The Nelsons - Train Cellar

Sacto Area Train Events


Colfax Railroad Days


River City Toy Train Show

Western Depot BBQ
Yuba City

International RailFair
Roseville February

Great Train Expo

Always an Adventure

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Santa Fe Super Chief

On May 12, 1936 Santa Fe launched the all-Pullman Super Chief.  Equipped with traditional heavyweight cars the train didn't appear all that impressive from the outside although it was powered by a pair of Electro-Motive boxcab diesels nicknamed "Amos & Andy."  What really caught everyone's attention was its schedule offering a lightening fast 39 3/4-hour run between Chicago and Los Angeles, easily besting anything the competition had to offer (UP, however, was quick to offer its City of Los Angeles with a similar schedule, which launched the following day).

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USRA Light Mikado

The USRA Light Mikado was a USRA standard class of steam locomotive designed under the control of the United States Railroad Administration, the nationalized railroad system in the United States during World War I. This was the standard light freight locomotive of the USRA types, and was of 2-8-2 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or 1′D1′ in UIC classification.
A total of 625 locomotives were built under the auspices of the USRA,[1] with a further 641 copies built after the end of the USRA's control. The first, for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was completed in July 1918 and given #4500. The locomotives were considered well designed and modern, and were popular and successful. Large numbers remained in service until replaced by diesel locomotives. It was also called the McAdoo Mikado after William Gibbs McAdoo, head of the USRA.
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Class A-1 Berkshire locomotive

The Class A-1 Berkshire locomotive is a 2-8-4 steam locomotive first built in 1925 by the Lima Locomotive Works. The design was initially intended to improve on the company's USRA Mikado design (2-8-2), which was deemed to lack sufficient speed and horsepower. This was addressed by the inclusion of a larger, 100-square-foot (9.3 m2) firebox that required an extra trailing axle, giving the locomotive its distinctive 2-8-4 wheel arrangement.The Berkshire locomotive was so named for its testing location on the Berkshire Hills of the Boston & Albany Railroad. After the Class A-1 successfully outperformed a Class H-10 Mikado, the Boston & Albany Railroad became the first to order the new Berkshires. Over 600 were built by the Lima Locomotive Works, the American Locomotive Company, and Baldwin Locomotive Works. A total of nineteen different railroads purchased Berkshires, including the Erie Railroad, who owned 105 Berkshires, more than any other railroad; the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, who nicknamed theirs the Kanawhas; and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad's, whose locomotives were technically designated as Class M-1 but were referred to as "Big Emmas".
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Southern Pacific Coastal Daylight

The Coast Daylight was a passenger train run by the Southern Pacific Railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.  The train ran on SP's coast line tracks which was considered to be the most beautiful route of all their passenger trains.  The passenger cars and locomotive were painted red, orange, and black.  The colors were so striking against the California coastline that the train was often called the "Most Beautiful Train in the World".

The streamlined Daylight began running on March 21, 1937.  Initially 12 Pullman passenger cars were hauled by GS-2 steam locomotives.  Later, more passenger cars and newer steam engines were added as ridership increased.  A southbound train in San Francisco (Train 98) and a northbound train in Los Angeles (Train 99) would leave at the same time.  Both would depart at 8:15 am and arrive at their destination at 6:00 pm, traveling 471 miles in 9 hours 45 minutes.

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Southern Pacific Cab Forward
The first California cab-ahead design (also known as a cab-forward) was built in 1901 by William J. Thomas, master mechanic of the North Pacific Coast Railroad. Its unique design was possibly influenced by an Italian cab-ahead which had received much publicity in the trade press. The configuration provided the best visibility for locomotive engineers on sharp curves. Southern Pacific officials also recognized the value of the cab-forward as a design that would save engineers from being asphyxiated by smokestack fumes in SP's numerous long mountain tunnels and snowsheds. The first cab-forwards were delivered to SP by Baldwin in February 1910. Engine 4294 was part of SP's AC-12 class (Articulated Consolidation type, twelfth series group) locomotives, the last new steam locomotives acquired by the company.