C. P. Huntington
C. P. Huntington is a 4-2-4T steam locomotive on static display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California, USA. It is the first locomotive purchased by the Central Pacific Railroad, carrying that railroad's number 1. The locomotive is named in honor of Collis P. Huntington, the third president of the Southern Pacific Company (parent company of Southern Pacific Railroad).
|C. P. Huntington|
C. P. Huntington after its 1888 rebuild in Sacramento
History and career
C. P. Huntington was originally purchased by Central Pacific Railroad (CP) in 1863 as that railroad's number 3, along with its sister engine T. D. Judah (CP no. 4). It was CP's third locomotive after Gov. Stanford (number 1, built by Norris Locomotive Works) and Pacific (number 2, built by Mason Machine Works). CP used the locomotive beginning on April 15, 1864, during construction of the western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in North America.
Southern Pacific (SP) purchased C. P. Huntington from CP on February 5, 1871, gave it their number 1, and used it in light service in northern California. It was rebuilt twice, first in 1873 with new valves and again in 1888 with a new boiler built by CP's Sacramento shops. In 1888 the locomotive was also put on public display for the first time in Sacramento.
In SP's 1891 renumbering plan, C. P. Huntington was assigned road number 1001. The locomotive was placed in storage for some time until it was rebuilt for use as a lineside weed burner in 1901. Its use as a weed burner proved unsatisfactory and the locomotive was again removed from active service. In 1910, C. P. Huntington was again rebuilt and it was then kept at SP's machine shops where it remained for a few years. The locomotive was nearly scrapped in 1914; it was spared this fate by SP management so that it could be displayed at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in 1915 after a cosmetic restoration.
On May 3, 1939, C. P. Huntington participated in the grand opening ceremonies for the Los Angeles Union Station. Operating under her own steam, the Huntington was paraded past large, cheering crowds to the newly completed passenger terminal, along with several other engines, including the famous 4-4-0, Virginia & Truckee 22, the Inyo (still painted in Union Pacific livery, from the filming of Cecil B. DeMille's 1939 movie of the same name, which premiered two days later), and Southern Pacific 4120, a massive AC-5 class 4-8-8-2 cab forward. The moment was captured on film by Disney animator and lifelong train enthusiast, Ward Kimball, and may be some of the only known footage of the engine under steam.
Southern Pacific donated the engine to the State of California in 1964. The locomotive was placed on display at the old state fairgrounds on Stockton Boulevard, in Sacramento, where it remained until a 1970 refurbishing at Southern Pacific's Sacramento Shops, when it was placed in the Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station in Old Sacramento in 1979. In 1981 it was moved into the newly opened California State Railroad Museum, where it now remains on static display.
Chance Rides began to fabricate their 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge C. P. Huntington locomotive in 1960. These locomotives are powered by a gasoline, diesel, propane or electric engine. The engine is powered to an automatic transmission, which controls a 90* drop down gearbox that powers drive shafts to the front and rear power trucks. Its drive wheels are not powered, but roll on the rails while fake side rods reciprocate in and out of fake cylinders. The false drive wheels have been removed by some owners for ease of maintenance. This has been the most popular park train since The Allan Herschell Company merged into Chance Industries and production of the S-24 Iron Horse train ceased. Many amusement parks are replacing their steam locomotives with these locomotives since they are easier to maintain and operate.
The first C. P. Huntington locomotive was delivered to the now-defunct Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas. This replaced the original miniature train that has operated since 1933. As the first locomotive, it carries the serial number 1 from the factory.
The Lincoln Children's Zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska, operates a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge C. P. Huntington locomotive on its ZO&O Railroad train ride around the park. Established in 1963 as the Iron Horse Railroad, the first C. P. Huntington locomotive was delivered to the Lincoln Children's Zoo founder, Arnot R. Folsom, by Richard H. Chance, President of Chance Rides in Wichita, Kansas. The first engineer hired by Folsom in 1963 was a local high school student, J. D. Ayres, who worked as a seasonal employee building the railroad track prior to the Zoo's opening. In October 1963, the city of Lincoln staged a Golden Spike Ceremony attended by the Mayor, City Council, and other local dignitaries. The ceremonial Golden Spike was an actual track spike of a type used extensively in building the railroad, but which had been gold plated for the event. The Iron Horse Railroad operated successfully as the primary revenue generator for the Lincoln Children's Zoo prior to the grand opening in 1965.
There are three C.P. Huntington replicas operating the perimeter track at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
The Baton Rouge Zoo also runs a C.P. Huntington locomotive around the perimeter of its zoo. It was donated by the local Coca-Cola plant.
Landa Park in New Braunfels, TX operates a gas powered version through the park surrounding the springs and headwaters of the Comal River.
The Downtown Aquarium in Houston became the first operator of an electric version of the locomotive.
The defunct Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley, NC lists on the bill of sale a C.P. Huntington by Chance Rides, Inc. with a Teledyne Continental 4 cyl. 64hp engine, 24" gauge track encircling the town, and 5 cars.
Storyland & Playland in Roeding Park located in Fresno, CA, runs a Chance Rides CP Huntington locomotive between the two themed parks pulling a total of 6 passenger cars.
As of 2018, Chance Rides has built over 400 different C. P. Huntington locomotives and coaches for customers around the world - such as "Window on China" in Taiwan that run 2 of these locomotives. Prices for locomotives run just under $200,000 and coaches run about $60,000 each. Locomotives and coaches can be customized in a variety of ways.
In popular culture
The unique design of the C. P. Huntington inspired the appearance of The Little Engine That Could in most storybook renderings.
- Diebert, Timothy S.; Strapac, Joseph A. (1987). Southern Pacific Company Steam Locomotive Conpendium. Shade Tree Books. ISBN 0-930742-12-5.
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Kimball Family Collection
- "C.P. Huntington". CA State Parks. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- "Exhibits - California State Railroad Museum". www.californiarailroad.museum. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- Chance Rides C. P. Huntington Train Specs
- "I think I can. I think I can. - Original 1906 cover". 19 July 2010.
- "The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper, 1954 - yellow cloth cover with black print".
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