Notes on Our Collection

These notes are a work in progress and are subject to change as more accurate information becomes available. If you have

Passenger Cars [back to Equipment List]   [Go to gallery on PBase]

Southern Pacific 1010 [back to Equipment List]   [Go gallery on PBase]

Car 1010 was built by the San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Railroad in their shops near Lodi, California in 1882. The car's original number is unknown at this time. Originally built as a coach, the car was later converted to a combine. The SJ&SN was sold to the Southern Pacific in 1885. The SP merged the SJ&SN into its Northern Railway subsidiary where the car was numbered 1010. In 1904 the SP standard gauged the the line and the car was transferred to the SPC, where it was used until 1907. It was then sent to the N&C where it became car 16. In late 1913 the car was set aside at Mina, Nevada and converted to a house for railroad workers. It was purchased by Richard Datin in 1960. He sold it to our group in 1990. The car was then equipped with Miller Couplers,  restored for operation and featured at Railfair 99 in Sacramento, California. The car had an estimated 25,000 visitors walk through or ride the car during Railfair. The car now again needs additional repair and restoration of the car's metal roof.

Arcata and Mad River Smoker 2 [back to Equipment List]   [Go to gallery on PBase]

In storage awaiting restoration. last numbered as Northern Redwood Lumber 1 and was used a caboose with an added cupola.
It started out as a passenger car- Arcata & Mad River Smoker 2. 

This car was donated to the SPCRR by Henry Sorenson and is currently in storage on wheels.

North Western Pacific 6101/5591 [back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

This caboose started out as NS 2002 and was subsequently numbered NWP 6101 and NWP 5591.

It was restored by the Bethlehem ship-yard in SF in 1969 for display in Samuel Taylor State Park as NWP 5591. It was subsequently acquired by the CSRM, who in turn transferred it to us.

The NWP/ICC records say this car was built by North Shore in 1904, but a NS "Requisition for Construction and Repair" show the car as having been repaired and repainted in May 1906 for $115.00. Additionally the ledger for the requisitions show no other work on this caboose, proving the car was on hand when the railroad was formed. (Text paraphrased from Northwestern Pacific Narrow Gauge Cabooses, an article by Randy Hees). Recently located photographs currently dated as from 1901-1902 appear to show this car in front of the Sausalito Shops -- research continues.

The cupola on this car was damaged when being transported to Ardenwood by a lower-than-alleged overpass. During the initial repairs it was determined that additional restoration was needed if the car was to be made operable. This Caboose is currently under restoration and will be restored as NWP 6101.

This car is currently off wheels and is under active restoration.

Oakland Railroad 2 [back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

This single truck horse car was built for the Oakland Railroad, a SPC subsidiary. It was built by J. Hammond's California Car Works of San Francisco in 1887. Later the car was used on a Berkeley horse car line where it was numbered 8. Eventually it was converted to a child's playhouse. It was saved by Bay Area rail historian Louis Stein, who restored the car and donated it to our group. Its running gear was lost when the car was scrapped and it was replaced with rubber tires. So equipped, the car was used at BART's opening in 1970. Pattern work to restore its railroad undergear is complete. This car is currently under restoration and is off display in our carbarn.

South Pacific Coast 47
[back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

This is the car that started it all. 47 was built by Carter Brothers in their Newark shop in 1881. While 47 looks like a passenger car, it was considered to be a caboose and was used as such. As a caboose, the car was equipped with link and pin couplers instead of Miller Couplers like the passenger cars. Like many other SPC cars, 47 was sent to the N&C in 1907 after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the subsequent standard gauging of the SPC. On the N&C the car was renumbered 455. The car was set aside in 1915 in Keeler, California. The body of the car was brought back to Newark in 1975. The car is currently stored  in the carbarn. It is being surveyed and cleaned to determine what the next steps are with this car. 

SP47 Drawing

Excursion Car 5
[back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

Originally built by WSLCo around 1919 on an existing 24' log frame as a caboose. Renumbered to WSLCo 5 in 1940 and used as a backup caboose after 1949. The caboose went into private ownership and was then acquired by the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City. It was first cut down to a flatcar and then converted to an excursion car for use on the Inn's railroad-the Nevada County Traction Co. Ultimately the excursion car was purchased by B. Rother and was leased to the SPCRR in 2016. The car was refurbished, painted, and numbered as 5 by the SPCRR in 2018. This car is used as one of our scheduled passenger cars.

Excursion Car 318 [back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

This history is unverified at this time. It is believed that this car was built from parts gathered from other WSLCo flatcars by the Northern Queen Inn's Nevada County Traction Co. tourist railroad  in Nevada City and numbered WSLCo 318 (using the next unused number on the WSLCo. flatcar roster). The car was subsequently converted to an excursion car for the NCTCo. Ultimately the excursion car was also purchased by B. Rother and leased to the SPCRR in 2016. The car was refurbished, painted, and numbered as 318 by the SPCRR in 2018. This car is used as one of our passenger cars for scheduled operations.

Boxcars [back to Equipment List]   [Go to gallery on PBase]

Southern Pacific 10 [back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

This 28' 20-ton box car was built in 1880 by the Carter Bros. for the Oregonian Railroad as number 246. The car was transferred to the South Pacific Coast as car 492 in 1899 and to the Nevada & California as car 445 in 1907. The car was rebuilt to 20-ton capacity and renumbered SP 10 in the late 1940's. The car survived in service until 1960 when the SP abandoned the last of its narrow gauge operations. Car 10's 80 year service life may be a record for a wooden American railroad freight car.

The last shop date "RPKD OYO1 11 60" was still legible on the car in 2000. (Repacked OWENYO 1-11-1960)

SP 10 Shop date

This car is currently used to house our MOW and restoration tools.

South Pacific Coast 472 [back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery on PBase]

This is a standard Carter 28' 10-ton box car. It was built for the Oregonian Railroad in 1880 as car 230. The Oregonian RR was acquired by the Southern Pacific (as were many other west coast narrow gauge lines) and it was transferred to the SPC in 1899, where it was renumbered 472. It was transferred again in 1907 to the Nevada and California Railway (still another SP property.) Here it became 443 (this number is visible inside the car). It was scrapped in 1928 and eventually ended up as a shed in Sparks, Nevada. Our group acquired it in 1983. After some basic repairs, it was used as our first general store. Formal restoration began in 1993. This car sits on 24 inch wheelsets cast by the SPCRR using a NARF grant.

Today the car houses our photo displays, it was repainted and re-lettered in 2015 and is currently having it's roof replaced.

South Pacific Coast 444 [back to Equipment List]  {Go to gallery on PBase]

This is a 28' 10-ton combination box car. These cars were built for fruit service and were equipped with two sets of doors, one solid wooden set for regular service and a second set made of iron bars to allow ventilation. It was built for the Oregonian Railroad in 1880 as car 170, was sent to the SPC in 1899 as car 444 and finally went to the N&C as car 426 in 1907. The car was set aside in the 1920's and was used as a farm shed in the Reno area from where it was rescued by the Nevada State Railroad Museum. They declared it surplus to their collection in 1992 and gave it to us. Although this car is currently on trucks, it does not have brakes and is considered not operational.

Nevada Central 253 [back to Equipment List] 

This is a 24' long 8-ton box car that was built in 1874 as part of the Carter Brother's first order of cars. It was built for the Monterey and Salinas Valley Railroad. When the car was built, the Carters didn't have a car shop. Instead they went to the customer's site and built the cars there, so this car was built on the beach in Monterey. The Southern Pacific took over the M&SV in 1881 and immediately sold the narrow gauge equipment to the then building Nevada Central Railroad where our car was numbered 253. When the N&C was abandoned in 1939 our car was spared, ultimately winding up as a roadside billboard for the Gold Strike Inn in Boulder City, Nevada. Our group traded the car for a replica in early 1992. The car is currently stored off display. This car is nicknamed the “Craps” car because of the casino advertising painted on the side of the car.
This car has been identified as being the oldest surviving wooden boxcar in the western USA. It may be the oldest remaining wooden boxcar in the world.  The car is currently being evaluated and documented as a candidate for restoration. 

Pajaro Valley Consolidated 215 [back to Equipment List]

Car 215 was one of 26 boxcars owned by the Pajaro Valley Railroad. It was built in 1894, by San Francisco railroad car builder J. S. Hammond. This car was acquired by the SPCRR in January 2004 from a home near Gonzales, California, where is was used as a storage shed. This car is currently stored in the car barn on 'loaner' trucks and is considered non operable as it has neither brakes nor draft gear.

Flatcars [back to Equipment List]

Diamond and Caldor 64 [back to Equipment List]

This 15-ton 24' flat car was found near Placerville, California, where it had been abandoned by the Diamond and Caldor Railway. On the D&C it was numbered 64. While this car is typical of cars built by the Carters, and it carried Carter journal box covers, we have no evidence that they built the car, nor do we think it was owned by the SPC. This car was restored in 1983 and was the first car used for passenger service on our railroad. For many years the car was numbered as shown below as South Pacific Coast 439.

The car was redecked and repainted to D & C 64 in 2001.

SPC 439 with a load of ties headed for Seabee Curve

This image demonstrates that one of our horses can easily move a loaded flat car

North Shore 1725 [back to Equipment List]

This 15-ton 28' flat car was built by the Carter Brothers about 1887 for the South Pacific Coast Railroad. The car's SPC number is unknown. In 1906 the San Francisco earthquake destroyed the SPC, and the car was sold to the North Shore Railroad in Marin County, where it was numbered 1725. Two years later, in 1908, the Northwestern Pacific took over the North Shore and with it car 1725. In about 1910, NWP rebuilt the car which was now 20 years old and probably worn out. During this rebuilding, the car was renumbered 5499. The car was retired in 1930, when the NWP abandoned its narrow gauge operations. The car was then sold to the Westside Lumber Company in Tuolumne, California where it was numbered 8 and was converted to a "camp car" with the addition of a house like body. The car was acquired by our group in 1985, and entered service in 1989 following a two-year restoration. This car is our primary wheel chair accessible operational car.

NS 1725 was converted to a covered picnic car in 2004 using 1880 photographs of NS picnic cars at the wharf in Sausalito. This conversion was funded by a grant from George and Karen Thagard.

West Side Lumber Company 222
[back to Equipment List]

This is a lumber flat purchased in 2002 from a collector. This is one of last 45 flatcars in service on the West Side Lumber Company’s railroad in Tuolumne. The Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources restored this the car during the summer of 2002. The bulk of the assembly was done over 3 days as a demonstration of traditional railroad and industrial skills at our Washington Township Railroad Fair.

West Side Lumber Company 205 [back to Equipment List]

West Side Lumber Company 308 [back to Equipment List]

These West Side 24; 15-ton flats were donated to The SPCRR by Henry Sorenson.  They are movable but are in storage.

South Pacific Coast 4 [back to Equipment List]

This 12' long, four wheel flat car is a replica of a car used on the Centerville branch. It was built in the fall of 1994. The car is called the "Mary Jane". This car has wooden bearings.

Mt. Diablo & San Jose 21 [back to Equipment List]

This 15-ton capacity, 18' long ballast hopper is not historic. It was built under Brook Rother's supervision in 1989. It uses trucks, couplers and other parts salvaged from the Westside Lumber Company's shops. It follows typical design standards used by the Carter Bros. and Westside Lumber Company, but is not a copy of any known car.

Mt Diablo & San Jose 21

In 2008 this car had a deck fire during steam operation and is under repair. During the repair it was determined to have severe dry-rot in the sills and the car has marked as not operable. It is currently on trucks and is in storage.

Other Cars [back to Equipment List]

Additionally the SPCRR has a replica of a Carter Bros. pump car, a restored Buda pump car, a Leslie Salt Steel Side dump, two logging disconnects,  two 1890's Buda push cars from the NWP on loan from Sacramento Valley Historic Railways and a third non-historic push car.

Leslie Salt 4 [back to Equipment List]

Bear River Log truck [back to Equipment List]

West Side Lumber Co connected log car [back to Equipment List]

"SPC' Hand Car [back to Equipment List]

Not really Carter, but based on a c 1870 photo of a SPC Handcar. This is a modern Car built in the 1960's by Brook Rother.  The car is used to give visitor rides during special events and is also used for track inspection.  The car is no longer varnished but is finished in a more period looking oil stain.

narrow gauge hand-car

BUDA PUSH CARS [back to Equipment List]  [Go to gallery in PBase]

We have two c 1890s Buda push cars on loan from the Sacramento Valley Historic Railways. These cars were completely restored in 2000 and are frequently used for maintenance of way.

Buda Pushcar No 6

Motive Force [back to Equipment List]

Draft Horses[back to Equipment List]

For 30 years the SPCRR used Belgian Draft Horses to pull our narrow gauge trains 3 days a week in an interpretation of the Centerville Branch of the SPC.

In July of 2015 the horse drawn operations were discontinued by the SPCRR. This ended an era. The horse drawn operations were discontinued when they became too expensive to operate at Ardenwood.

The Belgian Draft horses that were used weigh about 2,000 lbs. and were between 18 and 20 hands high. Although theoretically each horse could have pulled up to six cars, our operating rules prohibited it. Although the horses could have pulled the cars, we were not certain we could have stopped multiple moving cars with hand brakes quickly enough to avoid injuring them.

Hay-burner 0-2-2-0 NG

Belgian Draft horses are particularly well suited to railroad work. They are sturdy even tempered animals capable of working long hours without strain. Belgians can work from the time they are 5 years old until they retire in 15 to 20 years. All of our horses were geldings.

Because of the low rolling resistance of steel wheels on steel track and our level track, train hauling was considered 'light' duty for these animals. The breed was developed to pull plows and wagons in the muddy fields of the low countries of Europe.

One of our standing jokes was to refer to these horses as 1-1-1-1 NG articulated hay burning locomotives.

In addition to pulling the train, our "all terrain locomotives" had been used to pull rotted ties, drag track, drag wheelsets from the boneyard and to occasionally grade using a Fresno scraper.

SPCRR 1  [back to Equipment List]

A 5 ton Plymouth gasoline powered locomotive with a hydraulic transmission. It is a modern industrial locomotive used for operations, switching, and  maintenance of way. This engine was purchased by the SPCRR in August 2004 after leasing it for several years from a member.

It is nicknamed 'Katie'.

After a few years of service, the yellow paint was starting to show it's age and a 'guerrilla' spray paint job of rust red primer was applied and the engine was renumbered SPCRR 1


By 2016, the 'guerrilla' paint job had deteriorated badly and in the winter of 2016 this engine was refurbished, stripped to bare metal, painted, and lettered as SPCRR 1.

During the winter of 2018 The gasoline engine was replaced with a diesel and air brake controls and pump were added to allow State air braking requirements for the passenger train.


CN6663 10/1968 36" HSG B 5 ton D/H
US ARMY #581 > #C0268 Badger Ammunition Plant, Baraboo WI
Olin Corp #OB-588, Badger Ordnance Works, Baraboo WI
Sold to Brook Locomotive Works, Georgetown CA
Sold to SPCRR, 2004, Renumbered #1

Kauai Plantation Railway 10 [back to Equipment List]

A 14 ton Whitcomb diesel powered locomotive (Builders number 40081, Model 12-DM-30) with a hydraulic transmission originally built as a 12-ton switch engine in 1939 for the ASARCO refinery in Selby, California where it was numbered ASARCO 2. The engine had approximately 2 tons of steel plate ballast added at some point by either during construction of by ASARCO. The engine was sold to a scrapper in 1971 when the ASARCO smelter closed. It was sold in 1973 to Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, California where it was used in building the narrow-gauge park railroad. So far as we can determine the engine was never numbered at Great America. It was stored there in 1984 for unspecified mechanical problems.  Paramount Great America donated the engine to the SPCRR in 1996. The engine ran at Ardenwood for a under a year or so and was then placed into storage because of a derailment caused by knife-edge flanges on one side and problems overhauling the transfer case. 

Stored Whitcomb
Photo by Robert Lemuth 2002

The locomotive was sold to the Kauai Plantation Railway (KPRy), in Lihue, Hawaii in 2004. After a complete rebuilding for the KPRy by Brooks Locomotive Works the engine was shipped to Kauai. At the KPRy the engine was numbered 10.

Photo by Rich Nealson

In 2010, the engine was sold to the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad in Felton, California and moved to the mainland. The engine was sold by RC&BT RR to a private individual. The engine was then acquired  by Brooks Locomotive Works In 2017, the SPCRR leased the engine for use at the Railroad Museum in Ardenwood. It is currently being overhauled for use in passenger operations.

Uncredited photo. 


SPCRR Home Page

Last Updated on: 31Mar2017 at 2313 by
© Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources 2017