Locomotive spends a short time in its future home
Appeal Staff Writer
The showpiece of the Virginia & Truckee tourist railway – a 90-ton locomotive – rolled in and out of Carson City on the back of a flat bed truck Tuesday evening.
And then it got stuck at Woodfords, Calif. The locomotive will be used on a tourist railroad in Oakdale, Calif., after sitting in storage for several years in a small town near Mount Shasta, Calif.
“We’re waiting for chain restrictions to be lifted,” said Robert Pinoli, vice president of tourist operations for Sierra Railroad.
A load the size of this locomotive cannot be moved with any snow on the ground. The estimated cost of moving the locomotive from McCloud is $12,000. That cost was steadily increasing.
The McCloud Railroad No. 18 black locomotive and its tender are on loan to Sierra Railroad’s tourist rail in Oakdale. The Sacramento company was awarded the contract to operate the V&T by the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway in late 2006.
The No. 18’s operation on the Sierra Railroad Dinner Train and the Sacramento River Train are meant to generate interest in the future V&T. The 18-mile railroad from Carson City to Virginia City is expected to begin operating in 2010.
The route the truck took through Nevada from McCloud, Calif., was the result of plenty of planning, said Pinoli, but also some government intervention.
California’s transportation authority would not allow the truck to take Interstate 5 to reach Oakdale, which is 80 miles southeast of Sacramento. Instead, the truck was instructed to take Highway 395 down and then Highway 88 into California.
“One of the things Caltrans looks at when routing big pieces of equipment, or trucks with equipment, are thoroughfares that are not heavily traveled,” Pinoli said. “Though you can’t convince me that hitting Reno at 5 p.m. isn’t a bad idea.”
The McCloud No. 18 ran on the Shasta Sunset Dinner Train near Mount Shasta.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.