Saturday, April 07, 2012

Saturday - Golden Spike

It's saturday, and that means it is time for another "Anything Goes" post! This one should appeal to you train fans out there.

Today's photos are from March 1969, and they feature two beautiful steam locomotives used in the recreation of the famous Golden Spike ceremony that took place when the transcontinental railroad was completed May 10, 1869 - 100 years before these pictures were shot!

SO... some of you may have seen these pictures on my blog, since Blogger's user interface update has caused some havoc. Anyway, they were only up for a few hours, but GDB reader Roger Colton had some amazing info to share!

Likely this is in the Los Angeles area somewhere on Union Pacific property before May of 1969. The UP operated a number of special trains to the ceremonies in Utah for the May 10th anniversary. The locomotives were on loan from Paramount Pictures. The vintage railway cars also came from the collections of various motion picture studios. The UP shipped everything on flatcars from LA to Utah as all were too old to make the move on their own wheels at this time.

The locomotives were not built in 1957. What we have here are locomotives from the famed Virginia and Truckee Railway, which ran from Reno to Virginia City, Nevada. Central Pacific #60, the “Jupiter” is actually V&T #22, the “Inyo”, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in February of 1875. Union Pacific #119, is actually V&T #18, the “Dayton, built by the Central Pacific at Sacramento in 1873. Both were purchased by Paramount Pictures and have a long history of film and television appearances.

Both locomotives were placed on display at Promontory, Utah until replaced by operational replicas of the CP #60 and UP #119 in the 1970’s.

The locomotives survive today in the collection of the Nevada State Railroad Museum.  #22 still operates occasionally at the Museum in Carson City. #18 is on display in Virginia City.

Thanks, Roger! I might add that Roger has a wonderful website, called The Blue Parrot. Check it out HERE!


Roger Colton said...

The National Park Service did eventually build full size replicas of the CP 60 (Jupiter) and the UP 119. But in 1969, the two locomotives were on loan from Paramount Pictures.

Originally, the two locomotives had been built for the famed Virginia & Truckee Railway in service between Reno and Virginia City, Nevada.

The CP 60 was orginally the V&T 22 , "Inyo". The UP 119 was originally the V&T 18, "Dayton". Both survive today in the state of Nevada as part of the collection of the Nevada State Railroad Museum. The "Inyo" still operates occasionally at the Museum in Carson City. The "Dayton" is now on display in Virginia City.

Check the links for more information -

TokyoMagic! said...

I have a radio that my grandfather gave me in the late seventies/early eighties and it looks exactly like the Jupiter. You turn those round things on top of the engine to adjust the volume, change the channels, and to turn it on and off!

Pilsner Panther said...

These engines are just gorgeous! If these are accurate replicas of the original paint schemes, it's easy to see where Walt got the colors for the Disneyland Railroad locos.

Nancy said...

WOW! Would I have loved to have been in this crowd. These are incredible, the colors are so beautiful. Now I have a great smile on to start the day!

K. Martinez said...

Absolutely beautiful! I've always enjoyed my visits to the Californai State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, but didn't know there was a railroad museum in Carson City. I'll definitely have to check that out this year.

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, I love novelty radios... I have one that looks like an old Rolls Royce.

Pilsner Panther, I think that Walt had some serious train experts helping him to make his locomotives as authentic as possible.

Nancy, it WOULD be fun to see these trains in person!

K. Martinez, I really want to go to the RR museum in Sacramento! I also want to go to the Orange Empire Railway Museum where some of Ward Kimball's trains are kept now.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I originally went to the Sacramento RR Museum, because they have a large toy train exhibit there including the Thomas W. Sefton collection. (I'm a fan of pre-war and post-war Lionel.)

What I found there was so much more than that. I can’t remember when I had such a good time. It was an absolute blast.

The Orange Empire Railway Museum is on my list too.

Vaughn said...

If you ever get the chance to go to Promontory Summit in Utah, it is worth the trip. There is an exhibit, some tracks where they re-create the joining every summer, and you can see the locomotives in the barn.

Snow White Sanctum said...

Terrific post and sharp looking photos. That would have been cool to actually be there in 1969.

Chiana_Chat said...

Yup, Maj - I have seen these two in person. Just like with the train at Knott's, in person you get a much greater sense of just what a great work these were/are. Do at least see the museum in Carson City if you can (but if you're staying in the region, stay in Tahoe...). :)

Thanks for the pics, I'm smiling like Nancy. :)

Benson Myers said...

Great pictures! Sadly though I must admit, I've lived in Utah my entire life and I've never gone up there. In fact, when the weather is clear I can even see the site from my house! And what's more, one of my ancestors is in the original picture they took in 1869. He's the guy leaning against the funnel of the train on the left, with his legs crossed and hands behind his back. He's one of the Wheelwright clan that made the timbers for the railraod.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I don't find myself in the Sacramento area very often (I passed through on my way to Tahoe a few years ago), but it would be worth it just to see that museum, from the sound of it.

Vaughn, I've never been to Utah at all… yet another place I need to visit!

Snow White Sanctum, I agree, it would have been cool to be there.

Chiana, now I know that I missed something cool in Tahoe! Who knows when I'll ever go back there. What I need is plenty of time and money so that I can just tour the whole country at a leisurely pace!

Benson, I'm amazed that you haven't been there, given your family connection. I'll have to look for that photo and find your ancestor! Very cool.

Benson Myers said...

@major: Promontory Summit really is a dry, dusty, horrible place in the middle of nowhere. Other than the trains and the visitor's center, there's nothing out there but sage brush, brine flies and mosquitoes. Promontory Summit is on the obverse of the Utah state quarter, and that's probably the closest I ever want to go.

Okie said...

I live about 20-30 miles south of Promontory and yet have only been out there once but it was on May 10, so that was cool. I keep intending to take my kids back out there. It's such an interesting and often forgotten/neglected bit of history.

Thanks for the photo find/share. :)