California Railroad to Ignite Steam Locomotive for Scenic Train Trial

The weekend operation will be the first for a steam locomotive in the community since 1957

The Santa Cruz Portland Cement No. 2, a restored 1909 HK Porter locomotive, will be fired this weekend to test tourist rail operations. (Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad)

FOLSOM, Calif. – For the first time since a farewell excursion in 1957, a steam locomotive will operate in the community of Folsom.

The Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad, a nonprofit based in Folsom, about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, Calif., plans to set fire to Santa Cruz Portland Cement No. 2, an oil-burning locomotive 0 -4-0T built in 1909 by HK Porter. The weekend operation will be a test for steam passenger service due later this year.

The locomotive served as a billboard for a friend’s chicken restaurant near Stockton, California for over 30 years. It was purchased by Efstathios Pappas in 2006, with a refit completed in 2014. Since its restoration it has operated at the Niles Canyon Railway, Roaring Camp Railroads, Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Northwest Railway Museum.

The all-volunteer Placerville & Sacramento Valley operates 15 miles from the former Southern Pacific Placerville branch between Folsom and Latrobe, CA. Founded in 2008, the railway carried more than 7,000 passengers a year.

More information about the railway can be found on its website or on its Facebook page.

Jose P. Rogers