Sunday, June 15, 2014

Southern Pacific steam, narrow gauge style

The SP ran a narrow gauge line along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Here is diminutive SP no. 18, a 4-6-0 three foot gauge loco built in 1911 originally for the NCO Railroad, at Kearsarge, CA in the late 1940s.  No. 18 joined the SP's "Mina Brach" along with sisters No. 8 and 9 in 1926.  With the abandonment of the northern portion of this branch, No. 18 worked out her days from Laws, CA to Keeler, CA.  SP standard gauge operations met up with the three foot gauge in Lone Pine, CA.  Indeed the 3' gauge locos were loaded onto standard flat cars in Owenyo, CA just north of Lone Pine, and sent to Bakersfield, CA for any major servicing. 

No. 18 is still with us, located in Independence, CA where she is being restored to active operations by a very dedicated group of steam enthusiasts.. To learn more about No. 18's fantastic restoration, check out this very dedicated group here:

Steam operations on the SP 3' gauge line, Kearsarge, CA late 1940s.