This Consolidation type (2-8-0) locomotive was the first of five (#101-#105) built in 1906 at a cost of $16,216.25 each for the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Railroad by Burnham, Williams & Co., an early incarnation of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA. Despite its sweeping name, the StLRM&P operated entirely in northern New Mexico, mainly serving the coal fields around Raton Pass. It was taken over by the AT&SF in 1913 and operated as a subsidiary. The Santa Fe changed the name to the Rocky Mountain & Santa Fe in 1915 and renumbered the locomotives #870-#874.
In 1940, the Santa Fe sold three 2-8-0s (#769, #870 & #874) to the Albuquerque & Los Cerrillos Coal Co., which operated a coal mine in Madrid, NM, connected by a branch line from the AT&SF at Waldo. As demand for coal fell off in the 1950s, however, the mine was shut and the branch line abandoned in 1959. #769 and #870 were left at Madrid sitting amid the remains of the mine operation.
In 1989, the City of Santa Fe Springs, CA, acquired #870. The locomotive was restored to its post 1924 Santa Fe appearance and moved to the current location in Heritage Park at 12100 Mora Drive.
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#101 was built as a saturated steam engine equipped with Walschaert valve gear and slide valves.
At some point, the Santa Fe replaced the slide valves with piston valves as well as Stephenson valve gear, at which time the locomotive was also superheated.
The locomotive's original one hundred and fifty-nine 2” tubes and twenty-four 5⅜” flues were shortened to 13’ 9/16” in length. The as-built 30 sq ft grate and 171 sq ft firebox were unchanged. As
a result, the total heating surface dropped from 2,190 sq ft to 1,725 sq ft, including 350 sq ft superheating.
As built, #101 weighed 180,800 lbs, 163,150 lbs on its 57” drivers. The AT&SF modifications would have changed both the engine weight and the weight on the drivers, but I have not been able to determine the extent.
Above, #870’s backhead. A coal burner, the locomotive operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi delivering 39,458 lbs tractive effort.
Below, a view of the coal bunker. At some point, the original tender was replaced by #874’s, which came with #870 from Madrid to Santa Fe Springs in 1989 and was repainted as #870’s.
#870 is on display with ATSF Reefer Car SFSX #1995. The mural celebrates the importance of orange cultivation to the local economy.
#870 is in exceptionally good condition, a reflection of the amount of work the city put into its restoration. This included removing 2,000 lb of asbestos lagging from the boiler jacket, replacing the left main rod, bushings and driver box, replacing the wooden deck in the tender, as well as acquiring a new boiler jacket, cab door and windows, builders plate, number plate, bell and whistle.