Los Angeles Area Steam Locomotives

Page Contents: [Travel Town Museum] [Los Angeles County Fairplex] [Heritage Park, Santa Fe Springs] [Lomita Railroad Museum] [Hart Park, Newhall] [San Bernardino Shops, San Bernardino] [Los Angeles Web Pages]

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.

Travel Town Locomotives This photo shows three of their locomotives:

Stockton Terminal & Eastern 4-4-0 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.

SP 4-4-2 3025 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:
  1. The collection includes large, impressive, and famous steam locomotives.
  2. From the pilot to the cab interior, each locomotive is kept in excellent condition.
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.

Santa Fe Hudson 3450

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

Southern Pacific 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

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 condition.

Union Pacific 3-Cylinder 4-12-2 9000

Union Pacific 4-12-2 9000 Union Pacific 4-12-2 9000 Union Pacific 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

Santa Fe 2-8-0 870 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

Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1765 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 railroad museum.

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 2-6-0 1629 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

ATSF 3751 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)

Ventura County #2 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 care of.

Los Angeles Area Steam Locomotive Web Pages