Western Pacific 506, ex Stockton Terminal & Eastern 506. Donated by
Stockton Terminal & Eastern Railroad.
The Stockton Terminal
and Eastern is a small railroad that serves a variety of industries
on the east side of the city of Stockton. For most of its history,
the ST&E was barely able to make a dime. It needed only one steam
locomotive (itself a working museum piece built in 1864) to serve
its few industries and was often in danger of abandonment. This
began to change in the 1960's when new management arrived and saw
potential in a road once called the "Slow, Tired and Easy". Within a
few years, huge warehouses and food packing plants were built along
its mainline and thousands of cars began to polish its rails. The
ST&E quickly became an important connection for all the Stockton
railroads, including the Western Pacific.
locomotives to replace the small diesel switchers that had succeeded
their ancient steamer, the ST&E first tried two EMD NW2 switchers
purchased from the Union Pacific Railroad. These engines proved to
be unreliable and too much for the line's light rail. After leasing
one of WP's Alco S1 switchers, the ST&E decided that these were
ideal locomotives for their needs and arranged a trade with the WP.
In October 1968, the two NW2 units became WP 607 and 608 while S1s
505 and 506 were sent to the ST&E. Repainted in yellow with red
trim, the two engines, soon joined by other former WP Alco
switchers, became common sights working the industries of east
Stockton and pulling trains down the middle of residential Roosevelt
Street to the WP interchange.
In 1974, the 506
became a movie star when it was featured in the climatic car chase
and crash of the action movie "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry". In the
mid-1980's, the 506 was retired and soon donated to the Feather
River Rail Society. The locomotive she replaced on the ST&E roster,
WP 608, is also part of our collection. The 506 is slated to be
restored in her ST&E paint scheme and preserved as a static display
representing this scrappy shortline. Sister 505 still works for the
ST&E today, although it has been relegated to back-up power.