The Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society was formed in 1953. It has a display at Fairplex, on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, CA. The collection is open on the second weekend of each month, Saturday and Sunday, as well as during the LA County Fair.
To get to the collection, you need to enter the Fairplex at Gate 1 on McKinley Ave. If you tell the guard at the gate that you are visiting the collection, you shouldn’t have to pay for parking on a regular weekend. The collection itself also has a small parking area, enough for about eight cars.
The collection has seven steam locomotives, one UP Centennial class diesel and three pieces of rolling stock. It has two of only four surviving US built three-cylinder locomotives, UP UP-1 #9000 and SP #5021. UP “Big Boy” #4014, one of eight surviving of this class, was still in the collection when I last visited, but has since moved to the Union Pacific shops in Chyenne, WY, for restoration.
I have been to see the collection on a number of occasions and the photos on this page are from various different visits.
Above, the collection stands on a narrow strip of land adjacent to the Los Angeles State Fair Grounds. The chapter has had an excellent relationship with the fairgrounds since the first locomotive, Fruit Growers Supply Co., #3 was located here in 1954. There is no rental charge and electricity and water are free. A local painting contractor also donates the paint and arranges each year to paint one of the pieces in the collection.
The chapter also has an extensive collection of rare documents.
At the entrance, a former AT&SF station depot and freight house now provides a gift shop and houses smaller items in the collection.
The building was originally located in Arcadia, CA. It was built in 1887 and, for over seventy years, remained in use on the AT&SF’s Pasadena Subdivision. A fine example of the “Gingerbread” style of architecture, one characterised by ornate, mixed decoration, it was donated to the society in 1969 and placed at the north side of the fairgrounds. In 1989, it was moved to its present site.
All ten of the 3450 class were built as coal burners fitted with Duplex stokers, but were then converted to oil burners in 1932.
The locomotives started in service hauling some of the Santa Fe’s crack passenger trains across the Midwest between Chicago, IL, and Colorado, but they were soon overshadowed by the
AT&SF’s growing stable of class 3751 Northern type (4-8-4) locomotives (you can see one of this class on the ATSF 3751 #3759 page of this
website) as well as by the larger and more powerful 3460 class Hudsons.
Above, looking down the yard. On the left, United States Potash #3 and, on the right, ATSF Class 3450 #3450. Below and right, two views of #3450 from the fairgrounds.
#3450 is the one of ten Hudson type (4-6-4) locomotives built for the AT&SF by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1927 (#3450-#3459). They were the first of the type bought by the Santa Fe, which ordered six more in 1937 (#3460-#3465) completing its roster of sixteen. Only two have survived: as well as #3450, you can see #3463 on the ATSF #3463 page of this website.
Some of the 3450s were later assigned to passenger and freight service on the Santa Fe’s Valley Division, working the 270 miles up the San Joaquin Valley from Bakersfield through Fresno to Oakland, CA.
Retirements started in the early 1950s and all of the 3450s were gone from service by 1956 after running up some impressive mileage: when it was retired in 1953, #3450 had accumulated more than 2.4 million miles in service. It then went into storage until it was donated to the collection by the Santa Fe in 1955.
Above and left, the tender weighing 396,246 lbs light, was a relatively late addition. It is one of the type built for the 3460 class and was mated to #3450 in 1952. It has a 20,000 gallon water and 7,000 gallon oil capacity. Both of the three axle trucks were equipped with Timken roller bearings. The rear axle has SKF bearings.
#3450’s original tender weighed 287,000 lbs and held 15,000 gallons of water and 20 tons of coal.
As built, #3450 weighed 343,500 lbs, 198,300 lbs on its 74” drivers. With 25” x 28” cylinders, an 88 sq ft grate, 268 sq ft firebox, and total heating surface of 5,088 sq ft, including 980 sq ft superheating, it operated at a boiler pressure of 220 psi delivering 44,223 lbs tractive effort.
In 1937, the Santa Fe substantially modified the 3450s, cutting thirty-four tubes out of the boiler and adding a 28” combustion chamber, as well as 108 sq ft of thermic syphons to the firebox. This increased the firebox heating surface by over 25% to 338 sq ft.
Larger 79” disc type drivers were also fitted to the 3450s in 1937. The Walschaert valve gear remained unchanged.
The rebuilt locomotives weighed 352,000 lbs, 206,000 lbs on their drivers. The changes reduced the total heating surface to 4,349 sq ft, including 952 sq ft superheating. Tractive effort dropped slightly to 43,307 lbs, but the larger firebox much improved steaming capacity, and the higher boiler pressure of 230 psi and new 79” drivers made for a faster locomotive, capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph.
#6915 weighs 521,980 lbs and was equipped to operate at 90 mph with two 16 cylinder 645E3A prime movers developing 6,600 hp each powering
a GM AR12 generator to drive eight GM D77 traction motors, one on each of axle of
the two trucks. The wheels are 40” in diameter, and the locomotive developed 103,000 lbs continuous tractive effort at 12 mph and 19,800 lbs at its top speed of 90mph.
The ’X’ stood for Experimental, as the locomotives were used as testbeds for technology that was intended to go into future EMD products.
The modular electronic control systems later used on EMD’s Dash-2 line of diesel-electrics were first used on the DDA40X, for example, and the locomotive was the first to be able to load-test itself using its dynamic braking resistors as an electrical load, which meant that external testing equipment was not required.
The DDA40X used the wide-nosed cab from the EMD FP45 cowl units, fourteen of which were built between 1967 and 1968 (you can see ATSF FP45 #97 on the Museum of the American Railroad page of this website).
#9000 is the first of eighty-eight three cylinder
4-12-2 locomotives built by Alco for the Union Pacific between 1925 and 1930 (#9000-#9087). The UP was the only US railroad to roster this type.
In search of greater pulling power and a desire to reduce double heading on heavier steel passenger consists, the Union Pacific worked with Alco during 1924 to develop a three cylinder Class FTT-1
4-10-2 engine. This wheel arrangement is usually known as a Southern Pacific because that railroad bought the majority of the type, but it was dubbed an "Overland" type on the Union Pacific.
The impetus for the 4-12-2s came from Chief Engineer Arthur H. Fetters, Superintendent of Motive Power, O. S. Jackson and assistant to Everett Adams, John L. Mohun, who came up with the design for a second lateral motion device on the sixth axle to permit better handling of curves.
#9000 was the first of the type, built as a test locomotive with the $105,835.27 cost divided between the UP and Alco. It was delivered to the Omaha, NE, shops on 8th April 1926 and, after some final work there, was moved to the depot for display west of the passenger station on 13th May.
The UP took delivery of ten three cylinder FTT-1
4-10-2s in 1925 (#8000 & #8800-#8808), but these
were not a great success. Problems included
difficulty accessing bearings on the centre cylinder drive wheel, main boxes overheating, excessive build up of back pressure at full speed and wearing of the valve gear.
By then, however, the UP had already committed itself to purchasing the massive 4-12-2 as a three cylinder locomotive from Alco, although problems with the Overlands at least allowed the company to modify the design during its development.
The following day, #9000 moved west, starting out on the old main line from Omaha, part of the original transcontinental railroad bypassed by a later UP realignment. The locomotive was inspected at each division point, finally arriving at Cheyenne, WY, just after midnight on the 15th of May.
The first test was on the 16th May, over Sherman Hill. Strings of cars lined Highway 30 just west of town as people came to see the new engine. Arriving at Laramie after midnight, it underwent a complete inspection and lube before continuing testing well into June, running up 4,159 miles.
The tests showed the 4-12-2 more economical to run with better pulling power than the 4-10-2s, and the Union Pacific pushed on with its first order of fourteen of the type, designated Class UP-2 (#9001-#9014). The first was delivered on 15th August 1926. Over the next four years, the UP continued to develop and improve the design through the UP-3, UP-4 and UP-5 classes.
Once out of testing, #9000 was assigned to the Laramie, WY, roundhouse where it operated as part of the freight pool and was shopped according to mileage schedules.
One of the design challenges was to create a firebox that would sit above the last drivers but still be of sufficient size to generate enough steam for #9000’s intended use. The solution was to install a low wall of firebrick 24½” high atop a steel support about 30” from the rear of the inside throat sheet.
This so called “Gaines” wall shortened the bottom of the firebox to allow room for the rear drivers, while providing 529 sq ft of heating surface. With 62 sq ft of arch tubes, the total 591 sq ft was the largest firebox used on a simple expansion locomotive up to that time.
The 108.25 sq ft grate is a standard “finger” design. The ashpan hopper dump was a Fetters-Bradner design that would fit between the engine frame but have sufficient capacity to permit extended runs without intermediate fire dropping. The ash pan doors were Common Standard design, and were operated by the red handles (freight car brake wheels), shown on either side of the rear truck in the upper photo.
Lower photo, the Okadee Type FN blowoff valve on the fireman’s side of #9000. It was operated by a lever in the cab.
Above, the Elvin Stoker conveyor pipe is just below the deck apron. On the lower left, the Worthington cold water pump from the tender. #9000 was built with a Worthington 4½ BL feedwater heater on the left side of the boiler. This was later changed to a Worthington 5-S feedwater heater.
#9000 worked freight, mainly between Council Bluffs, IA, and Green River, WY, but other 9000s worked over much of the UP system, except north of Huntington on the OWR&N and the “North End” from Pocatello, ID, to Butte, MT, where their wheel base and weight proved unsuited.
#9000 weighs 496,500 lbs, 354,000 lbs on its 67” drivers. At 30’ 8”, its driver wheelbase was the largest ever applied to a rigid frame in the US. Because of the massive wheelbase, Alco insisted the main and fourth drivers should be “blind” or flangeless. The UP were convinced, however, that Mohun’s lateral motion device would allow #9000 to navigate curves and their tests proved them right. As a result, the “blind” drivers were subsequently replaced with normal drivers.
The engine wheelbase is 52’ 4” and the total wheelbase (engine and tender) is 91’ 6”.
Above, looking along the boiler on the engineer’s side. The firebox has an 80½” long combustion chamber. The boiler has two hundred and twenty-two 3½” superheater flues and forty 3½” tubes.
Below, #9000 has a Nathan DV-7 lubricator on the engineer’s side.
To the left in the view above, four Consolidated pop valves were set at 220 psi, 222 psi, 223 psi and 224 psi (#9000 operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi). Fetters decided front-end throttles were, as yet, unproven and chose a Woodward balanced dome throttle valve. With an internal diameter of 47½”, the steam dome was the largest made by Alco at the time of production.
Below, the 5-S feedwater heater is fixed just below the running board on the fireman’s side. A Nathan DV-3 lubricator is just to the right of the steam chest.
Above, the original Franklin Precision Type F power reverse was replaced by a Franklin Ragonnet E reverse cylinder at a later date. The cold water feed valve operated by a Hancock inspirator is just above the crosshead hanger.
The engine was fitted with an Elesco superheater providing 2,560 sq ft of heating surface. With a combined heating surface of 8.413 sq ft, it
delivered 96,664 lbs tractive effort. #9000’s Vanderbilt tender weighs 310,599 lbs light and has a capacity of 22 tons of coal and 18,000 gallons of water.
The third 27” x 31” cylinder is just behind the smokebox access ladder in the view above, with the steam chest just to the left. The side cylinders are 27” x 32”.
The original cylinder casting was produced in two pieces by the Union Steel Casting Company, and #9000 was actually the first three cylinder locomotive to use steel cylinders. Previous examples had used grey iron. All subsequent 9000s had single steel castings made by General Steel Castings Co., and #9000 was later retrofitted with one of these.
The outside cylinders
had Walschaert valve gear.
The third cylinder was operated by Gresley conjugated valve gear, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer on the London & North Eastern Railway in the United Kingdom in 1918.
Gresley’s valve gear had been used on earlier Alco three cylinder locomotives. It derives the valve motion for the inside cylinder from a large lateral cast lever interlocking the outside piston valve stem with the central piston valve stem, which also interlocks via a shorter lever with the left piston valve stem.
Such a complicated device moving at high speed was not without problems. The conjugating lever wore quickly, and some later 9000s were built with Walschaert valve gear for the third cylinder or roller bearings on the Gresley moving parts.
Another feature of the Gresley design was the general need to angle the third cylinder so that the inner main rod would clear the first driver axle. On #9000, the incline was 9½°. Steam was supplied to the right hand side cylinder and centre cylinder through an 8½” pipe. A partition separated the supply to the two cylinders and also deflected water in the steam to the outside cylinder where it was more easily drained. The left cylinder was supplied by a 7½” pipe.
Below, two views of the inside crosshead, crosshead guide and piston rod.
Above, two views of the main rod big end on the crank shaft of the second drive wheel.
The wheel was built up of axle “halves”, disc beams and crank pin. The disc beams were 55” long and 8” thick. They extended 27½” beyond the centre line of the axles, supplementing the counterbalancing and making for a smoother ride and fewer mechanical problems.
#9000 was not the first locomotive built with twelve
drivers. Above, the “Pennsylvania”, a twelve wheeler camelback with 20” x 20” cylinders and 46” drivers, was built by James Millholland, Master Mechanic on the Philadelphia & Reading, in 1863. The illustration is from the 1907 edition of Angus Sinclair’s Development of the Locomotive Engine (you can browse this title on the books and manuals page of this website). According to Sinclair: “The engine having given trouble on curves, it was rebuilt after being used a short time and the number of driving wheels were reduced”.
Some sixty years later, innovations in locomotive design and much more durable track made the 9000s feasible. They were built with a maximum speed of 35 mph but the UP worked them to 55 mph as standard and even pushed them to 60 mph hauling fast freight and occasional passenger trains. Scrappings started in 1953 and continued through to 1956, when #9000 was also retired that March. The following month, it ran as Extra 9000 West to Los Angeles and was donated to the collection.
You can see SP #5021, another surviving three cylinder locomotive later on this page. You can see the other two survivors in the US on the Franklin Institute page of this website (Baldwin #60000) and the St Louis Museum of Transportation Yard page (Alton & Southern #12).
Left, the most characteristic aspect of the majority of Climax locomotives is the angled cylinders.
The main rod drives a flywheel attached to the locomotive frame. This is attached to a transmission located under the centre part of the frame.
Right, the drive from the engine's transmission box connected to a universal joint, which connected in turn to drive shafts running beneath the boiler and cab, and the fuel bunker.
The universal joints allowed the drive shaft to flex as the locomotive took curves.
This 3-truck Climax locomotive was built by the Climax Manufacturing Company of Corry, PA, for the Northern California Lumber Co., in Hilt, CA., in 1909. It was sold to the Fruit Growers Supply Co., also in Hilt in 1913, who donated it to the
collection in 1954. It was the chapter’s very first acquisition.
An oil burner, #3 weighs 130,000 lbs, is 46’ 3” long, has 12½” x 14” cylinders and twelve 35” geared drivers. It operated at a boiler pressure of 180 psi generating tractive effort of 9,562 lbs with a top speed of 12 mph.
Left, the drive shafts have universal joints at the other end where they transmit power to the axles through bevelled gears. The gear boxes supplied power to both axles on each of #3’s three trucks. The flexibility of this type of geared locomotive made it well suited for logging railroads. They were designed to be powerful, agile and cheap, and the lighter models were ideal for export.
You can see more Climax locomotives on the Durbin Rocket page of this website, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Train Shed page and the Cass Scenic Rail Road page.
In 1906, the Santa Fe took over the Southern California Harbor Dock & Wharf Company and renumbered the locomotive #2.
In 1909, the Union Oil Company bought the railroad and renamed it the Outer Harbor Terminal Railway Company.
This 0-6-0 switcher was built by the Schenectady Locomotive Works (later part of Alco) in 1887 for the AT&SF as #590.
In 1893, it was sent to the Southern California Railway where it was renumbered #40. In 1900, it was transferred back to the Santa Fe and renumbered #2285.
The locomotive worked the next forty-five years along the docks in San Pedro, California until it was retired in 1955 and donated to the
At the time it retired, after sixty-eight years, #2 was reputed to be the oldest operating locomotive in the US.
Right, last time I
visited, #2 was nearing the end of a cosmetic restoration.
#2 is 51’ 6” long and weighs 91,150 lbs. It has 18” x 24” cylinders and 53” drivers . An oil burner, it operated at a boiler pressure of 140 psi generating 17,500 lbs tractive effort.
#4014 last ran in July 1959 and was donated to the chapter in 1962. It was re-acquired by the UP in 2013 and is no longer in the collection. The UP hope to return it to steam by 2019 for the 150th anniversary of completion of the transcontinental
“Class 1” Big Boys were delivered in 1941 (#4000-
#4019), and five more (#4020-#4024) “Class 2” in 1944. Designed for heavy grades between Ogden and Wahsatch, UT, but also on Sherman Hill just west of Cheyenne, WY, they were 132’ 10” from front to rear tender coupler, the engine 85’ 10” long.
Left, the Big Boys' tenders were amongst the largest ever built, weighing 342,2000 lbs light with a capacity of 28 tons of coal and 25,000 gallons of water.
They were carried on a fourteen wheel
(4 + 10) centipede pedestal truck.
With 68” drivers and four 23½” x 32” cylinders, #4014 has a 150.3 sq ft grate, 704 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 8,355 sq ft, including 2,466 sq ft superheating.
Operating at 300 psi, it delivered 135,370 lbs tractive effort.
When the collection was open to the public, #4014’s
whistle could be operated by compressed air.
And we may soon hear again how a Big Boy actually sounded in operation once the UP has completed restoring #4014!
In 1925, Alco produced two very similar 4-10-2s for the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific to try out. The SP liked the 4-10-2s, which they called Southern Pacific types, but the UP was less keen on what it dubbed the Overland type, and only bought ten (#8000, #8800-#8808) compared to SP’s forty-nine. Instead, they chose the 4-12-2 type for their three cylinder power (you can see the first of these, #9000, earlier on this page).
One other experimental 4-10-2 was produced by Baldwin in 1926 and you can see photos of it on the Franklin Institute page of this website.
#5021 is the sole survivor of forty-nine 4-10-2 locomotives built by Alco between 1925 and 1927 for the Southern Pacific (#5000-#5048).
The 4-10-2 was essentially Alco’s progression of the 2-10-2 Santa Fe type to accommodate three cylinder steam. The 2-10-2 had proven itself a sturdy freight hauler by the mid 1920s, although some railroads had experienced problems with counterbalancing. The added weight of a third cylinder and valve gear at the front of the locomotive meant the redesign had to incorporate a four wheel leading truck.
The new 5000s, with their 22’ 10” driver wheelbase, proved too rigid for the curves of the Donner Pass, where they were intended to work. They were then reassigned all across the SP system, from Portland, OR, all the way south to the Coast Lines terminating in El Paso, TX.
Those relocated to the Sunset Route east of Los Angeles were particularly successful. There, with the low speeds imposed on the eighty mile 2½% grade between Roseville and Summit, CA, the even torque produced by the three cylinders meant they rarely stalled.
Delivered in 1926, #5021 initially hauled passenger trains over the Sierra Nevadas but was soon moved to fast freight.
Its last years were spent working largely in Oregon on the Portland Division, remaining in service until 1955.
The first 5000s were delivered with tenders weighing 244,900 lbs light with a capacity of 12,000 gallons of water and 4,000 gallons of oil. Above and left, later 5000s, like #5021, were supplied with much larger tenders weighing 292,700 lbs light carrying 12,150 gallons of water and 4,912 gallons of oil.
The engine weighs 445,000 lbs, 316,000 lbs on its 63½” drivers. The total engine wheelbase is 45’ 3”. An oil burner, it has a 89.6 sq ft grate, 390 sq ft firebox and combined heating surface of 7,176 sq ft, including 1,500 sq ft of superheating.
Above, #5021 has two air pumps each side.
The pipe from the cold water pump to the Worthington BL feedwater heater runs diagonally across the photo on the left. Below, the feedwater heater draws exhaust steam to heat water to feed the boiler.
Left, #5021’s firebox door. Operating at a boiler pressure of 225 psi, the locomotive delivered 86,589 lbs tractive effort.
After retiring from service in 1955, #5021 was donated to the collection by the Southern Pacific the following year.
Above and left, as on UP's #9000, #5021 is equipped with Gresley conjugated valve gear.
The top photo shows the two piece casting for the valve chest, with the centre and left side cylinder and most of the boiler saddle in one piece and the right side cylinder in the other.
Above, again like UP #9000, #5021's third cylinder is tilted at an angle so the main rod can clear the first driver axle.
Left, a view of the big end of #5021’s main rod and the crank shaft. The design is essentially the same as UP #9000.
The most distinguishing feature of the Morenci Southern was a series of five loops built to negotiate the Morenci Gulch. The first loop was at Morenci, followed by three more loops in the canyon constructed in part from wooden trestles. The final loop incorporated a tunnel by the San Francisco River, briefly earning it the name “the cork screw railroad of America”. In 1914, three of the five loops were replaced with switchbacks, adding about 0.4 miles to the route.
The railroad owned five Baldwin built 2-8-0s, including #3, as well as an 0-6-0.
#3 is a narrow gauge (36”) Consolidation type locomotive (2-8-0) built by Baldwin in 1903 for the Morenci Southern Railroad in Southern Arizona running from Morenci on the San Francisco River to connect with the Arizona & New Mexico Railroad in Guthrie, AZ.
The line was completed in 1901 and its winding route and heavy grades limited passenger trains to only three cars and a caboose. It took two hours to climb 1,400 ft and complete the 18 mile trip. The railroad also shipped copper ore for its owner, the Detroit Mining Company.
When the Morenci Southern was abandoned in 1922, #3 was bought by United States Potash for their ore hauling railroad at Carlsbad, NM, where it operated until 1946.
The engine weighs 134,000 lbs, with 17” x 20” cylinders and 38” drivers. The drivers are inside the narrow frame, with the counterbalances and rods on the outside. An oil burner, it operated at a boiler pressure of 175 psi delivering 21,495 lbs tractive effort. It was donated to the collection in 1956 by the United States Borax and Chemical Corporation (formerly United States Potash).