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How can I help?

Your generous donation and support is vitally important. Without your help we are limited in our ability to restore vintage Locomotives and Passenger Rail Cars.

We have several critical projects that we are fundraising for, but we welcome general donations as well.

Our current major fundraising projects include:

Southern Pacific #1744

#1744 in service for its previous owner.
Image courtesy of Jim Wrinn

The Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) is proud to announce that we have purchased and are returning a native Bay Area steam locomotive, the Southern Pacific #1744, to be rebuilt for operation on the Niles Canyon Railway. The 2-6-0 Mogul built by Baldwin in 1901 operated for many years out of Oakland on the SP Western Division and in California’s Central Valley where the Moguls were fondly called “Valley Mallets” (pronounced “Malleys”) by their crews. In later years the now famous locomotive operated on several of the last steam railfan excursions on the Southern Pacific. After retirement from service on the SP in 1958, the locomotive operated at the Heber Valley Railroad, moved to Texas and was restored for a brief period of operation in New Orleans. Iowa Pacific bought the locomotive and ran it on the San Luis & Rio Grande over Colorado’s La Veta Pass in tourist service during 2007 until it was sidelined with boiler issues. The locomotive was disassembled, boiler work started and then stopped. The locomotive has sat disassembled since 2008 with the boiler moving from Alabama to Texas and then back to Colorado during this time.

The PLA’s commitment and 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. After many years of operating around the United States, the #1744 is returning home to once again operate through Niles Canyon on the last leg of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Preliminary cost estimates are $500,000.

In early March, PLA moved the many parts of the disassembled locomotive including the tender and they are now safely stored at Brightside.  However, the locomotive frame and boiler still need to be moved.  Due to the unfortunate events surrounding the Coronavirus in the Bay Area, the operating revenue budgeted to finance the move will not be sufficient.  The PLA therefore requests donations to help offset the $30,000 cost of moving the two final pieces of the locomotive in preparation for restoration.  This fundraiser will likely not be the last request for donations as the restoration proceeds to return this historic locomotive to service, but please support move of the SP #1744.

The non-profit all volunteer heritage railway encourages tax deductible donations to help return this classic Southern Pacific steam locomotive to service. For more information about online donating and future updates please visit our Facebook page and the Pacific Locomotive Association Steam website and click on the image Southern Pacific #1744.  Your financial support is greatly appreciated as we work to welcome home this iconic historic treasure for the world to see.

We gladly accept donations by mail.  Please make checks payable to Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA)

Mail to: Pacific Locomotive Association, SP#1744 Restoration,  P.O. Box 515, Sunol,CA 94586-0515

GN Ranch Car ‘Hidden Lake’

Great Northern Ranch Car ‘Hidden Lake.

The Great Northern Ranch Car arrived Feb 8th 2019 on property. The Interior is in good shape for what the car has been doing; sitting in the weather. It did have a leak in the vent area that caused some damage,but overall, it looks great.

Estimate Cost Restoration Summary:

  • Roof: $1500
  • Running Gear: $2500
  • Interior: $500
  • Windows: $4950
  • Exterior Metal repair: $250
  • Exterior Painting: $20,000
  • Kitchen: unknown
  • Electrical: $5000
  • Reupholster and new flooring: $20,000

Total estimate for operable condition: $14,700
Total estimate to renovate the car: $34,700
Total including all known restoration: $54,700

Steam Operations

Clover Valley Lumber Co. #4 rolls over our Farwell Bridge pulling a period photo freight during a recent photo charter.

Donations for use in the PLA/NCRy Steam engine program. Used to maintain and restore the various steam engines at PLA/NCRy. The donor may specify a steam engine, other wise these funds will be used for all the restoration and repairs in the Steam operations at PLA/NCRy.

Southern Pacific #9010

The SP9010, a Krauss-Maffei diesel built for Southern Pacific is being remanufactured by PLA/NCRy. This is the only Krauss-Maffei built for SP left in the world, and an International team has assembled the information and help needed to be successful. The team is currently focused on the rebuild of the rear Maybach diesel prime mover and any financial assistance is welcome.

Facilities fund

Yosemite Valley Railroad #330 after receiving new paint in our car shop. Good facilities enable successful projects like this.

Please consider a donation to build out our facilities on the NCRy. Current projects include a Locomotive Maintenance Building and improvements to the Car Shop building seen here to allow our volunteers to work safely and efficiently.

General fund

Quincy Railroad Co. #2 switches in Sunol under the watchful eye of some of our visitors.

Pacific Locomotive Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving California’s rich railroad history.  Please help us continue our mission for current and future generations.

Mail your donation instead…

We gladly accept donations by mail.  Please make checks payable to Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) and please make sure to mark your check if you wish the funds to go to a specific project or the general fund.

Mail to:
Pacific Locomotive Association
PO Box 515
Sunol,CA 94586-0515

Pacific Locomotive Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving California’s rich railroad history.