Delivered in 1897 as #1838, this is one of thirty-eight T-1 Class
4-6-0 Ten Wheeler types (#1808-#1846) built over several years by the Cooke Locomotive Works in Paterson, NJ, later part of Alco. In 1901, they were renumbered #2235-#2273, at which time #1838 became #2252.
The T-1s started as freight helpers over the Donner Pass until they were relegated to secondary service by the arrival of larger power. In 1929, four of the class, including #2252, were modified as “fire trains” or “water trains” for service in the northern California mountains.
#2252 was equipped with a Duplex pump capable of delivering 300 gallons of water per minute through a 1,000 foot hose carried aboard the locomotive. The pump was fed from two or three water cars coupled to the train, each of which held over 7,000 gallons of water. The trains carried axes, ladders and other fire fighting equipment, and #2252 was fitted with a steam siren that was blown when the train was under way. During summer, the fire train locomotives were kept hot at all times and a crew was always on duty in case they were needed to attend a fire.
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Because of their importance in fighting lineside wildfires as well as protecting wooden show sheds, the fire train locomotives were amongst the last steam motive power retired by the SP.
#2252 retired in 1956 and was donated to the City of Roseville the following year. It initially went on display in Placer Fairgrounds. In 2004, it was moved to its current location at the intersection of Atlantic St and Vernon St.
#2252 weighs 142,350 lbs, 112,050 lbs on its 63” drivers. Equipped with Stephenson valve gear, it has 20” x 26” cylinders and still has its original slide valves. An oil burner with a 24 sq ft grate, 147 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 1,884 sq ft, it operated at a boiler pressure of 180 psi delivering 25,257 lbs tractive effort.