The Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) is pleased to announce that the frame & running gear from the recently purchased Southern Pacific #1744 has been moved from Colorado to the Niles Canyon Railway. The running gear was loaded on a heavy haul truck in Alamosa, Colorado on Monday 8/31 and unloaded this afternoon at Brightside yard. The PLA owes thanks the many donors who have helped finance the move from Colorado. We are also grateful to the employees at the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad who have been instrumental in helping with the process to move the 1744.
The 2-6-0 Mogul built by Baldwin in 1901 operated for many years out of Oakland on the Southern Pacific Western Division and in California’s Central Valley where the Moguls were fondly called “Valley Mallets” by their crews. The locomotive was made famous in later years by operating on several of the last steam railfan excursions on the Southern Pacific. After many years of operating around the United States, the #1744 is returning home to once again to operate through Niles Canyon on the last leg of the transcontinental railroad.
The Pacific Locomotive Association will move the boiler, the final piece of the locomotive still in Colorado, to a contract shop for repairs later this month. This move will finish the project to move the locomotive back to California. With the running gear onsite, NCRy volunteers will now begin the inspection, repair and reassembly of the running gear in preparation for the eventual operation of the locomotive on the Niles Canyon Railway. The PLA plan to return the #1744 to service will not be a quick or inexpensive proposition but we are looking forward to the future when she will once again steam on the Niles Canyon Railway. Our non-profit all volunteer heritage railway encourages donations to help return this classic Southern Pacific Locomotive to service. Please visit our Steam Department website to see more information and progress updates as the rebuild begins.