2472 in Niles Canyoncommemorates the return of Southern Pacific steam to Niles Canyon!
On Memorial Day Weekend, 2008, the Pacific Locomotive Association and the Golden Gate Railroad Museum joined forces to run former Southern Pacific P-8 class 4-6-2 2472 on the Niles Canyon Railway.
We rarely pass up the opportunity to document a special railroad event, and they don’t get much more special than this! Southern Pacific P-8 class 4-6-2 2472 is the first locomotive of that type to run on this stretch of railroad in 50 years.
This was Southern Pacific 2472’s first major outing after a four-year boiler overhaul. Joining 2472 was GP9 5623, in Southern Pacific “Black Widow” colors with complete SP light packages on both ends!
The main event took place on Saturday May 24th, a day-long excursion with staged photo run-bys in several picturesque locations. In order to cover the event as completely as possible we brought three cameras. One was on the train and caught all the run-bys as well as some views from Arizona & Eastern combine 453. The other two cameras chased the train up and down the line, getting even more footage that wouldn’t have been seen by the riders on the train.
Though the main excursion was on Saturday, we went back again on Sunday, when the 2472 was on static display in Sunol, and on Monday, when the 2472 was pulling passengers from Sunol to Niles and back. It was a truly memorable weekend, and it was great to see 2472 back in action.