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SP 2742: A Summer to Remember.

September 10, 2008

The Following Photos were taken by Kevin Z, Writing by the Author of Interacting with Miniature Railroading. Shots taken on both Memorial and Labor Days.

Running on both Memorial and Labor Day Weekends the 2472 put on an unforgetable show for all the people who visited the Pacific Locomotive’s Niles Canyon Railway. (The last monday in June, and the first monday in September, respectively.)

SP 2472

Both Weekends featured a really expensive (upwards of $150.00) Saturday railfan paradise day, with a catered picnic, runby’s, and a lazy jaunt up and down Niles Canyon. Sunday had the locomotive on Active display for the crowds at Sunol to behold, and Sunday was the day to ride. At just $25/person, you can relive the thrill of seeing and riding behind one of the world’s most magnificent 4-6-2 Pacifics, in my humble opinion.

2472 and crowd

As you can patently see, large crowds turned out for the event. The gentle hiss of the 2472 intermittently interupted by the sound of the dual airpumps was music to any railfan’s ears.
With the blast of the 2472’s smooth, throaty whistle, we were off: backwards. Since the Canyon hasn’t any provision for turning equipement now. (There is a planned roundhouse complete with turntable that will be located on the site of the former Niles Wye.

2472 and train

Once the train reached Niles, the 5623 a classic SP GP9 “Torpedo Boat” (to be featured in a future article) was uncoupled from the train (The 2472 followed behind) and the 2472 was then in charge of the train.

SP 2472 at NilesWye

The Train approached the Bridge that separates Niles the Town with Niles Canyon.

head on bridge 2472
2472 at bridge
Crossed the bridge…

entering canyon

..And entered the Canyon.

2472 passing by

Passing by Interacting with Miniature Railroading’s Newest Contributor: Kevin Z.


Rushing to the next location, 2472 enters a nice curve before the two bridges.


As 2472 approaches the two link-pin truss bridges, dating from before the turn of the 20th century, it lets out a long, varied blast from its whistle, roughly resembling the morse code letter “Q”.

2472 at Bridge

After crossing the two bridges, 2472 trundles underneath a telltale, and continues up the canyon.

approaching brightside yard

The signals suddenly come to life, bells dinging, lights flashin and wig-wag signals swinging as Southern Pacific’s 2472 approaches the series of rural crossings adorned with vintage crossing devices located before Brightside yard.

2472 crossing

The beautiful pacific splits the road as it glides over the modern pre-fabricated concrete panel crossing just before entering Brightside Yard, roughly midway through the Canyon.


A long line of cars paces 2472 as it glides on roughly level track into Sunol after passing Brightside, the Bicyclist has stopped to revel in the wonder of a steam locomotive in motion.

2472 at sunol

The 1913 product of Baldwin locomotive works slowly pulls into the station at Sunol, Calif.

anonymous grandpa and kids with 2472

The Generation gap is bridged for this unknown family, the young granddaughters have now seen and experienced that their Grandfather once saw all too often, more than half a century ago, the Magic of a Steam Locomotive in Action.

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