Monday, December 19, 2005

WP Boxed Engines

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

I am seeking information on the boxed Western Pacific engines reportedly stored at the SF&SJ shops in San Francisco until shipped to Sacramento for setup in Winter of 1867-1867. The background to these engines seems to be as follows:

Grading on the Western Pacific between Milpitas and San Jose began in January 1865. Wendell Huffman reports that an unnamed WP locomotive reached San Francisco in October of that year and a SF & SJ Minute Book entry of Nov. 21, 1865 indicates that the SF & SJ would "hold a locomotive of the Western Pacific, a turntable, and the carstock at its shops." Gerald Best indicates that both the Merced and the Wm. Penn were involved in constructing the 17 miles of track completed in Fall 1866.

Purchase orders for eight other locomotives were placed in 1866, several of which engines were not completed until Fall of that year. Sent to San Francisco by ship, the last of these engines would have arrived in Winter or Spring of 67, by which time the WP and/or its contractors were bankrupt. About the end of that year, all ten locomotives were transferred to Sacramento to be used on the WP when work resumed on that end of the line.

Any additional help on this topic would be appreciated.

—Larry Mullaly