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Re: Old Equipment

July 29, 2004 06:07PM
As for historically accurate...the Reno when retired on the V&T was oil-fired with the cap stack and electric headlight. I am not sure if Old Tucson Studios converted back to wood or just stuffed a woodpile over the oil tank (such as with Sierra #3, as seen in the past) but it definitely still has the electric headlight. A book I have shows it in pristine condition at Old Tucson, when it was operational. In fact it looked like some serious restoration work had gone into it. So my guess is, after 50+ years of movie work, a lot of it (in addition to V&T's modernizations) has been modified and is not too original. The "Reno" was regarded as the most famous of the Virginia & Truckee engines, followed by the "Inyo" and "Genoa" (or so I read). When I was at the NSRM last (late 90s maybe...its been a long time) they had the Short Line Enterprises #8 (which was labeled "Nevada State Railroad Museum!, not for a railroad it worked on), the Inyo, and the V&T #25 operating. The #27 was being worked on, as was the McKeen car. Beginning stages here. The "Reno" would make a beautiful operating addition to the NSRM collection, but if they do not want another operating engine (though I thought they were still planning on restoring the Glenbrook, more interest to this group since it was 3' gauge, despite the boiler saga) I suppose having it stuffed and mounted and being in Nevada (plus a first-class cosmetic restoration) is better than it sitting in Tucson in the shape it is in now.
It would be pretty interesting if the NSRM was built at a different location and connected to the restored V&T line which will supposedly be built to Carson City from Virginia City. Perhaps the #27 and #25 (the newer engines) could be operating regular trains with the "Inyo", "Lyon" replica", and another old engine on specials? It would have been very interesting to see what would have evolved there.
I had always wondered the condition of the V&T engines in Sacramento. I had seen a photo of the Genoa operating at Old Sacramento, 1970s, in its "Jupiter" makeup. It was restored to V&T appearance and placed in the museum, but my guess is that it would be in fair mechanical shape? The J.W. Bowker I read, was planned for restoration by the CSRM as was NWP #112 and CP #233...to operational status!(doubtful). My guess is the CSRM will continue to run its 0-6-0s and the #233, #112, and J.W. Bowker will get integrated into the new museum at the SP Shops along with the 18" gauge Homestake engine donated by the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad. I talked with Sharon Davis (former first lady of California) about the CSRM and she expressed that the CA government took the museum very seriously and they were very proud of the museum being one of the best in the country (the only contender would probably be the B&O Railroad Museum pre-collapse in Baltimore) and they were going to continue to allow it to flourish. Anybody know the Governator's stance on the CSRM? Apparently they need some green to complete Sierra #3, and their last fundraiser (the transfer table, believe me I got many a mailing asking for money on that one) raised the target amount of money. I think we did a very minor contribution, $50 in addition to our yearly membership, but that was a long time ago. We've been out of California for just over two years now and greatly miss its beauty and first-class steam operations!
Keep Steaming,
Ed Kelley
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