Major and Ongoing Projects

Current Restoration Projects


Atsf1010 Sacramento1995 06 18 Evan Werkema

With your help, Santa Fe No. 1010 will steam again! No. 1010 has a reputation for speed, being one of the locomotives that pulled the record-setting Scott Special in 1905. The special blazed from Los Angeles to Chicago in a mere 44 hours and 54 minutes. The 1010 handled the train between Needles, Calif., and Seligman, Ariz.

Now, you have a chance to help No. 1010 return to steam. Imagine this record-setting iron horse on a Sacramento Southern Railroad excursion train, or even as the star of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Old Sacramento.

Several donors have stepped up with a matching fund totaling $300,000, about half the amount needed to restore No. 1010 to full operation. In the words of one donor: “My hope is that the donation I have pledged will help encourage others to join in and make this locomotive run again. … I hope to spark the imaginations of children, younger people, and adults when they see and experience the pulse of AT&SF 1010 alive and under power.”

No. 1010 was built in 1901 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. After its star turn on the Scott Special, 1010 earned its keep handling less-famous passenger and freight trains on the Santa Fe. It is believed to have been last steamed up in the mid-1950s.

Longtime fans of the California State Railroad Museum may remember No. 1010 for its role in the pageant at the Museum’s grand opening in May 1981, moving in and out of the Museum roundhouse on compressed air.

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Granite Rock #10

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If you’ve ridden a steam-powered Sacramento Southern Railroad excursion train since 1999, you were more than likely riding behind small-but-mighty Granite Rock 10, the star of the Museum’s steam show for nearly three decades now. Your contributions help keep this little engine that can on the rails.

Granite Rock 10 is a World War II veteran. This 0-6-0 tank engine was built in August 1942 by the H.K. Porter Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., for the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. As U.S. Army 5001, the locomotive served at the Army depot in Tracy, Calif.

In 1947, the Army sold the locomotive to the Granite Rock Co. of Logan, Calif., near Watsonville. As Granite Rock 10, it shuffled hopper cars full of granite from the Logan-area quarry. In 1960, with diesel locomotives taking over the work, No. 10 was put out to pasture—literally. For the next 30-plus years, it sat in the Granite Rock yard, awaiting its fate.

That fate turned out to be a third life at the California State Railroad Museum. Granite Rock. Co. donated the 10 to the Museum in 1995 and underwrote its restoration to operation in 1997. A second restoration, from 2011 to 2015, was carried out by the California State Railroad Museum; the most recent work, spanning 2020 to 2023, served to correct a cylinder issue and rework the valve bushings, helping to ensure the locomotive remains serviceable for years to come.

Western Pacific #402


This diesel switcher is actually several years older than the Granite Rock 10! The Electro-Motive Corp. of La Grange, Ill., built this locomotive for the Western Pacific Railroad in 1939. Railroads were beginning to experiment with internal combustion as an alternative to steam; EMC came up with this SW1 switcher with the aim of helping railroads make their switching operations more efficient.

As No. 502, the locomotive went into service on Western Pacific, becoming one of their “yard goats”—locomotives used to shuffle cars in yards, putting trains together and taking them apart. The 502 was later transferred to WP subsidiary Sacramento Northern as its No. 402. The Sacramento Northern once ran electric interurban trains in and around Sacramento, entering the California capital over Tower Bridge.

After its “real world” service, the little switcher came to the Museum in 1983, where it was used to help train the first generation of Museum volunteers for service on the Museum’s excursion railroad, which began service in 1984 and evolved into today’s Sacramento Southern. The 402 has seen limited use on Sacramento Southern excursion trains over the years since.

Foundation members and donors helped underwrite major work on the locomotive’s brake rigging in 2022 and 2023, carried out largely by Foundation diesel mechanic Robbie Smith. This work will help keep the 402 on the road for years to come, telling the story of the rise of diesels and the eventual end of steam on American railroads.

Southern Pacific #6819

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One of the features of the legendary railroad over Donner Pass—a crucial segment of the Central Pacific’s half of the Transcontinental Railroad—is its many tunnels. One bore at the summit, constructed in 1924 as part of a line expansion, is nearly two miles long. As diesels took over from steam in the 1950s, Southern Pacific discovered over time that its diesels tended to overheat in the tunnels, thanks to the radiator cooling fans at the top of the locomotive pulling in hotter air. A solution was needed.

Enter the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors with a design that quickly became known as the “tunnel motor.” EMD moved the radiator cooling fan intakes from the top to the bottom of the locomotive body, where they would draw cooler air. SP bought many of these “tunnel motors” during the 1970s and, with them, was able to keep freight moving over Theodore Judah’s railroad with minimal issues.

One such locomotive is now in the Museum’s collection. Southern Pacific No. 6819 is an SD45T-2 tunnel motor built in EMD’s plant in La Grange, Ill., in 1972. The SP put the locomotive through its refurbishment program at the Sacramento shops in 1987 to extend its service life. The 6819 remained in service for SP and Union Pacific, which took over SP in 1996, until December 2001, when UP donated the locomotive to the Museum.

The Foundation plans to restore No. 6819 to service, with work beginning in 2024. The 6819 serves as a prime example of how innovation in locomotive construction enabled American railroads to keep freight moving.

Santa Fe #347C

Consist 347 C Santa Fe

Next to the steam locomotive, perhaps the most legendary American railroad locomotive is the streamlined red-and-silver Santa Fe “Warbonnet” passenger diesel, thanks in no small part to Lionel making it a prominent part of its post-World War II catalog.

Only one of these legendary locomotives remains in all its glory, and it belongs to the California State Railroad Museum. Santa Fe No. 347C stands as a testament to the glory days of the American passenger train, and with your help, it will roar back to life to tell its tale on the trains of the Sacramento Southern.

Electro-Motive Corp. built the locomotive in 1949. In its day, the 347C would have been found on the point of some of Santa Fe’s most prestigious passenger trains, such as the Super Chief and El Capitan (both traveling between Los Angeles and Chicago). As passenger trains faded from prominence in the 1960s and 1970s, so did 347C—until a farsighted Santa Fe executive named Robert Welk ensured that it and other pieces of the Santa Fe’s history came to the California State Railroad Museum in 1986.

Polar Express passengers might recognize the 347C as the locomotive that silently greets them near the entrance to the Central Pacific Passenger Station. Those same passengers, thanks to their support of the Museum and Foundation, may very well soon ride to the North Pole and back behind this very same legend of the rails.

Ongoing Projects


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Introducing young people to their history and their heritage is one of the Museum’s most important missions, and the Foundation is proud to support it. Thanks to your contributions, the Foundation is able to fund bus transportation to the Museum for students from underserved schools and communities.

Your contributions also help many of the Sacramento region’s schoolchildren ride the train—in some cases for the first time in their lives. Thanks to the Foundation, school-train rides on the Museum’s operating railroad are free to classes participating in the Museum’s educational programs.

As of the spring of 2023, more than 1,000 students were able to experience the Museum and more than 3,000 were able to ride the Sacramento Southern Railroad.

“We believe the impact the Museum and riding on the trains has on children is worth much more than the costs of providing transportation,” says Tim Schroepfer, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Museum Lobby Reconstruction

RR Lobby Project Mock Up

The Museum’s main entrance is getting a makeover, thanks to Foundation members and donors.

The lobby already has a new floor and a more open floor plan, along with a video board keeping Museum visitors up to date on the latest exhibits, events and programs. Above that is a more-than-life-size portrait of the City of San Francisco, once a premier Oakland-Chicago passenger train, rolling past the Southern Pacific station in Berkeley, Calif.

In the next phase, a new counter where Museum tickets and Foundation memberships will be sold will be installed under the video board, replacing the smaller desk to the right of the doors.

Completed Projects

Track projects

Sept 8 Aerial Track Tamping Aligning

The Sacramento Southern Railroad’s volunteer track crews have said it best: “No track, no train.”

In 2023, Museum volunteers replaced rails, ties and switch components on the three tracks leading from a three-way “harp” switch to the Central Pacific Passenger Station in Old Sacramento. This track, originally built when the reconstructed station opened in 1976, has seen heavy use over the years. Volunteer crews, using track materials paid for by the Foundation, worked to renew the tracks and keep them serviceable.

Two projects along the mainline were completed with the help of State Parks and contractors. About 1,300 feet of track was replaced south of Capitol Mall, along with drainage improvements, between June and October 2023. While the project forced the Sacramento Southern to suspend excursion operations for most of the summer, the payoff is a segment of brand-new railroad that should be good to go for decades to come.

While that was going on, another contractor replaced nearly 100 crossties at Miller Park, about halfway between Old Sacramento and the railroad’s bridge over Interstate 5.

Your contributions can help the Museum and the Foundation maintain the railroad’s most critical infrastructure.


CSRM SSRR Excursion Train K Huston

Western Pacific F7A diesel No. 913 came to the Museum’s opening Railfair in May 1981 as the property of WP. It never left—WP donated the 1950-vintage locomotive to the Museum that same month, and it’s been here since, handling special moves and (since 2011) Polar Express trains.

Thanks to the generosity of Foundation members and donors, No. 913 is still roadworthy and should be for the next couple of decades.

WP bought the 913 in 1950 as part of its transition from steam to diesel power. The 913 and several other first-generation locomotives worked well beyond their expected service life, famously pulling WP freight trains between Stockton and the San Francisco Bay Area via Altamont Pass nearly to the end of the 1970s.

In 2022, Foundation diesel mechanic Robbie Smith carried out repairs on the 913’s main powerplant designed to last a good 20 years, a departure from normal railroad practice (which he characterized as a quick fix meant to get the locomotive back on the road ASAP).

Sacramento Southern 2030

2030 on turntable

Thousands of young men served in Korea during the Korean War of 1950-53. So did dozens of diesel switchers that, like many of the servicemen, came home after their overseas tours ended.

One of those switchers is No. 2030, one of 40 SW8 locomotives built for the U.S. Army Transportation Corps by Electro-Motive Division in 1951. The entire order was shipped to Korea for the Army’s use in repelling North Korea’s invasion of its southern neighbor. After the conflict ended in a cease-fire in 1953, all but about 14 of these locomotives were returned to the U.S.

No. 2030 soldiered on stateside until the Museum bought it from the Army in 1995. The 2030’s last duty station was the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. The Sacramento Southern put No. 2030 to work handling switching duties and freight cars to and from Setzer Forest Products near Miller Park, and as backup power for the excursion trains. Around 2004, the 2030 was repainted from its Army colors into the same two-tone gray paint scheme used on the railroad’s coaches since 1999. The 2030 still wears those colors today—the only operating locomotive in the Museum’s collection lettered for the Sacramento Southern.

In 2021 and 2022, the locomotive was deemed in need of a major rebuild of its diesel power plant. The Foundation brought in diesel mechanic Robbie Smith to handle the work. His labors, supported by Foundation members and donors, returned 2030 to active service keeping the excursion trains rolling.