Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mastodon 4-8-0 Locomotive


You Have been very helpful before when I had some questions and I have another one for you. Are there any pictures of the 4-8-0 Mastodon cab #229 built by Andrew "AJ" Jackson Stevens at the Sacramento Locomotive Works in 1882? I found one picture of a loco (Boston & Maine, cab #2909, dated 1912) built back east from AJ's blueprints but these were coal burners. I did find one web site that said there were no pictures available — Do you think this is right?



Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


There are at least 3-4 photos, likely more, of Central Pacific 4-8-0 #229 in its as-built appearance. Several were taken in Sacramento when the locomotive was first completed, and several more at Sumner (Bakersfield) in service. By the way, it was built as a coal burner – the Central Pacific used diamond stacks on coal burners. The California State Railroad Museum Library has several of the photographs available.

—Kyle Wyatt

9/07/2008 12:18 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


... Photos of No. 229 can be purchased from Arnold Menke of Bisbee, Arizona ... He has maybe two excellent views available.

Also, page 8 of Church's Cab-Foward has a photo of No. 229 on the turntable at Bakersfield (then called Sumner. Note that in the photo, No. 229 has a stub pilot for pushing trains from the rear, a revolutionary practice introduced on the SP/CP after the arrival of No. 229 and its sister Cooke-built 4-8-0s).

Despite the fanciful drawing on page 222 of Dunscomb's A Century of Southern Pacific Steam Locomotives, No. 229 was not a wood-burner. It was a coal-burner and it was specifically built for Tehachapi service. The only time it worked east of Sacramento were five trial trips made between April 16 and May 17, 1882, never going further than Auburn (it should be pointed out that at the time, all engines used in regular service over the Sierra were wood-burners).

No. 229 was then sent south to Bakersfield, arriving on May 22, 1882. After a trial trip the next day revealed the need to strengthen bridges and track in many locations, No. 229 began making regular Tehachapi trips on July 20, 1882.

Dunscomb claimed that No. 229 was exhibited at the Chicago National Exposition of Railway Appliances in 1883. Not so. Actually, it was one of the 25 4-8-0s that Cooke built for the SP/CP (which were of a similar but slightly larger design) that was exhibited (the engines were being constructed at that time and probably would have normally gone through Chicago on their way to California).

By the way, I don't think "Sacramento Locomotive Works" was a term in use in the 1800s.

—John Sweetser

9/07/2008 12:31 PM  

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