Full Size Steam Locomotive for Rolling in Folsom

FOLSOM – Residents of Folsom will hear the hiss and thump of a full-size steam locomotive passing through town for the first time in 65 years.

Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad will pack Santa Cruz Portland Cement No. 2, known as “The Chiggen,” for the first time this weekend. P&SVRR will test the operation of No. 2 in anticipation of passenger service later this year. The historic Southern Pacific Placerville Spur last saw a steam locomotive on the tracks in 1957 during a farewell steam excursion from Oakland.

Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving California’s rich railroad history. An all-volunteer organization, P&SVRR operates scenic rail tours year-round on portions of the historic Placerville branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad between Folsom and Latrobe. Since its creation in 2008, ridership has continued to grow and the program now serves more than 7,000 passengers per year.

For more information about P&SVRR, visit psvrr.org or facebook.com/psvrr

“The Chiggen”

Built in 1909 by HK Porter, this oil-fired 0-4-0 standard-gauge tank engine served Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. in Davenport as well as Bechtel Kaiser Rock Co. in Oroville, where it ran with a former locomotive from the Folsom Jail. Affectionately known as ‘The Chiggen’, a nickname derived from its time as a billboard for a fried chicken restaurant for over 30 years near Stockton, the locomotive was purchased by Efstathios Pappas in 2006. The shed in working condition was completed in 2014. This engine pulled excursion passenger trains at the Niles Canyon Railway, Roaring Camp Railroads, Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad, and the Northwest Railway Museum.

Jose P. Rogers