The Tooele Valley Railroad Museum is located at 35 N Broadway St in Tooele, UT. It is open from late May until Labor Day, Tuesday through Saturday from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm. Admission is free.
The museum is housed in the Tooele Station, which was built in 1909 and was registered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 as the Tooele Valley Railroad Complex. The property includes the original depot, the section head's house and a frame maintenance shed. The museum is dedicated to preserving railroad artefacts relating to the Tooele Valley Railway, which was constructed in 1908 by the Anaconda Copper Corporation. The railroad was instrumental in transforming Tooele from a largely agricultural to an industrial base.
The original line ran nearly seven miles from a connection with the Union Pacific and Western Pacific Railroads at Warner Station on the western edge of Tooele, to a terminus at the International Smelter. The smelter processed lead, zinc and copper ores, and the railway delivered raw materials and finished products to and from it, as well as carrying employees and providing a passenger service to Warner. The railroad included a 2.4% grade running up Vine Street from Tooele to the smelter. As was common on many industrial and logging railroads, locomotives pushed, rather than pulled, trains to the smelter. This provided better control of the cars on the steep grades and limited the likelihood of a runaway.
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.
Consolidation type (2-8-0) locomotive #11 is one
of two bought by the Tooele Valley Railway in
1912. It, along with #12, were built as part of an order for the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad by Alco’s Brooks Works in Dunkirk, NY. When the B&S went bankrupt, it cancelled the remaining locomotives in the order and Alco kept them sitting at Dunkirk, NY.
The Tooele Valley owned six steam locomotives, four 2-8-0s (#9-#12), an 0-6-0 #3 and a 2-6-0 #2, most of which were retired in 1955 when an EMD SW1200 #100 was bought.
#12 was scrapped in 1955, with some of the scrap metal and the tender being used to build a snowplow. #11 was kept as a back up for #100 until 1963, and made its last run on 20th May that year between Warner and the smelter. It was, at that time, the last steam locomotive in Utah to be used in revenue freight service.
#11 went into storage at the smelter engine house, emerging only once in 1964 for display, dead, at a mining expo, and was then donated to the City of Tooele and moved to Liberty Park in September that year.
At the park, parts disappeared from #11, gauges were smashed and deterioration set in. In the 1970s the Heber Creeper tourist railroad tried to acquire #11 and return it to operation, but their approach was rebuffed. Then, when the Tooele County Museum project started in the early 1980s, former TV brakeman and fireman Marion Bevan spearheaded an effort to remove #11 from the park before the TV tracks were taken up.
In 1982, it was moved to its current location and rests on the only remaining remnant on the only part of the TV’s track to survive.
#11 weighs 185,000 lbs, 167,000 lbs on its 51” drivers. With a 54.4 sq ft grate and 179 sq ft firebox, it had air-operated butterfly firebox doors. The cylinders are 21” x 28”, total heating surface was 2,676 sq ft and, operating at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, it delivered 41,160 lbs tractive effort.
The engine has non-lifting injectors, power
reverse gear and two single stage air compressors in place of a cross compound pump, although these were more than adequate for the six- to seven-car trains that were the norm on the Tooele Valley.
The tender has a 6,000 gallon water and 12 ton coal capacity.
The snow plow behind #11 was converted from #12's tender.
TV Caboose #03, displayed directly behind #11, is an
outside-braced wood model that was transferred to the TV in 1937 from the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railroad, a Montana shortline also owned by the Anaconda Corporation. TV Caboose #04, coupled behind the snow plow, was originally Denver & Rio Grande Western #01100, a wood caboose with offset cupola built in 1929. It was bought in 1957 and was in service until the end of TV operations. It still has its air horn, which was used to warn motorists of the train approaching on its run through town up to the smelter.