Niles Canyon Railway sets fire to steam locomotive

The Pacific Locomotive Association and the Niles Canyon Railway held a special run on Saturday, May 1 with 2-4-4-2 Columbia River Belt Line steam locomotive No. 7, known as “Skookum.” Some 40 railroad fans paid to ride a chase train and stop multiple times to photograph the historic steam engine along the Niles Canyon Railway. The locomotive was built in 1909 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Pennsylvania.

All proceeds from the event will support the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. The day trip included a stop at the Brightside Steam Shop where SP #1744 is currently being restored.

Meanwhile, the Niles Canyon Railway is set to resume regular limited-capacity runs in June and July. More information here.

PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Train enthusiasts photograph the 2-4-4-2 Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive, known as ‘Skookum’, as it reverses along a track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, Calif. on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The Niles Canyon Railway hosted a special photographers show, giving rail fans the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive 2-4-4-2, known as ‘Skookum’, travels along track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, California, Saturday, May 1, 2021 The Niles Canyon Railway has hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive 2-4-4-2, known as ‘Skookum’, travels along track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, California, Saturday, May 1, 2021 The Niles Canyon Railway has hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive 2-4-4-2, known as ‘Skookum’, travels along track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, California, Saturday, May 1, 2021 The Niles Canyon Railway has hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive 2-4-4-2, known as ‘Skookum’, travels along track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, California, Saturday, May 1, 2021 The Niles Canyon Railway has hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive 2-4-4-2, known as ‘Skookum’, travels along track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, California, Saturday, May 1, 2021 The Niles Canyon Railway has hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
PLEASANTON, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 steam locomotive 2-4-4-2, known as ‘Skookum’, travels along track near Verona Road in Pleasanton, California, Saturday, May 1, 2021 The Niles Canyon Railway has hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SUNOL, CA – MAY 1: Columbia River Belt Line #7 2-4-4-2 locomotive, known as ‘Skookum’, rolls in curtsies as it pulls out of Niles Canyon Station in Sunol, in California, Saturday, May 1, 2021. The railroad hosted a special photographers show, giving railroad enthusiasts the opportunity to view and photograph the train at multiple locations along their railroad. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the restoration of Southern Pacific M-6 Steam Locomotive #1744. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Jose P. Rogers