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In Depth: Redwood Valley Railway’s #2

March 7, 2009

Redwood Valley Railway #2

The #2 is pictured on the bridge just railroad east of Army camp.

Hurcules Gasoline Engine
The #2 is our only internal combustion engined locomotive on the property. It’s powered by an old, rare Hercules 30hp Gasoline engine, and is powered by a hydraulic drive. It’s cooled with an old Samson radiator. Because it was rebuilt many times in it’s life, not offical blueprints or plans exist for this locomotive.

#2 with MOW train

It’s a very useful little locomotive, and can pull the entire worktrain of 9-10 cars around the railroad, although it does have to double the grade out of the workshed to get all the cars up to the mainline.

Cab of the gasoline-hyraulic locomotive

IT was recently rebuilt from the frame up in late 2008. The 70 year old hercules engine has been rebuilt, cleaned and runs great. The cab finally has gauges galore and the locomotive has been equipped with airbrakes. (Air pressure is gauged in the brass gauge) To control the locomotive you must raise the throttle to build up hydraulic pressure, then move forward after engaging the reverser and using the hyrdaulic lever as the official throttle, you roll off in your chosen direction. It is incapable of pulling revenue trains due to it’s lack of tractive effort, which is in a way an unoffical “safety assurance” that we won’t get lazy and disappoint our customers with anything less than steam powered passenger service.

Redwood Valley Work Locomotive

The suspension is fully functional and it works well as a track inspection locomotive, being able to feel out the kinks and bumps on it’s 0-4-0 chassis, it’s only a rough ride if the trackwork isn’t perfect.
As you might guess the tender is absolutely necessary for hauling around the engineer and work crew. Inside the tender, tools and extra work items are stored for the convience of the work crew. In a pinch you can haul 6 people on the tender and locomotive. When it was first constructed from available parts over 45 years ago, the engineer sat on an apple crate behind the locomotive on a small flatcar. The Juniper has been rebuilt numerous times, each time taking on a completely different cosmetic appearance. It used to be dark forest green many years ago (in the apple crate era). They also experimented with eliminating the flatcar tender entirely by squeezing the engineer in the cramped, oily cab. “That got old really fast” one employee remarked. Since then the tender has carried the engineer and crew while the cab interior slowly filled with levers and gauges.

The Juniper on the turntable

Like all other locomotives on the Redwood Valley railroad, it’s named for a native plant in the coast range of California. The #2 carries the name “Juniper” of which it only very recently was bestowed the honor of having it’s dulux gold and name exquisitely handpainted by the offical artist and CEO of the railroad. It’s never looked better. For you Gn15 or On30 modelers out there, this would make an excellent kitbash. Come visit the Redwood Valley in the hills above Berkeley and Oakland, Ca in Tilden Regional Park to see it up close.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jerry Albers permalink
    July 9, 2010 5:21 pm

    The #2 is absolutly my favorite locomotive. There is that special something about it. Thanks you for posting all the info on it. I hope one day I can see the real thing.



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