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What railroad museum would be complete without a steam locomotive?  While the Western Pacific Railroad Museum is well known for having one of the largest collections of historic diesels in the world, Portola is also home to Western Pacific Railroad Museum's steam program.  Currently, 0-6-0 steam switching locomotive #165 is under restoration, with an estimated completion in late 2013.  Our steam department is headed by J. Chris Allan, a world renown restoration specialist in the steam world.  Chris's impressive resume includes many well known steam locomotives and clients, including Filmore & Western & the Walt Disney Company.  Assisting Chris is recently retired head of Union Pacific's steam program, Steve Lee, and a large group of "Willing People" working to return Western Pacific steam to the "Feather River Route" for the first time in over 50 years.


 Western Pacific #165


Western Pacific 165 is an 0-6-0 switching locomotive built by the Schenectady Works of the American Locomotive Company. This engine was used at many of the WP's railyards, including Stockton, Sacramento and Portola. It was built in November, 1919, for the United Verde Copper Company of Jerome, Arizona, as their number 87. On September 17, 1927, the 165 and three sister UVCC engines were sold to the WP and become the road's S-34 class, numbered 163-166.



These burly switchers supplemented WP's 12 existing 0-6-0s, but some 2-8-0s in working the various yards. The 165 last operated in March, 1953, as WP was winding down its last steam operations. The engine was retired in October, 1957. Five years later, the engine was donated to the City of San Leandro. The engine was displayed for many years at the San Leandro BART station, before being transferred to the Alameda County Fairgrounds for display there. It was later acquired by the Pacific Locomotive Association and was eventually acquired by the FRRS in a trade with a later owner.



On March 1, 2006, the 165 returned to Portola on a museum flatcar, marking the return of WP steam power to Plumas County for the first time in nearly 50 years.



 Locomotive Restoration


Work has now begun on the restoration of WP 165 to complete operation. The first steps will be removal of all non-compliant materials from the engine and a complete and detailed inspection of the boiler and all systems. Our Steam Crew is headed by Chris Allan. Please click here for Chris' Biography


Click for the Steam Department News and Blog .           WP 165 Store


The remediation work is now complete, but we're still raising money to pay the bills.  Please help!


Please click the link above to donate to the WP Steam Fund.


Or you can mail your donations to:

WP STEAM FUND - Feather River Rail Society - P O Box 608 - Portola, CA 96122


Watch the TRAIN SHEET and the FRRSList for more information.




Visit the WP 165 Store to find products featuring our "little" 0-6-0.  All proceeds to benefit the 165 restoration. 

Click here to go to the store.





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