific class M-4 Mogul (2-6-0) is a close relative of the locomotive
displayed in Lomita. 1629 was undergoing restoration efforts at the time this
photo was taken (early 1990s). I have heard that the restoration organization
found that the boiler was in poorer shape than expected so the locomotive was
re-assembled with no further plans. Hart Park is located north of Los Angeles
near highways 5 and 14.
San Bernardino Shops, San Bernardino
For several years AT&SF 4-8-4, 3751 was stored in San Bernardino. In
June, 1988 the locomotive had its FRA certification and was ready to grace
the rails. In 1998, 3751 was moved to the Amtrak/Redondo Junction Roundhouse
in Vernon (a suburb of Los Angeles). It will be moved back to San Bernardino
when a new permanent home can be found.
Orange Empire Railway Museum
The Orange Empire Railway Museum is located east of Los Angeles in the town
of Perris. The museum has an impressive collection of street/trolly cars.
By the looks of the grounds, it appears that there are many projects or
restoration efforts. They currently have four steam locomotives.
(more photos coming soon)
Number 2 (formerly Cascade Timber Co. #107) is a 1922 Baldwin product last
used in revenue service by Ventura County. It was sold to the museum
in 1972 and put into service in 1978 as the museum's only operational
steam locomotive. On Memorial Day weekend, 2001, while switching prior
to the March Field trips, VC2 broke a flue. As VC2 was coming up on a
complete retube in 2002 she had been taken out-of-service and work on
the retube job began. In 2006 the work on VC2 was nearing completion. Read more.
Narrow gauge Nevada Central number 2 is named Emma Nevada. It is/was
owned by Ward Kimball of San Gabriel. It was built by Baldwin in 1881.
Number 2564 is an ALCO-built Mikado (2-8-2) used on the UP subsidiary Los
Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. In 1959, the UP donated it to the city of
Oro Grande where it was put on display in a park. In 1996 it was acquired
by the museum. In 1997 it was moved via flatcars to the museum. It is
hoped that someday this locomotive will be restored to operating condition.
Their third locomotive numbered "2" is an 0-6-0 tank locomotive once
owned by Mojave Northern. What impressed me about the museum is that
there was fresh grease on this locomotive even though it is far from
operational. It leads me to believe that the equipment is well taken
Los Angeles Area Steam Locomotive Web Pages