SP C-9 #2562, Arizona Railway Museum, Chandler, AZ

#2562 is one of one hundred and fifty-seven SP Class C-9 Consolidation type (2-8-0) locomotives built between 1906 and 1907 by Burnham, Williams &Co., an early incarnation of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA.

With an engine wheelbase of 24’ 4” and driver wheelbase of 15’ 8”, they were equipped with Stephenson valve gear and 22” x 30” cylinders and weighed 207,000 lbs, 184,000 lbs on their 57” drivers. With a 49.5 sq ft grate and 171.3 sq ft firebox, total heating surface was 3,397 sq ft. Operating at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, they delivered 43,305 lbs tractive effort. The tender weighed 132,480 lbs with 2,950 gallons of oil and 7,000 gallons of water.

#2562 entered service on 27th November 1906 worked over much of the SP system, mostly in California during the 1910s and 1920s. During most of the 1930s it was based at El Paso on the Rio Grande Division, moving to the far Southwest between Tucson, Phoenix and Los Angeles during WWII. It then hauled local freights or did general switching on the SP’s busy San Francisco Bay Area lines between Roseville, West Oakland and Bayshore.


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SP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, Chandler
SP C-9 #2562, Chandler

By early 1956, #2562 was out of service and rusting on a storage track at the West Oakland Roundhouse.

Later that year, it was hauled to the SP’s Los Angeles General Shops for cosmetic restoration and was then towed to Phoenix, AZ. Due to the efforts of Nick Shepherd, a local SP station agent, the engine was then hauled to Mesa by a local freight and then went on to Chandler where it was placed on display near the station. Thirteen years later, it had to make way for a planned new City Civic Center.

SP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, Chandler
SP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, Chandler

#2562 was moved to a new location at what became Ray Armstrong Memorial Park, named in honour of the man whose efforts helped save the engine from being scrapped by the City Council. There it languished while various proposals for its restoration, even a return to operation, came and went.

During the early 1980s, a group of local
enthusiasts identified the need to preserve the fast disappearing artefacts of Arizona’s railroad history and incorporated the Arizona Railway Museum.

SP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, ChandlerSP C-9 #2562, Chandler
SP C-9 #2562, Chandler

The museum entered into an agreement with the City of Chandler to take responsibility for the upkeep of the locomotive while the city retained ownership. The museum was also granted use of Armstrong Park for the display of its historic artefacts, initially centred around #2562.

As the collection grew over time, however, the park became overcrowded and the City consequently agreed to give the museum land in Tumbleweed Park, about three miles to the south. In July 2006, #2562 and the museum’s other pieces of equipment were moved to the new site

The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from the first weekend of May to the last weekend of September.