This American type (4-4-0) has the distinction of being the oldest surviving Union Pacific steam locomotive. It was built by Baldwin in 1887 as part of one of the largest locomotive orders on record to that date, the 600 through 900 series. They were intended for passenger and freight service.
As delivered, #737 had a long vertical wooden bar pilot, an oil “box” headlight, a shallow diamond stack and square steam and sand domes without the usually ornate, cast-iron dome rings. When it entered service, the locomotive reportedly had “O. & R.V.” painted on the cab sides, for the UP subsidiary in Nebraska, the Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad. It later had “Union Pacific” on each side of the cab and “737” on each side of the tender. At some point, the diamond stack was replaced with a straight stack and the wooden pilot with a short, tubular steel one.
By the turn of the century, the 4-4-0 had been largely superseded by heavier power, and #737 had been relegated to branch line work. In 1904, it was sold to the Southern Pacific along with a number of other locomotives, where it became Morgan’s Louisiana & Texas #246. In 1913, #246 was renumbered #216.
Digimarc and the Digimarc logo are registered trademarks of Digimarc Corporation. The "Digimarc-Enabled" Web Button is a trademark of Digimarc Corporation, used with permission.
In 1929, #216 was sold to the Erath Sugar Co. It worked the seventeen mile line into the cane fields at the company’s Erath plant and the Vermilion plant near Abbeville, LA. Retired in 1956, it was sold to Nelson F. Blount to join the Steamtown collection. In 1996, #216 was donated to the Nevada State Railroad Museum who transferred it to the Feather River Rail Society. In 2003, the Double T bought the locomotive.
The Double T Acres is a ranch, history museum and functions venue. To visit and see #246, you should phone ahead to book a suitable time.
Above and left, the “leggy” look is a result of the two driver axles straddling the grate.
#737 was built as a coal burner weighing 99,000 lbs, 62,000 lbs on its 62” drivers, with Stephenson valve gear and 18” x 26” cylinders. It has a 16.71 sq ft grate, 141.7 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 1,448 sq ft. Operating at a boiler pressure of 160 psi, it delivered 18,484 lbs tractive effort.
On the Southern Pacific, #216 was converted to an oil burner, with a modified tender, suitable cab controls and, probably, necessary modifications to the firebox grates.