History of the State Belt #4

Part 2: The Missing Years

Following the end of war the Vulcan went into a Stockton scrapyard intact, where it joined Yosemite Lumber Co. #4 (A Shay locomotive), Sacramento Valley and Eastern #2 (A 2-6-2T), and Central California Traction #7 (An electric "box motor"). Here it sat for nearly 25 years.

The #4 sits at the scrapyard with CCT #7. It looks like someone has painted over the Army number on the number plate.

A magazine story about the engine that reported "no one knows what happened to it..." was unaware that a change of ownership at the scrapyard had kept the engine where it was. M. Davidison Company became Levin Metals.

The engine was forgotten until Mike Mangini reported seeing the engine during a 1960's scrapyard fire. Some scrap rubber tires had somehow caught fire, and they where piled against the right side of the engine. Locomotive damage was most severe on the tender, where the metal buckled under the heat. The cab experienced less buckling but still enough to leave permanent ripples. Whether any cab wood, such as the fold down chairs, doors or interior lathe were left at that time we will probably never know.

It was the Summer of Love in San Francisco, but the "Stockton Steamers" became famous for a while again. Levin Metals donated CCT #7 to the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association, while all three of the steam engines were sent off to Utah under the custody of the Promontory Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. The plan was to restore them for service on the Wasatch Mountain Railway (Now known as the Heber Valley Railroad).

An article on the engines in the January 1972 issue of the Pacific Locomotive Association's magazine, Pacific News.

While the Shay was restored and pressed into service, the other two were apparently not afforded the same treatment. Now the status of the engine gets a bit more mysterious. The engine was plumbed with a gas burner and automatic boiler control for use as a stationary boiler. We've been told that service was at a brewpub in a mall, but the folks in Salt Lake City haven't provided us with any written accounts of the what happened to the engine during this time. The engine was renumbered 5 while under the ownership of the NRHS.

The engine sat motionless here by a factory or in the Garfield and Western Yard.

Later, this memo was sent to the Golden Gate Railroad Museum.

Letter from Kyle to Mike

Kyle Wyatt, now Curator of History at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, visited Salt Lake City and took these photos:

Examining the "big end" of the main rods

Of course, the next step involved negotiations and negotiations. The price was discussed, and rent on the track space added up. On November 13, 1995, GGRM members got to work upon arrival in Salt Lake City. Don Michelettti, Mike Mangini, John Manley, Jim Bunger and Steve Case were joined by local hero John Rimmasch and the first day was spent removing the jacket and giving the whole thing a spray of latex paint. Ron Johnson arrived on the 16th.

The engine and tender were loaded onto flatcars and the welding began. It was important to transport this loco safely - the loadmaster wasn't letting that cargo come free.

By December 1st the engine was in South San Francisco without damage. All that remained was the last 7 miles to the GGRM at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Thanks to the efforts of Ray Brown, we made the six o'clock news. The #4 had been away from California for twenty five years, 55 years from the bay Area, 63 years since being in the city proper of San Francisco, and now it was back to turn a new chapter.

Next: [Restoration Scrapbook]