Steam Locomotive Restoration Project

Southern Pacific Lines

Locomotive No. 219

Baldwin Locomotive Works – Built 1880

The Travel Town Museum is excited to embark on the operational rehabilitation of historic Southern Pacific steam locomotive No. 219. Upon completion, S.P. No. 219 will be the first steam locomotive to operate at the Museum since 1964. Travel Town is home to one of the largest static collections of steam locomotives west of the Mississippi; an operating locomotive will bring our Museum visitors a live, hands-on example and understanding of the basic technology that settled the American West and brought prosperity and growth to the Los Angeles basin. The rehabilitated locomotive will be operated as part of the museum’s demonstration railway, The Crystal Springs and Caheunga Valley Railroad.

 The locomotive known for many years to visitors of Travel Town as “SP 20” was originally built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1880 for the proposed Market Street, Park and Cliff Railroad (MSP & CRR) of San Francisco as their Number 2. The locomotive appears to have been built as a class 6-18-1/3C, 0-4-2 tank engine encased in a wooden streetcar body making it what was referred to as a “steam dummy” or “motor”. The practice of disguising street railway locomotives was common in the late 19th Century as an attempt to fool horses that were used to sharing the roads with streetcars but frightened by the newfangled steam engines.

Plans to build the MSP & CRR fell through so locomotive No. 2 was placed into storage until 1883. It then went to work on another San Francisco line, the Geary Street, Park and Ocean Railroad. In 1900, No. 2 was sold to Southern  Pacific and moved to Colton, California to work on the SP-owned Southern California Motor Road, a three-mile-long railroad running between San Bernardino and Colton. The trailing wheels were removed in 1905 when the locomotive was rebuilt to a 0-4-0 configuration by the SP’s Los Angeles General Shops. Continuing to work under several different numbers, including “20”, “219” and “5”, she served in various capacities until eventually being transferred back up north to the Southern Pacific’s Bay Shore Shops near San Francisco. Notoriety came to the locomotive in 1939 when she was located in storage, overhauled and dressed up as a ‘performer’ in the Gala Pageant at the Grand Opening of the new Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal – as a fictitious locomotive No. 2 of the Caheunga Valley Railroad. The locomotive eventually became the property of the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, which presented her to Travel Town in 1954. She has been on display at the Museum in Griffith Park for 60 years.

BUILT: 1880 BY BURNHAM, PARRY, WILLIAMS & CO. (Baldwin Locomotive Works)

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