eLivermore.com - By Bill Nale


Niles Canyon Railway
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More Niles Canyon Railway Photos

Previous Page   Page 1   Photos of the train, from the train.
Page 2   From the Caboose
Page 3   The Depot
Page 4   Brick Factory, the Train, etc.
Page 5   Polar Express (Christmas Train, 2002)
Page 6   Train of Lights (Christmas Train, 2003)
Page 7   Train of Lights, cont.
Page 8   The 1949 GM Diesel engine, etc.
Page 9   Quincy Railroad 1924 Steam Engine
Page 10  Speeder Rides
Page 11, 12, 13, 14  SP 2472 Steam Engine

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    See Also:
Ravenswood Docents on Niles Canyon Railway

Southern Pacific 2472 Steam Engine
August 30, 2008

The Southern Pacific 2472, a class P-8 "Pacific", was built in 1921 by Baldwin Locomotive Works to haul S.P.'s fastest and finest trains on the Salt Lake Division.  These engines could maintain schedule with an 11 car Pullman train on a 1.5% mountain grade, and cruise at 75mph on more level territory.  Within two years these engines were running through 536 miles between Ogden, Utah, and Sparks, Nevada, with no change of engines enroute -  a world record a the time.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the P-8 Pacifics were reassigned to California service, primarily on the Coast and western Divisions.  They hauled passenger and fast freight trains up and down the coast and the Central Valley.  After WW2, 2472 hauled San Francisco commute trains on weekdays, plus fast perishable freight trains on weekends.  It was one of the last steam engines in mainline service in the far west.

In 1959, 2472 was placed on display at the San Mateo Country Fairgrounds.  It sat there until the 1965 Bicentennial, when volunteers founded Golden Gate Railroad Museum and started restoration.  It only took 16 years of nights and weekends!  Since 1991, 2472 has hauled excursion trains to Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Gilroy, and Sacramento.  2472 is in excellent condition.  It operates at full original boiler pressure and can operate at full original speed.  In the the past two years, it was moved to Niles Canyon Railway, and completed a $250,000 major boiler inspection and overhaul.

(text courtesy of the Golden Gate Railroad Museum)


2472 pulls into the Sunol Station to pick up the Photo Train passengers.
I was on this train taking photos for eLivermore.com


At the Sunol station

The cylinder and drive wheels

The right cylinder


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