Sierra No. 34 at Oakdale (1970) – photo courtesy of CA State Railroad Museum
Jamestown, CA – A recent donation benefits Railtown 1897 and the California State Railroad Museum.
Sierra No. 34 was donated by railroad enthusiasts Chris Baldo and Marion Hatch.
A special recognition ceremony was held during last Saturday’s opening weekend festivities at the park. No. 34 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in 1925 for use by the local Sierra Railroad. The California State Railroad Museum Foundation reports that the 2-8-2 Mikado locomotive is the only surviving Sierra locomotive that has never been in service on another railroad. The 87-ton train also starred in the 1976 movie “Bound For Glory” (as Santa Fe 1496).
It last operated in 1980 and has been housed in Railtown for the past 40 years. Authorities are now looking to restore the train and return it to service.
Tim Schroepfer, President and CEO of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, said, “We are extremely grateful to Mr. Baldo and Mr. Hatch for helping the Foundation acquire this locomotive. The Foundation is delighted that this historic locomotive will be preserved at Railtown 1897 in perpetuity, and we look forward to the day when it will operate again on this historic railway for the enjoyment of families and rail enthusiasts for generations to come.
Other locomotives currently in service at Railtown include Sierra No. 3 and Sierra No. 28.