Consolidated Rock Products
American Locomotive Company – 1925
Consolidated Rock Products – 1958
The last steam locomotive to operate commercially in Los Angeles was this saddle tank engine of Consolidated Rock Products. Conrock No. 1 toiled for many years at the large gravel quarry near Duarte… until the Smog Control Board ordered it retired in 1955. A “Tank Engine” is so named because its water tank is mounted like a saddle, directly over the locomotive boiler, rather than towed behind the engine in its own “tender” car. Many Travel Town visitors may be very familiar with another famous ‘tank engine’ – named Thomas! Although Thomas and his many friends are modeled after Brittish-style engines, even our youngest visitors will recognize many similarities!
Don’t forget to stop by the Travel Town Museum Store to see our great selection of Thomas and Friends trains that you can enjoy at home!
Consider making a donation to help our museum volunteers restore the trains and improve your Travel Town experience!
This industrial-use locomotive from Conrock illustrates one of the many ‘options’ offered by locomotive builders to meet the specialized needs of individual businesses. Most locomotives you will see around Travel Town pulled “tenders” – large trailing cars which carried a supply of water and fuel for the boiler; however, locomotives used in industrial plants to haul equipment, supplies, and products around the facility didn’t need large tenders because they were never far from their source of water and fuel. Such locomotives also needed to be small or shorter in order to maneuvers in tight industrial yards. A separate tender just added unnecessary length to the locomotive. The placement of the tank, directly over the boiler and driving wheels, also allowed the weight of the water to add traction to the engine, helping the locomotive pull heavy loads without spinning its wheels. This configuration made the tank engine more appropriate for use in hauling cars full of gravel just a few miles from quarry to crusher.