California Trolley & Railroad Corporation (CTRC)
Preserving the historical heritage of railroading and trolleys in the Santa Clara Valley of California.

Posting Rollup - 2009

SP2479 & SP1215 - As 2009 Falls Away

J Ezovski

Progress on 2479 has been slowed the past several months because of the magnitude of the tasks ahead that are outside our machine's capabilities and funds, but it has been a very busy year. Below are listed most of our major accomplishments. Many of these "one line" items were the cause of a good number of sore arms and backs.

Restoration Site Move

  • Repair and level three 30 foot sections of track for 2479 to rest upon during remainder of repairs.

  • Roll locomotive from old site to new.

  • Relocate, install and repair the 24 X 28 outdoor shop cover.

  • Move third of three containers.

  • Relocate air compressor shed.

  • Place double wide trailer on concrete piers and remove tires.

  • Repair damaged Clark forklift drop gear shaft.

  • Connect electrical to all containers, outdoor shop equipment, double wide and track side electrical panel.

  • Connect compressed air lines to outdoor shop and track side electrical panel.

  • Construct new secure enclosure to replace lost storage space at old site.

  • Repair stairs used to access locomotive cab deck.

  • SP2479

  • Paint and install all brake components from brake cylinders to brake shoes.

  • Make two brake rod safety supports to replace missing components.

  • Remove and install both brake cylinders for purpose of replacing rubber brake cylinder seal.

  • Remove both steam distribution valves for inspection and repair.

  • Remove damaged left steam distribution valve cage.

  • Begin re-bushing front coupler pin hole.


In May, cosmetic restoration of the exterior of locomotive and tender began. To the right is an image of the locomotive's appearance in May.

Below is an image is the locomotive today.

Over 800 hours has been placed into this effort and there is still much to be accomplished.

Looking Forward

Without a major infusion of funds, there is little chance of 2479 seeing steam in 2010. If we can have another good year, things might be very different in 2011.

1215 Locomotive November 2009 Update

Larry Murchison

The locomotive is starting to look pretty sharp. The Tuesday volunteers have been cleaning and painting various parts and assemblies as well as adding print nomenclature to the cab and tender. You would be surprised when comparing before and after photos. It'ss amazing what three to five volunteers can do when they put their hearts into the project under the guidance of John Ezovski.

Since the last report the left side valve and running gear parts have been reassembled to the locomotive and have been cleaned and polished. The tender is almost completely repainted and print information has been added to the rear and right side. Various hand rails and the accent lines along the walkway edges have been painted white on the locomotive and tender.

Remaining work involves finish painting the top and left side of the tender above the walkway, creating new walking boards for the top of the tender, adding SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES to the left side of the tender plus the tender weight information, cleaning and polishing all the running and valve gear on the right side of the locomotive. There are a lot of parts that were removed from locomotive and tender before various moves that need to be cleaned, painted and replaced.

Please check out the "Photos/1215 Photos/Restoration Progress" for more photos of the volunteer'ss efforts. Also the article below shows some "BEFORE" pictures.

SP2479 Status - September 15, 2009

J Ezovski

Work on SP 2479 is moving slowly forward. Over the past several weeks, tire clips for the new tire on #2 right driver were manufactured. A rubber cup for the locomotive's left brake cylinder was received and installed. The rubber cup that was in the cylinder was damage as a result of water collecting on the non-pressure side of the cylinder. The brake cylinder was installed back on to the locomotive and brake levers attached.

Precise measurements of the locomotives rods and pins are now being obtained. Once complete, rod bushing material can be ordered.

Restoration Progress - SP1215 - Sept 11-15, 2009

J Ezovski

This past week the crew completed cleaning and painting of cab interior, boiler wrapper and backhead. Cab interior looks nice!

Cleaning and polishing of the various rods links is also ongoing.

Attached are images of progress made on 1215's tender.

The first image provides a good view as to the condition of the engineer's side of tender prior to start of restoration.

Here is a close up view of what remains of many layers of paint. This stuff is nasty. In some places paint comes off easily. In other areas needle scalers beats on the stuff for some time before breaking loose.

Here is the appearance today.

Much work remains, but the appearance of SP 1215 is improving each passing week. If you haven't visited the 1215's storage area in some time, stop in for a visit. The work crew is usually there on Tuesdays. The locomotive is accessible most every day from 8AM to 5 PM.

Update: September 15, 2009

The weekday crew is making progress on cleaning up of SP 1215. Most of the effort the past three weeks has been on the engineer's side of the tender.

The first photo above shows the tender on Aug 25, 2009.

The image to the right is the tender today.

Cleanup of the area below the running boards is in work. Because of the amount of work to be performed, it will be several weeks before this area sees paint.

Kelley Park Line Update August 11, 2009

Due to debris build up within the flangeways, the final 750 feet of track has been unusable as the wheels were not able to make full contact with the rails. Full contact is needed to complete the electrical circuit required for trolley operation. Different techniques for cleaning the flangeways were explored with the final solution of dragging a pick axe through the dirt and then sweeping the dirt away. Subsequent runs with car 124 were made to widen/deepen the grooves. During one of these runs, a barn volunteer is pictured checking for wheel-to-rail arcing. The second photo is of car 124's first successful trip to the Happy Hollow end of the line.

Motorman availability is our limiting factor to more frequent service over our new Kelley Park line. Additional volunteer motormen are welcomed. Contact the trolley barn for more information. 408-293-BARN.

CTRC plays active role in granting a youngster's wish

Eleven-year-old Henry Mulvey, who is battling mitochondrial disease, has a passion for trolleys. Although he lives in Massachusetts his wish was to travel to the Bay Area to ride as many trolleys as possible. To date, he has ridden nearly 100 cars across the United States. With assistance from the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation®, part of Henry's wish came true in Kelley Park on Wednesday, July 8, 2009. While visiting the Trolley Barn, Henry had the opportunity to ride two different trolleys, California car #124 and Birney car #143, over the museum line and the recently opened Happy Hollow extension. Following the rides, everyone was treated by History San Jose to Obrien's ice cream, located on the museum grounds. Henry finished his vanilla fudge sundae while keeping an eye on the "yellow car" (Birney 143) - his favorite.

About the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation®: The Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In 2009 the Foundation celebrates 25 years of fulfilling magical wishes. The goal of the Foundation is to grant a wish to every eligible child in its territory, and anyone can suggest a child for a wish. For more information or to refer a child for a wish, please call 415/982-9474 or visit

Progress on SP2479 - June 27, 2009

Removed Valve Cage

The warmer temperatures probably kept most workers away today, but the very small crew did completed a significant task. Today, we completed extraction of the damaged front left valve cage. The objective was to remove the cage without any additional damage. It was not a simple task. Several small modifications were made to the set up completed last week. After better then an hour of wrenching, the cage was clear of the cylinder. Well done to all that helped with this task. If you are interested in details of this task, visit the restoration site on a Saturday.

Clean up of SP 1215 continues on Tuesdays. Workers are now focusing on the right side of the locomotive, but there are a number of items to address on the left side.

Blending Historic Trolleys with Light Rail Vehicles in San Jose, California

In 1992 Mac Gaddis made a presentation to the American Public Transit Organization on the blending of historic trolleys with light rail vehicles.

At the time, San Jose was an early proponent of historic trolleys running on light rail tracks. Perhaps as a result of Mac's presentation, several other cities now offer similar operations.

It provides interesting background on the early stages of the San Jose Trolley Corporation, a predecessor to our current CTRC.

Click here to view the 19 page presentation.

SP2479 Status - June 20, 2009 - Extracting the Left Front Valve Cage

J. Ezovski

Absence of several key workers has not hampered progress. All of the necessary hardware needed to attempt extraction of the left front valve cage is complete.

Machining of the front plate, the final component, was completed today. The plate had to be cut to size and holes drilled to accept threaded rod.

All components were then assembled in the valve cage.

An attempt was made to extract the valve cage, but the day's late hour forced this task to next weekend. Hopefully an image of an intact valve cage will be forwarded to all.

A second crew was busy cleaning and polishing the locomotive's radius rods and combination levers. Layers of paint are carefully removed and the surface polished. Thanks to Ron and Phil for taking on this time consuming task.

The Tuesday crew continues to make progress on SP 1215. Near all of the left side of the boiler and frame have been cleaned and painted. Work has begun on the locomotive's right side. The locomotive end of the tender has also been cleaned and paint applied. Much work remains.

Thanks to all that participated!

SP1215 Cleanup

Over the last three weeks a crew has been cleaning and painting SP1215. Over 100 person hours have so far been dedicated towards this effort. To the right is an image of 1215 taken November 2007. The locomotive did not look good then and had further deteriorated.

Below is an image taken today.

I am not using the terms "before" and "after" as there is still much work remaining. Work on SP1215 will continue over the coming weeks on Tuesdays.

Here's a photo of the SP1215 in San Francisco in the mid 1950s.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony To Be Held On June 3, 2009

City of San Jose, California Trolley and Railroad Corporation and the San Jose Rotary Club Cut Ribbon on Historic Trolley Line!

A new/old trolley line running nearly a mile from the History San Jose Trolley Barn of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC) down Senter Road to Happy Hollow Children’s Park will be inaugurated at 11:00 AM on June 3, next Wednesday at San Jose’s Kelley Park.

This historically significant reestablishment of a trolley service along Senter Road is open to the public and will feature a ribbon-cutting by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, City Council members, San Jose Rotary President Bert George and other dignitaries.

This new donor-constructed and volunteer-operated service featuring free rides on the beautifully-restored historic trolley cars will serve the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, the Leninger Center, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Rotary Office, and History San Jose.

The free rides will be available to the public after the inauguration ceremony.

For additional media information contact CTRC President Rod Diridon, Sr. at 408 924 7561 or 408 859 4447.

SP1215 Stabilization

The CTRC (Steam team) weekday crew (Larry M, Denis M and John E) has started the stabilization of SP1215 exterior. This work was started the week of May 18, 2009.

The plan is to complete stabilization of the side exposed to the HSJ parking lot first then complete the otherside of the locomotive. We plan on reinstalling the piping, hand rails, and other items which were removed when the engine was move to San Jose from Portola California. In addition the cab will be weather proofed and the rest of the locomotive will be weatherized.



SP2479 Status: April to Mid May 2009

April 18

With the move complete and most site infrastructure in place, work has resumed on the locomotive.

These past two weeks members have been installing the many components that make up the locomotives braking system. This may not sound like a significant task, but many of these components are of significant weight. Weight combined with working in the now smaller area under the locomotive's drivers, makes this a sometimes challenging task.

The new site has brought the restoration into a more prominent view as the locomotive is easily seen from Monterey Highway and Old Tulley Road. Visitors to the site have been frequent and often surprised about the repairs.

April 25

The fence that will separate the restoration area from the rest of the fairgrounds is in the process of being installed. Task should be complete this coming week. The fence line is between 10 and 20 feet east of our site plan, thus giving us a bit more space for parking.

Installation of the locomotive brake system continues. All levers, beams, brake heads and shoes are now installed. All but three pieces of the brake safety support components are in place. We were unable to locate two of the remaining three pieces. One of these pieces may not have been in place when the restoration effort began. The missing pieces will be easily formed from 2 1/2" x 1/2" bar stock.

May 9

Removal of the locomotives valves was completed on Saturday.

There were no defects noted to the right side valve and cage assembly. Things were not so good on the left side. Several significant gouges were observed in the front valve cage. One of the three damaged areas is circled in the below image.

More information is needed before repairs can begin. Initial thoughts are to replace the cage.

While one crew was removing valves, other members worked at recovering track ballast from the old site.

Mid May

We are starting to have visitors now that the locomotive is visible from Old Tulley road and, if you look real hard, it can be seen from Monterey Road. A lady came to the site with her three little children and we issued them little hard hats. They felt like part of the working crew as they were escorted around the equipment and in the caboose.

The workday crew finished and secured the between-the-container shed. It now contains the fuel and oil as well as the riding mower and racks of equipment. Temporarily the side rods are stored there while bushings are created.

All the equipment from the old location has been moved to our new location including the turntable and water tank and a property fence now separates us.

The tender and caboose have been moved up close to the locomotive so we almost have a "train".

All the under-the-locomotive brake components have been installed. Two safety bars had to be fabricated. One other bar needed to be straightened. It probably was bent in the 1937 wreck and never repaired.

Because of our new, more visible location we now must maintain the area outside our street-side fenced location. But the good news is that we no longer need to mow the large acreage that is now on the other side of the property fence line.

The steam distribution pistons have been removed. The pistons appear to be OK but one of the internal cages has a crack that must be evaluated and repaired.

SP2479 Progress: March 23-28, 2009

By John Ezovski

A secure storage area between two containers was completed this past week. Work included installing gutters along the roof edge, installation of the roof, attaching chain link fencing along the back, fabrication and installation of double gates at the entrance.

With the storage area complete, all remaining material was removed from the women's restroom and deep sink area. The locomotives pistons that were stored in the men's room entrance area were moved into the outdoor shop area.

Two and one half panels of track were leveled in preparation of the final move of the tender and caboose.

While materials were being moved and track leveled, the small shaper/planner received some much needed attention. Various oil lines were replaced, and the machine tested.

In addition, grass (weeds) in and adjacent to the new site were cut.

The end of the move is here! By the end of this coming week, all remaining CTRC equipment (exclusive of the turntable and water tank) should be within the county designated area.

2479 Update - Feb 28 through March 21 2009

Moving the 2479

Feb 28

Muddy conditions created by heavy rain during the first part of February slowed the relocation of CTRC material to the new site but did not stop all work.

Site improvements continued. Fairgrounds staff have spread many more yards of base rock like material. This has allowed us to ballast and level panels of track that the locomotive will sit. The dirt bike motorcycle course operator, located on the fairgrounds, allowed CTRC the use of a loader for several hours this past week. Ballast from the old site was recovered, spread and tamped under the panels of track. Some additional ballast is needed between the ties then the locomotive can be pulled forwarded to the new work area.

The trailer was the last large object to be moved by CTRC members. Several days of work remain to clear the old site of a number of small items. Dry weather and identifying a storage location are all that is necessary. On the other hand, much work remains at the new site.

On Saturday, Feb. 28, the crew decided to take advantage of the prior week's dry conditions with an attempt to move organizations 40 by 20 foot double wide trailer. Tires were installed and the task of extracting the trailer began. Eight years ago this trailer was positioned between trees. (We must have never thought about having to move this trailer again.) Those trees have grown over the years combined with the delicate structural integrity of the trailer made extraction a bit more difficult. Several hours of jockeying the trailer about were expended. The trailer was successful rotated into a direction where it could be pulled across the field to the new location. The trailer must now be leveled, placed back onto concrete piers and electrical installed.

Mar 7

Today's large crew and dry weather moved several tasks forward. The double wide trailer received most of the attention. The trailer was placed back on to its concrete piers and tires were removed.

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Pedersen of A Tool Shed, a trench was quickly dug from the main power panel to the trailer. Conduit and wire were laid and electrical power restored to the trailer.

A second trench was dug from the main power panel over to the rail. A circuit breaker panel and power outlets, mounted on 4 x 4 posts, was set into the ground. Conduit and wire have been set into place but several small connection issues remain.

Three months have elapsed since the present phase of site consolidation began. We are very close to being able to place all of our attention on restoration of SP 2479. All remaining material should be relocated to the new site in the coming weeks, assuming relatively dry weather.

Thank you Mr. Pedersen for the use of the walk behind trencher!

Mar 14

Another busy week at the restoration site.

The circuit break and outlet box adjacent to the rail was connected to the main power source.
Compressed air was also made available at this same location.
The large rack was set into its new location and filled with pallets.

Today a significant amount of material was relocated from the old site and with this the relocation of CTRC material to the new site is almost complete! One more day's worth of work is all that is needed to place this task in the complete column. By the end of the month focus will be back on the locomotive.

Moving the 2479

Mar 21

Its been another busy week at the restoration site.

The most significant event taking place today. The Saturday crew completed the necessary track work and pulled the locomotive forward 120 feet to the location where restoration of SP 2479 may be completed.

The week day crew has begun construction of a storage shed between two of our containers. This shed will be a secure area for equipment previously stored in rest rooms at the old location.

This coming week fairgrounds staff will have a crane company provide a quote to move the turn table and water tank. To help reduce this cost, the week day crew moved a portion of the structure that supports the large water tank. This large support is seen in the image below to the right of the double wide trailer.

Today's crew spent most of the day clearing materials from the old site. Finally, all CTRC materials have been removed from the field previously occupied. The end of the move is in site!

SP 2479 Update: February. 1 - 7, 2009

This past week a 200 ampere, 3 phase, 220 volt source was connected at the new site. The shop was connected to this source and each machine verified for correct operation. While machines were being check another crew was busy plumbing the air compressor.

With all of the electrical issues resolved, the crew turned to repairing the panels of track that the locomotive will sit for remaining repairs. Ballast can now be recovered from the old site and the rails leveled.

The rain that has fallen during the past two days has turned the area between the old and new sites into a large field of mud. Our Clark forklift is not operable in this environment. The remaining large objects at the old site, double wide trailer and large rack, will remain until the ground dries.

Dec. 6, 2008 marked the beginning of this stage in the move. Much has been accomplished since that date. In two months crews have relocated three large containers (and contents), a 26 x 32 foot boiler tube canopy (and all the equipment it protected), and one 225,000 pound pacific class steam locomotive. Not bad for two months work!

SP2479 Progress: January 31, 2009

By J. Ezovski

During the week, fairgrounds personnel spread many yards of base rock and installed posts for the new site's power distribution panel. Hopefully power will be delivered to the new site early this coming week.

Today's large crew finished turning the locomotive. The locomotive is now in line with its tender in the new area. The crew began replacing unserviceable ties in panels that the locomotive will sit on for future repairs. Once track repairs are complete, ballast will be spread and the panels leveled. The locomotive will then be pulled forward about 80 feet to its new location.

With the locomotive close to its new home, the crew turned to relocating the site's air compressor shed. This task was completed very late in the afternoon.

Another Thank You to Mr. Pedersen and A Tool Shed. None of the locomotive moves completed these past three weeks would have been possible without the help of a second forklift. The locomotive can almost be pulled by John Blaine's forklift but the A Tool Shed forklift made the pull easy.

A number of items remain at the old site. The most significant of these is the double wide trailer. Moving it will not be easy. Hopefully it will survive one more move.

Moving the SP2479

By J. Ezovski

With the help of Dennis and Larry Murchison, and Frank Valerga, 2479 began its journey across the fairground to the new site. Four panels of track were laid out in front of the two panels that the locomotive sat upon. Near 2 PM, the locomotive was rolled about 170 feet west with the aid of the Wiggins and A Tool Shed fork lifts.

The above image shows the locomotive coming off of its old location. There was a slight down grade in this area and the locomotive made good use of it! Air brakes were rather helpful.

Above shows where the locomotive sat at days end. The front of the locomotive is very close to the site limit line.

Tomorrow the crew will begin to relocate the panels to the front of the locomotive for the next step in the move.

SP2479 Progress: January 5-10, 2009

By J. Ezovski

Relocation of our containers is complete. The last container was of the three units was emptied, moved and equipment returned today, Saturday, January 10. The task did take most of the day as an unusually small crew tackled this significant task.

With the container in place, the crew moved over to the locomotive. It was pulled back to the end of its track, a distance of about fifteen feet. There were two reasons for this move. First was to see how difficult it was for two medium size forklifts to move the locomotive. Second reason was to point the front panel of track in the optimum direction for the coming move. Surprisingly the locomotive rolled easily. There was virtually no strain placed on the forklifts.

During the week work continued on the canopy. Rain gutters were reconnected and a three foot extension was added. Some electrical work was also performed. Fairgrounds staff continued site work by spreading a layer of base rock.

Another very big thank you to A Tool Shed. Mr. Pedersen's crew delivered a much needed forklift to the site on Friday. None of the today's work could have been accomplished without the use of A Tool Shed's lift. None of the work accomplished over the past month could have been completed with A Tool Shed's assistance! Thank you Mr. P.!

Fairgrounds management is very satisfied with the move's progress. With some luck and not a lot of rain, the move could be complete by the end of February. A number of small items and two big objects remain: locomotive, double wide trailer.

During the coming week, we hope to have electrical service installed and power restored to the shop. All parts for the Clark forklift are now at the site. The lift should be returned to service early in the week. It will then be placed into service positioning panels of track for the move of the locomotive.

Its been a good week!

Happy Hollow Extension - Construction Begins

Construction has begun on the the Happy Hollow Extension

The crew from Stacy & Witbeck arrived this morning (January 5, 2009) and started to dig holes for the Happy Hollow Extension poles.

Some of the poles are wood and some are metal in concrete bases.

It may take several weeks for the poles to be installed. Once installed the installation of the wires can begin.

Come spring the new line will have operating trolleys!

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