Continuing to Build East…

Our Build East track construction crew continues their monthly work to extend our Niles Canyon Railway track eastward toward the City of Pleasanton. Our track already extends several miles east of our Sunol depot and our crews are continuing to both relay new track along with hardening and surfacing currently installed track.

Our Build East track construction crew continues their monthly work to extend our Niles Canyon Railway track eastward toward the City of Pleasanton. Our track already extends several miles east of our Sunol depot and our crews are continuing to both relay new track along with hardening and surfacing currently installed track.

The crew typically volunteers the first Saturday of every month with some volunteers doing prep work (adding ballast, setting stakes, positioning materials, etc.) the Friday before. On November 5, 2022, the crew had a great day leveling, hardening and surfacing into the last long curve before the current end of track at Happy Valley Road Bridge. Here are a series of photographs from some of the work that took place that day.

For those who may be interested in this type of volunteering and lending a hand, the next work session is scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd. For more information on volunteering, please visit our Construction Department Volunteer page.

Hosting the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society – 9/14/2022

Our Niles Canyon Railway had the pleasure of hosting conventioneers of the 2022 Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society at our Brightside yard and on board a special train on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Our Niles Canyon Railway had the pleasure of hosting conventioneers of the 2022 Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society at our Brightside yard and on board a special train on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. The SPH&TS members and guests were treated to an escorted tour of our Brightside yard including many pieces Southern Pacific equipment including SP #9010, SP #2479 and SP #1744. They were also provided lunch by our Commissary Department and then a ride on an all SP train including double headed SP ‘Black Widow’ paint diesels, SP #5472 and SP #5623.

Here is a gallery of photos from their visit thanks to NCRy volunteer, Chris Hauf. All photos used with permission.

Train of Lights tickets on sale 10/1 @ 10AM

Tickets for the 2022 edition of our Niles Canyon Railway ‘Train of Lights’ will go on sale on October 1 at 10AM. We will be updating our website in early September with all of the details along with links to our ticket seller where you can start your purchase on 10/1.

Tickets for the 2022 edition of our Niles Canyon Railway ‘Train of Lights’ will go on sale on October 1 at 10AM. We will be updating our website in early September with all of the details along with links to our ticket seller where you can start your purchase on 10/1.

Please visit our Train of Lights page here.

Sample coach interior from our Train of Lights. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission

Significant assets transfer complete…

In February of 2022, the transfer of ownership of several significant assets from Santa Clara County (SCC) to the Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) was completed. These historic assets were donated to the PLA by Santa Clara County thanks to our proven track record of restoring and operating significant artifacts over the years. The PLA wants to thank the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County for its recognition of PLA and its Niles Canyon Railway to provide a forever home for these assets where they will be preserved, revered, and given new life and for its financial support to make a move of this size feasible. All that was left was to move them from the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds to the Pacific Locomotive Association’s Niles Canyon Railway.

In February of 2022, the transfer of ownership of several significant assets from Santa Clara County (SCC) to the Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) was completed. These historic assets were donated to the PLA by Santa Clara County thanks to our proven track record of restoring and operating significant artifacts over the years. The PLA wants to thank the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County for its recognition of PLA and its Niles Canyon Railway to provide a forever home for these assets where they will be preserved, revered, and given new life and for its financial support to make a move of this size feasible.   All that was left was to move them from the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds to the Pacific Locomotive Association’s Niles Canyon Railway.

On Monday August 22nd, a large 150-ton steam locomotive, Southern Pacific #2479, was disassembled and loaded on to special trucks to go from its home for the last 40+ years at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds for a new home at the Niles Canyon Railway based in Sunol. On Wednesday August 24th the 50-ton Locomotive Tender (which carries the fuel and water for the steam locomotive) was disassembled and loaded onto trucks for movement to the Niles Canyon Railway. After that was handled, the 65,000-pound, 80 foot long ‘bridge’ of the Lenzen Roundhouse turntable was loaded onto another truck for transport to the PLA’s Niles Canyon Railway.

The boiler of Southern Pacific #2479 is set down on a trailer from Renn Transportation via cranes of Peninsula Crane & Rigging at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. This was the start of the asset transfer from CTRC to the PLA/NCRy. Photo courtesy of the California Railroad & Trolley Corporation – Used with permission.
SP #2479’s tender is lifted from its trucks and loaded for movement to the Niles Canyon Railway – CTRC photo – Used with permission
The Lenzen Roundhouse turntable bridge swings on a crane toward the waiting lowboy truck that will carry it to the Niles Canyon Railway. CTRC photo – Used with permission.

Originally built in 1923, steam locomotive #2479 pulled passenger trains for the Southern Pacific Railroad finishing its career in commute service between San Francisco and San Jose.   In 1958, locomotive 2479 was donated for display at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.   For the past 30 years, the locomotive has been undergoing an extensive restoration effort by volunteers of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC).

#2479 departing San Jose on Train 149. Image courtesy of Al Schwoerer – Used with permission.

The Lenzen Roundhouse was donated by Union Pacific Railroad to Santa Clara County for preservation. The lead-based paint was removed from the turntable bridge, and the asbestos-filled mortar was removed from the bricks when the roundhouse was deconstructed. For the last 20 plus years, the roundhouse components were stored at the fairgrounds in the hopes of reconstructing it one day.

SP Lenzen Roundhouse back in Southern Pacific days. – Image courtesy of CTRC

On Tuesday August 23rd the undercarriage and boiler for the locomotive were unloaded from their trailers and placed on the rails of the Niles Canyon Railway. The boiler was secured to the undercarriage, and the entire 120 tons of locomotive traveled about 4 miles on its own wheels for the first time in over 60 years and is now securely located in the Niles Canyon Railway’s Brightside Yard. (About 30 tons of material were removed from the locomotive prior to the move and will need to be placed back onto the locomotive as part of the restoration).

SP #2479’s frame is just about touched down on our Niles Canyon Railway. 8.23.2022 Image by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.
The #2479’s boiler is returned to its frame on the Niles Canyon Railway. Trucking by Renn Transportation, Inc. and rigging by Peninsula Crane & Rigging. 8.23.2022 Image by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.

Take a 3D look around as #2479 was unloaded. 360 image by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.

SP #2479 comes into Sunol station for the first time. A stop was made here to check the temperature of the wheel bearings to insure everything was running as expected. All was good so the move proceeded. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.
SP #2479 makes it first move as it is towed from the unloaded site at Bonita, east of Sunol, to the museum’s Brightside yard. It is seen here just west of Sunol after a stop was made at the station to check bearing temperatures. 8/23/2022 Image by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission

On Thursday August 24th the tender body was lifted from its special trailer and reset onto the tender’s pair of 3 axle 23,000 pound trucks (known as bogies in the rest of the world) at Brightside Yard, and securely stowed away. The crane was then moved out to the unloading spot east of Sunol used for the locomotive to place the turntable bridge onto a special heavyweight railroad flatcar. The 80-foot turntable was too long to navigate the roads into our Niles location, so the solution was to move it by rail. The crane than moved again to do the offloading of the bridge in Niles. The crane also had minor difficulties getting onto the property, but successfully arrived.

Touchdown on Niles Canyon Railway rails as the #2479 is re-mated to its trucks at the NCRy’s Brightside yard crossing. – Ken Middlebrook photo – Used with permission
The SP Lenzen Roundhouse turntable travels across the Niles Canyon Railway’s Farwell Bridge. Due to access restrictions, the turntable bridge was offloaded east of Sunol on to historic flat cars that are part of the NCRy’s collection. It was then moved to the railroad’s Niles yard where the same crane met it to unload it for storage in Niles while a master plan for the roundhouse and turntable continues to be developed. Photo by: Charlie Franz – Used with permission.

The volunteers at CTRC spent the last 9 months preparing these items for transport, including separating the boiler from the undercarriage, something that rarely happens to a steam locomotive. The professional at Steam Services of America were brought in to plan the locomotive and tender disassembly, and then to oversee the work of getting the pieces safely loaded onto the trucks, transported to Niles Canyon, and reassembled. In order for this to all happen in the four-day window the experts at Renn Transportation and Peninsula Crane & Rigging were brought in to plan the lifting of these massive pieces and transporting them over the highway to Niles Canyon.

All of this planning was worth the effort because the Pacific Locomotive Association is proud to announce that all of these massive pieces were successfully disassembled, safely transported and reassembled exactly as planned. On a project of this scale, there will always be little hiccups but these were handled professionally by all involved.

The Pacific Locomotive Association would like to express its heartfelt thanks to all the folks who worked so tirelessly and efficiently on this project. The crews from Renn Transportation and Peninsula Crane & Rigging, the crew from Steam Services of America, and the volunteers from both the CTRC and the PLA/NCRy who made this all happen.

Renn Transportation truck & low-boy trailer with SP #2479’s boiler on it. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.
The two cranes of Penninsula Crane & Rigging lower SP #2479’s boiler back on to its frame and running gear on the Niles Canyon Railway’s mainline. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission
Robert Franzen, owner of Steam Services of America, works inside of the engine’s firebox to re-attached SP #2479’s boiler to its frame. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission
Crews from Peninsula Crane & Rigging along with PLA/NCRy volunteers and CTRC volunteers watch the boiler of #2479 be lowered on to the frame which included having to get the front truck pin properly inserted into the frame. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.
NCRy volunteer, Doug Vanderlee consults with one of the CTRC volunteers who was in the smokebox of the #2479 working on replacing some of the saddle bolts to reattach the boiler to the frame. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission
CTRC volunteer, Art Randall, helps get the #2479’s driving axle boxes reinstalled. The driving boxes help lubricate the main driving wheel axles via spring loaded grease cakes so they are a little tricky to get reset in place as they were removed for trucking. Art is a long time CTRC volunteer and will follow the engine to the NCRy. He is 86 years young in the photo. Photo by: Chris Hauf – Used with permission.,

This is only the first step in the relocation of the assets which Santa Clara County donated to us. The 60,000 gallon water tank from the Lenzen roundhouse needs to be disassembled and transported to Niles where it will be reassembled. All of the components of the roundhouse need to be re-palletized and loaded into containers for transport to Niles. These components will be used to recreate a modern version of the Lenzen Roundhouse to meet the structural requirements of today. There is still a lot of work to be done to get these items ready for transport, and then even more work to get the items put in place at Niles. We are still at the planning stages of that portion of this project.

We will need plenty of volunteers to handle the logistics and prep work for these future developments, and constant seek new people to join us.  As a non-profit organization, the support of our community through donations and patronage of our railroad excursions to make these dreams into reality is needed as well.   Please visit our website to see how you can volunteer, ride and donate.

We gladly accept donations by mail.  Please make checks payable to Pacific Locomotive Association and note SP #2479 in the Memo area. Please mail your donation to: Pacific Locomotive Association, SP#2479,  P.O. Box 515, Sunol, CA 94586-0515

About the organizations:

Pacific Locomotive Association / Niles Canyon Railway

The Pacific Locomotive Association, an IRS 501(C )(3) a community-benefit non-profit organization, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year. From a group of 6 friends who formed together to preserve the last aspects of Steam railroading back in 1961 the PLA has grown to an organization that boasts almost 1000 members and many historic railroad artifacts that have been rescued and restored over the years. The PLA is an all-volunteer organization and has no paid staff.   For the past 35 years, the Pacific Locomotive Association has operated the Niles Canyon Railway on roadbed that once carried the original Transcontinental Railroad on its way to Pacific between Niles (City of Fremont) through Sunol and continues to rebuild its railroad toward Pleasanton, CA.

www.ncry.org

California Trolley and Railroad Corporation

Founded in 1982, the 501(C)3 non-profit California Trolley and Railroad Corporation is dedicated to preserving the historical railroad legacy of the Santa Clara Valley for the educational and recreational benefit of current and future generations. The CTRC currently operates vintage trolleys and a historic display of railroad equipment at History Park in San Jose.

www.ctrc.org

Clover Valley Lumber Co. #4 – Test run prior to July 2022 rides

On June 4, 2022, the Niles Canyon Railway Steam Department took Clover Valley Lumber Co. #4 out on a test run with some of the museum’s historic freight cars from Brightside yard to Sunol and then on to Niles back to Sunol and then back to Brightside.

On June 4, 2022, the Niles Canyon Railway Steam Department took Clover Valley Lumber Co. #4 out on a test run with some of the museum’s historic freight cars from Brightside yard to Sunol and then on to Niles back to Sunol and then back to Brightside. It has been nearly two years since #4 had plied the rails of Niles Canyon since Columbia River Belt Line Railway #7 was holding down primary run duties.

The test was successful with only some minor items to address in the shop which have since been completed. This is a steam engine after all! With #4 back on the road, the Steam Department along with the Operations Department have decided to use the #4 on two of our upcoming ride dates in July. The engine is planned to power the Sunday, July 10th and the Sunday, July 17th rides out of Sunol. Diesel power will hold down the Saturday dates for July and for the rest of the summer.

If you have been wanting to ride behind steam, here is your first chance in 2022. All of the ride information is on our website here on our 2022 Rides page. Jump over there for all of the details and links to buy your tickets for these special dates or any of our diesel dates as well. And don’t forget about our July and August M200 rides as well.

Here is a gallery of photos thanks to Steam Department volunteer and photographer, Christopher Hauf, of the test run on June 4, 2022.

M200 to the end of the line…

On Saturday, May 15, the Niles Canyon Railway had its California Western Motor Car #M200 out doing some training on the railroad east of Sunol. We hope to soon be able to offer additional weekend rides on the M200 on the eastern part of the railroad. During this training session, it was decided to take the M200 to the current absolute end of track at Happy Valley Bridge for some photos. Here is the M200 on that voyage! We hope you enjoy this special operation.

On Saturday, May 15, the Niles Canyon Railway had its California Western Motor Car #M200 out doing some training on the railroad east of Sunol. We hope to soon be able to offer additional weekend rides on the M200 on the eastern part of the railroad.

During this training session, it was decided to take the M200 to the current absolute end of track at Happy Valley Bridge for some photos. Here is the M200 on that voyage! We hope you enjoy this special operation.

We also welcome new volunteers to join us or join our efforts to build our railroad east to further into Pleasanton. Please visit our Volunteer page to learn more.

SP #1744 Project Keeps on Rolling One Wheel at a Time

The Steam Department has had a really busy past few weeks and has accomplished a lot on the SP #1744 Project. The big news is that the 1744 drivers have been moved to Sacramento and by the time you read this blog post, the machine work required on them has been completed.

The Steam Department has had a really busy past few weeks and has accomplished a lot on the SP #1744 Project. The big news is that the 1744 drivers have been moved to Sacramento and by the time you read this blog post, the machine work required on them has been completed.

Two of the 1744’s driver sets with their tires removed sitting in Brightside yard before they headed to Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum.

With the wheels out of the frame and the tires removed (read our blog post on the removal), the wheel centers needed to be turned to true up the circumference so the new tires fit properly, the thrust bearings on the back of the wheels replaced and the axle bearings trued up. In addition, cracks found in the wheels needed to be repaired before the wheels were turned.

The PLA does not have the machine tools to do this work thus a Request For Quote(RFQ) was sent out to four reputable steam locomotive restoration contractors to seek their help in performing the work. After discussing the project with each firm and reviewing their quotes, PLA decided to contract with Stockton Locomotive Works (SLW) to do the driving wheel work.

Stathi Pappas, Owner of Stockton Locomotive Works, works on machining the first set of drivers for #1744 on the California State Railroad Museum’s Monarch Missile Master lathe, a piece of equipment originally owned by the U.S. Government for, yes, turning missile nose cones.

As SLW doesn’t have a lathe large enough to turn 63” drivers, PLA made arrangements with the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) for Stathi Pappas to do the machine work in their wheel lathe at the Sacramento CSRM Shop. Stockton Locomotive Works was chosen to perform the work as their quote was the most reasonable given all the factors of cost, shipping, and local quality control. In addition, PLA has always tried to maintain good working relationships with other heritage railroads and the cooperation with CSRM furthers that goal. Performing the work in the old SP Boiler Shop will provide good public outreach for both organizations and allow CSRM shop staff an opportunity to show the potential of their facility to support heritage railroading.

The CSRM’s Monarch Missile Master lathe; originally used by the U.S. Government to machine missile nose cones.

Finally, doing the work in Sacramento is just a great story as the locomotive is returning home, where she was shopped many times by Southern Pacific. In fact, we recently obtained from Shirley Burman several Richard Steinheimer photographs of the 1744 undergoing running gear work in November of 1956 at the Sacramento Erecting Shop. The late repairs performed in Sacramento by Southern Pacific are most likely why SP #1744 was chosen as the Walnut Grove excursion locomotive for the “End of Steam” fantrip in 1958 and ultimately led to her being preserved.

Please take a look at this series of photos taken during one of the work days on the drivers as the first set was up on the lathe while the other two were receiving crack repairs.

The SP #1744 Project needs YOUR DONATION to help pay for the wheel work in Sacramento so we can continue to do the other work on the boiler and running gear planned this year! Donations can be mailed, made online at: www.ncry.org, directly at the button below or on our Steam Website which you can also visit to keep up with more details on the progress of the restoration.

Thank you for your support for this important restoration project!

Stathi Pappas, Owner of Stockton Locomotive Works, mans the CSRM lathe as a cutting pass is being made on the first set of #1744’s drivers.

Photos and video above by Christopher R. Hauf – Used with permission


TSG Multimedia’s great documentary video on the turning of the #1744’s wheels. Check it out on YouTube.

Ride the Rails for Relay for Life

The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc. the operators of the Niles Canyon Railway in conjunction with the American Cancer Society are hosting the 11th Annual Niles Canyon Railway Team Event Fundraiser on Sunday, April 24th, 2022. Come ride our rails in support of the Relay for Life for this one day special set of diesel powered excursions.

The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc. the operators of the Niles Canyon Railway in conjunction with the American Cancer Society are hosting the 11th Annual Niles Canyon Railway Team Event Fundraiser on Sunday, April 24th, 2022. The train and crew are being donated by the Niles Canyon Railway once again for this event where all proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the American Cancer Society. Come ride our rails in support of the Relay for Life for this one day special set of diesel powered excursions.

NOTE: Highway 84 (Niles Canyon Road) through Niles Canyon will be closed to vehicle traffic the weekend of these rides. Ticketed passengers should enter Sunol from the east/I-680 side of the canyon. Once on Highway 84, please turn right on Main Street in Sunol to access our depot and parking lot. Our Sunol depot location can be found here. Please make sure to leave yourself enough extra time to reach our depot in time depending on where you are coming from. Thanks!

Free wine and beer tasting on the train! Snacks and beverages are also available for purchase on the train. Bring a picnic lunch to eat on the train or in the Sunol Depot Gardens.

A wheel chair lift is available for those needing it or for those where the steps entering and existing our historic cars are challenging.

The train will run in any weather and includes open cars, covered open cars, and enclosed coaches. Our train is equipped with two full bathrooms onboard including one with a baby changing table. Porta-potties are available at our Sunol depot.

Trains depart only from Sunol at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm for this one day event.

It is a 1 hr. & 20 minute round-trip excursion.

No one will be able to to get on or off the train in Niles/Fremont.

Ticket prices Adult: $25 (13+ years old) Child: $15 (Ages 3-12)
Children 2 years of age and under do not need a ticket, but must sit in a lap.

Our Sunol gift shop will be open. We also welcome people to shop our online store before or after your trip.

We love pets, but only trained service animals are permitted to accompany their handler while riding our trains. We appreciate your understanding.

Please read over our COVID-19 Health and Safety policy before booking your tickets and before you arrive on our property.

Driver Tire Removal – SP#1744

One of the many items we have to restore, rehabilitate or replace are the driver tires for our Southern Pacific Railroad steam locomotive #1744. After removing the driving wheel sets from the locomotive’s frame over the past few months, we have now started the process of removing the steel tires to allow for work on the driver centers and the eventual replacement of the tires.

One of the many items we have to restore, rehabilitate or replace are the driver tires for our Southern Pacific Railroad steam locomotive #1744. After removing the driving wheel sets from the locomotive’s frame over the past few months, we have now started and completed the process of removing the steel tires to allow for work on the driver centers and the eventual replacement of the tires.

Driver tires are designed to be replaced given they wear over time. Tires are interference fit on the driving centers which means the steel tire rings are actually smaller in diameter than the wheel centers. When heated, the expand enough to fit over the driver center and then when they cool, they shrink causing the interference fit. Occasionally shims are used to get a proper fit.

In our case, we need to first take off the old tires to allow for the driving centers and axles to be reworked before we install new tires. To do this, a propane gas “ring of fire” was constructed by our Steam Department volunteers to allow for even heating on just the outside of the tire during the process.

‘Ring of Fire’ constructed from proper steel tubing being fed by a propane tank.

Our second challenge is that #1744 uses Stephenson valve gear. This type of steam locomotive valve control uses inner eccentrics attached to the center of one of the drivers. This makes it harder to deal with such a driver set since usually the plain axle center itself can be set on a stand to allow free access to the driving wheels themselves. With the eccentrics attached to the center of the axle, the alternative here was to stand the axle on end and allow gravity to aid in the removal of the tire.

Driving set with the Stephenson valve car cams sitting vertically to allow for the driving tire removal.

Once in place, the ring of fire was lit and the removal process started; first allowing the tire to expand and be ‘helped’ off the driving center from some volunteer driven sledge hammers.

Here is a gallery of images that steps through the removal.

After what amounted to about 20 minutes of heating and persuasion from the sledge hammers, the tire dropped off. Mission accomplished! The other 5 have now been removed as well across the #1744’s three sets of drivers.

Mission accomplished!

We want to take a moment to thank the Candelaria Fund for providing a $30,000 grant to us to purchase the new tires for the #1744. We still needs funds for the driving center and axle work. Would you please consider a donation today to help fund this critical work to ensure #1744 has solid running gear for many years to come?

Thanks and please look for more updates soon!

Heating the driving tire with the ring of fire.
Dropping that tire like it is hot! Well, it was hot!
Time lapse of removal of the last driver tire.

Historic Locomotive and Railroad Roundhouse to Move from Santa Clara County to our Niles Canyon Railway

The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC), based in San Jose, will be relocating the former Southern Pacific Railroad steam locomotive, number 2479, and the Lenzen Roundhouse structure and turntable to the Niles Canyon Railway, operated by the Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA).

The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC), based in San Jose, will be relocating the former Southern Pacific Railroad steam locomotive, number 2479, and the Lenzen Roundhouse structure and turntable to the Niles Canyon Railway, operated by the Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA).

Built in 1923, Locomotive 2479 finished its active career pulling commuter trains between San Jose and San Francisco for the Southern Pacific Railroad. 2479 retired from service in 1956 and was donated Santa Clara County in 1958.

Since 1989, the volunteers of the Santa Clara Valley Railroad Association (Now named CTRC) have averaged over 5,000 hours per year on the restoration of SP 2479. This amounts to approximately twenty-five person years expended. To date it is estimated that 80% of the restoration effort has been completed to the locomotive.

The San Jose roundhouse, constructed in 1899 at Lenzen Avenue in San Jose, was used to house and maintain steam locomotives. Included with the roundhouse structure is a large water tower and an 80’ turntable used to rotate locomotives. The roundhouse and adjoining structures were used to maintain Southern Pacific locomotives and trains up until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake when the roundhouse structure was deemed structurally unsound. The Lenzen Roundhouse was donated by Southern Pacific in 1994 for a proposed museum.

“Moving these important historical artifacts to the Niles Canyon Railway enables our organizations to better preserve the rail history of the Bay Area and to honor the thousands of hours donated by our volunteers. This partnership is an ideal opportunity to preserve these irreplaceable resources for future generations,” said Ken Middlebrook, CTRC president. “We greatly appreciate the vision of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for helping CTRC and PLA to realize a regional approach to the preservation of our shared history.”


“Our master plan has always included a roundhouse facility in Niles,” said Henry Baum, president of the Pacific Locomotive Association. “Both the roundhouse and locomotive are natural additions to our historic railroad collection. We will immediately begin to develop our Niles site focused around these incredible assets. A topological survey of our Niles site will be undertaken to allow design work to commence. PLA volunteer and Architect Randall Ruiz will be leading this design effort, assisted by Architect Marvin Bamburg who oversaw the deconstruction of the roundhouse when it was originally donated to Santa Clara County. The PLA will begin to aggressively search for the necessary grants and corporate sponsorships necessary to get this development project completed. We are also grateful to the CTRC Volunteers (most of whom are also PLA members) who will continue to work on returning this locomotive to being fully operational.”


To aid in these efforts, Steam Services of America, a national recognized steam locomotive contractor will manage the complexities of dismantling, moving, and reassembly of the 150-ton locomotive. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has funded the moving costs to occur over a three-year period. Once received, all of these Santa Clara County owned historical assets will be transferred to the Pacific Locomotive Association. Also included in this historic transfer of assets from CTRC are a 65-ton diesel locomotive acquired from Kaiser Permanente Cement, and necessary tools and equipment to complete the restoration and maintain the SP2479.

About the organizations

Pacific Locomotive Association
The Pacific Locomotive Association, an IRS 501(C )(3) community-benefit non-profit organization, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2021. From a group of 6 friends who formed together to preserve the last aspects of steam railroading back in 1961, the PLA has grown to an organization that boasts almost 1000 members and many historic railroad artifacts that have been rescued and restored over the years. The PLA is an all-volunteer organization and has no paid staff. The PLA owns and operates the Niles Canyon Railway.


www.ncry.org


California Trolley and Railroad Corporation
Founded in 1982, the 501(C)3 non-profit California Trolley and Railroad Corporation is dedicated to preserving the historical railroad legacy of the Santa Clara Valley for the educational and recreational benefit of current and future generations. The CTRC currently operates vintage trolleys and a historic display of railroad equipment at History Park in San Jose.

www.ctrc.org