Southern Pacific steam locomotive

DAILY POST: Celebrity Steam at the Niles Canyon Railway


Southern Pacific 2472 Entertains its Public in May 2008

Back in May 2008, I was researching for my book Railroads of California, when I visited the Niles Canyon Railway and made this photograph of Southern Pacific 4-6-2 No. 2472 at Sunol.

Southern Pacific steam locomotive
Fans of all ages gawk at Southern Pacific 2472 paused under steam at Sunol, California on the Niles Canyon Railway in May 2008. Exposed on slide film using a Canon EOS 3 with 24mm lens.

This Baldwin-built heavy Pacific was a fine sight that attracted thousands of visitors to the railway. To the delight of its fans, it powered excursions over the line between Sunol and Niles Station at Fremont.

I’ve made lots of photos of 2472 over the years; and one of these images from the 1990s is the cover of my recently released locomotive anthology titled Classic Locomotives published by Voyageur Press. By contrast, the photo display here is focused on the engine’s fans rather than the locomotive itself.

Incidentally, This old Baldwin has been one of my favorite locomotives for years, and coincidentally, when my mobile phone provider issued my cell phone number about ten years ago, it was these four digits I was given. Although the phone company had the right idea, they gave me the prefix for the Prairie wheel arrangement rather than that for a Pacific.

Also see: Southern Pacific 4449 at Worden, Oregon, April 1991.

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