SP IndexxxxWx4 IndexxxxThe Past Less TraveledxxxEarly Railroad Events in Alameda County

Early San Francisco Bay Area Locomotive Rosters Revisited

A decade ago, while researching the path that led A. J. Stevens - constructed locomotive J. G. Kellogg from San Francisco & Alameda Railroad to a watery grave in the Sacramento River (where some think it still resides), I noted several discrepencies between "modern" published rosters and contemporary newspaper accounts. Below you will find the results, and on a separate page, the documentation.

The main variations that I have found from published rosters are these:

  • SF&A's second Vulcan 2-2-0 (nameless in rosters) was Alameda. It went to SR&SQ.

  • SF&O's Oakland, although purportedly built in 12/64 by Danforth, was not shipped until 11-66 and placed in service until 9/67. Built for another railroad?

  • SF&O Liberty (unless there were two) was not built in the SF&O shops in 1863, but rather at Alameda Point Shops of SF&A in 1869 (possibly as a coal burner), probably by Charles Stevens. It was ferried to WP's Oakland wharf for service on SF&O. Ferry movement included three cars of scrap metal as an experiment, reportedly the first time cars were ferried on S.F. Bay without breaking bulk.

  • SF&A San Leandro was delivered to LA&SP in trade for a locomotive that was built later, which was not used by SF&A, but rather placed in service by CP for CA&OR RR.

The backbone of this work is Diebert & Strapac's Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive Compendium, as updated by Arnold Menke's The Compendium Companion. The latter's early day data was largely put together by two experts on that era, Wendel Huffman and Kyle Wyatt. Other published rosters mostly appear to be derivatives of Best and Joslyn's 1956 SP roster in the R&LHS Bulletin.

Two lingering questions remain:

  • Most of what is commonly known about Kellogg's origin seems to have been derived from secondary source Past and Present of Alameda County by Barker (see biblio at page bottom), but I have found no newspaper accounts nor other primary source data for any of the details. Where did the data originate?
  • The SF&O's steamcar: what, from/to where, when? See note C, at page bottom.

My thanks to Kyle Wyatt, Curator Emeritus, CSRM for his guidance.

- E.O. Gibson, 9-29-22
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcorrespondence: wx4org@yahoo.com

Navigation: For each locomotive name / number in the left column below is linked to Data sources (largely newspaper clippings) for each loco are shown on the accompanying sources & notes page. The source of unattributed information in the 'comments' column can be found by perusing the clippings, which often contain additional information. Footnotes A to G and a bibliography are at page bottom.

Railroad Abbreviations
  • SF&A = San Francisco & Alameda Railroad
  • SF&O = San Francisco & Oakland Railroad
  • SFO&A = San Francisco, Oakland & Alameda Railroad
  • S&C = Stockton & Copperopolis Railroad
  • S&V = Stockton & Visalia Rail Road
  • SF&SQ = San Rafael & San Quentin Railroad
  • A&BV = Anderson & Bella Vista Railroad
  • LA&SP = Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad

Abbreviations:Source Abbreviations:

  • DAC = Daily Alta California
  • SDU = Sacramento Daily Union
  • D&S = Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive Compendium, Shade Tree Books, 1987 by Diebert & Strapac
  • Menke = The Compendium Companion, self-published, 2003 by Arnold S. Menke
  • SFL = Early San Francisco Locomotives, Western Railroader, Issue 364 - June 1970, by G.M. Best
  • GR = Grant Locomotive Works, typewritten list of production, no date, by G.M. Best
  • Wyatt = Kyle Wyatt

& link to newspaper clippings
all info from Menke, except as noted
footnotes shown as red characters

San Francisco and Alameda Rail Road
E.B. Mastick 2-2-0; Vulcan Iron Works, San Francisco, C/N 4, 8-1864; 54-9x18-20000; to Los Angeles and San Pedro #1, San Gabriel, purchased 12-1868, arrived 1-15-1869SFL
Assembled at Vulcan. Pulled first SF&A train on 8-13-1864; Purportedly clocked at nearly 60 mph as reported in DAC 11-22-1865. See Vulcan discussion, note E
Alameda 2-2-0; Vulcan Iron Works, San Francisco, s.n. 5; 9-1864; 54-9x18-20000; to San Rafael & San Quentin Railroad (#1?, Polly Ann) c.12-1869 Assembled at Vulcan. Alameda Encinal on 12-4-1869 reported SF&A Alameda (the only reference to loco name yet found) as the long-time Alameda Point switcher, sold to SR&SQ, . Process of elimination points to Vulcan #5. See Vulcan discussion, note E
J.G. Kellogg 4-4-0; SF&A shops, Alameda Point; 1-1866; 60-11x22-42700-31200; boiler by Portland Boiler Works, castings by Vulcan; to Central Pacific 176, J.G. Kellogg, 6-1870A; to S&V #2, 5-26-1872A; to S&C #2 11-1887A; Leased to California Ry. 5-1888 to 1-1889D&S; renumbered SP 1100, 1891D&S; to A&BV #1, J.G. Kellogg, 7-1891D&S; to Sacramento River at Anderson, CA ferry accidentHA; hulk encountered during 1970 bridge construction, but subsequent efforts to locate unsuccessfulB. A.J. Stevens supervised erection at RR shops. Brother C.W. may have been the designer. Loco was constructed at the time that Vulcan sued the SF&A over non-payment for the Mastick and sister, so presumably SF&A had to pay for parts up-front. A March 1, 1873 Stevens letter lists J.F. Stark as the engineer of CP 176 [Kellogg], calling locos transfer to S&V into question. (Note: will soon investigate CP 1873-74 Kellogg drawings at CSRM for further illumination.) No newspaper account of the Kellogg has yet surfaced.
F.D. Atherton 4-4-0; Grant Locomotive Works, Patterson N.J., #585, 1868GR; 60-12x22-64400GR; damaged in collision 11-14-1869; to CP 177 in 1870; parts used to construct C.P. 177 (2nd), 8-1873. 1875 specs: 48-15x22-64400-40000; sold 7-29-1886D&S; D&S speculates, because of sale date, that loco may have been rebuilt into 2-4-2T SP 72 (the Aptos Branch loco) in 1883, but Wyatt thinks SP built #72 as new loco. Loco destroyed in head-on collision with C.P. 173 near San Leandro, before CP absorbed SF&A roster. D&S: sold to CP for parts, but Menke says "...Due [who's that?] records engine as having been put back into service on the SF&A after the wreck," and also says that loco apparently became CP 177 by 1870; listed as such in 1871 list. CP 177 (2nd) is generally considered to be mostly a new locomotive.
San Leandro
4-4-0; Schenectady Locomotive Works, NY C/N 538;; shipped 2-1869Wyatt delivered 10-20-1869SDU to LA&SP #2, Los AngelesSDU; 60-12x22Wyatt-40000-30000D&S Ordered by SF&O (Wyatt speculates: named San Leandro), but diverted to LA&SP as #2, Los Angeles, according to Schenectady records Menke. See note F
San Leandro
4-4-0; Schenectady Locomotive Works, NY C/N 603; delivered c.12-1869SDU; 62-14x22-40000-t.e. 13700; 1st service as CA & OR RR 3, San Leandro, 3-16-1870; to C.P. 167, San Leandro by 6-1870; sold to LA&SP #4, San Leandro, 10-1873 Ordered by LA&SP contractor, but diverted to SF&A San LeandroSDU, after San Leandro, 1st (Schen. C/N 538) order for SF&A diverted to LA&SP in 10-1869. Not used by SF&A. Set-up by CP in Sacramento for CA&OR RR. See discussion, note F
San Francisco and Oakland Railroad
Steam Car Albion Foundry, 1860 or 1861, for Market Street Railway, either a 0-2-2T or 0-4-0T, with a Casebolt & Co. body; to SF&O, date unknown; purportedly on SF&O until CP takeover in 8-1870SFL; either to SF&SQ c.1870, or parts used at Sacramento Shops C More research needed - see note C for speculation
Liberty (1st)?
2-2-0; Vulcan Iron Works C/N 3, San Francisco, 9-10-1862; 54-9x18; designed by C.W. Stevens; to Central Pacific Betsy 6-70; rebuilt 8-25-1872 at Sacramento; scrapped at Sacramento, c.9-10-74 SDU No record of original name, number, but called (unnumbered) Betsy on CP; Some possibility that loco was originally named Liberty - see note E; continued as Oakland Point / Shop switcher until set aside.
Oakland 4-2-4T; Danforth (12-1864?), shipped c.11-66?DAC; in service mid-September, 1867DAC; 54-11x15-3000 (36000-15000?); assigned CP 179, 1870, but not repainted as such? renumbered CP 93 (2nd) between 9-1872 and 10-1873; apparently rebuilt as 4-2-2 tender engine similar to T.D. Judah; to Union Coal or Union Collieries (Wellington, Vancouver Island) in 1888 This loco is an enigma; stats and history are based upon Huffman's research, and conclusions drawn by him, Menke and Wyatt. Results need further confirmation. Menke thinks that the Oakland, as built, was similar to the C.P. Huntington, possibly second hand (presumably this conclusion because a 4-2-4T was an outdated design by 1867). Wyatt believes that the rebuilt Oakland was similar to the Judah. Loco used as a switcher in Sacramento, 1873SDU.
Liberty 4-4-0 (or 4-4-4T?); SF&A Shops, Alameda Point (C/N 2?); 3-1869; upon completion ferried to Oakland WP wharf and later placed in service 3-24-1869; 54-11x22-42000-30000; boiler from Portland Boiler Works, castings by Vulcan; to CP 178 6-22-1870; rebuilt (presumably as tender-equipped 4-4-0) by CP 3-14-1872; to S&C Liberty 3-16-1872A (#1, 2nd?); to S&C #3 11-1877A; to SP 1105 in 1891; S/S 1892 A contemporary accunt says Liberty was built by Charles Stevens. A later account says it was built by a Mr. Young. It may have been a coal burner. The one known photo of loco suggests that it could have been built either as a 4-4-0 or 4-4-4T. No loco in any of these rosters has been more misrepresented: see note D
San Rafael & San Quentin Railroad
Polly Ann 2-2-0; Vulcan Iron Works, San Francisco, s.n. 5 , September 1864; 54-9x18-20000; from SF&A, December, 1869; to North Pacific Coast, 1875; to Guerne & Murphy, Jan. 1881 B Wyatt speculates that Alameda is the loco that went to Guerne & Murphy, noting that a NPC cash book (at CSRM) entry for 1/21/1881 lists “old locomotive and 3 flat cars of San Rafael & San Quentin sold for $580.00 to Heald & Guerne.”
steamcar Ex Market Street Railroad steamcar; if from SF&O, then to SR&SQ c.1869; to West Evans in 1875 (Mrs. Duncan's Teakettle on Mendocino RR?) See note C, below.

A Don Ball info contained in Menke
B Discovery: Western Railroader, March 1971, pg. 1; for subsequent attempts to locate, see The Record Searchlight (Redding, CA) various date online blogs by Dottie Smith at redding.com
C Pure steamcar speculation: No direct evidence has come to light concerning which Market Street Railroad steam car went to SF&O, or when. Market Street RR's steamcars became surplus in 1865, when it was converted to a horse railroad. A 11-16-66 SDU report says that the steamcar was already set aside as unserviceable when purchased by SF&O, which might mean that it could have come before 1865 (why purchase an unserviceable one, when other operational cars were available?), but likely it meant editorial sour grapes. Also supporting a pre-1865 purchase is that it seems that SF&O's only locomotive (until the Oakland was constructed) was the Vulcan - which would have needed at least an occasional backup, given the road's isolation.

It is possible that the SR&SQ engine was one of the other Market Street engines, though SF&O's steamcar became surplus about the time that SR&SQ was constructed. SDU 9-10-1874 describes Sacramento shop use of cylinders from the first "dummy" engine that ran on the Market Street Railway, which could have been the SF&O one.

Wyatt notes of 10-03-2003: NPC ledger books document the sale of “1 small broad gauge locomotive” for $1600, clearly in the NPC books a SR&SQ engine, to West Evans in 1875, at the same time that the NPC has acquired control of the SR&SQ.4
It is speculated that this is the former Market Street RR steamcar (or dummy) that the SF&O is believed to have acquired. This is perhaps [pure speculation] the other locomotive (after a gauge change) on the Mendocino RR, besides the 0-4-0T Baldwin built in 1876 Tie Coon. West Evans, who promoted the Mendocino RR, was a lumberman. He had been a tie contractor for the Central Pacific, and was the man who gave the last tie used in the Golden Spike ceremony on May 10, 1869.
Whether or not it (the ex SR&SQ loco) went to the Mendocino RR, it is also possible that it may have later become known as Mrs. Duncan’s Teakettle. This is again pure speculation based on the similarity of the design of the Teakettle to other locomotives designed by Charles W. (“CW”) Stevens, the designer of the Market Street RR steamcars (and other early locomotives including the Oregon Pony and the SF&O and SF&A 2-2-0s). CW Stevens was the elder brother of AJ Stevens of Central Pacific fame, and brought AJ out to California in the early 1860s to work with him on the locomotive projects. CW Stevens was one of the organizers of the Market Street RR and the SF&O. A “Charles Stevens” (quite possible the same person) was also the first secretary of the SR&SQ.
D SF&O Liberty
Historians misunderstood the origins of this locomotive until recently, I think due to a passage from Joseph Baker's Past and Present of Alameda County California (1914) that described the Liberty as SF&O's first loco, "built at Oakland Point by a Mr. Laws". Southern Pacific apparently relied upon this account for its From Trails to Rails (1928) series, adding that the locomotive was the Liberty. This seems to have been the basis for later popular press rosters. Menke's book contradicts this, citing newspaper articles relating the Liberty's 1869 construction, as explained below. A caution: Perhaps Baker / SP were describing the assembly of the SF&O's Vulcan 2-2-0, which originally may have been named Liberty, but later referred to as Betsy, a then-common railroad moniker applied to small work-a-day engines.

The (2nd?) Liberty was designed by C.W. Stevens, and his brother A.J. supervised assembly in the SF&A's Alameda Point Shop during early 1869. After completion, the loco was ferried on the steamer Louise to the SF&O at Oakland Point on March 19, because the two Cohen roads still were not connected at this late date.

The locomotive was possibly the first California 'main line' locomotive to be constructed to use coal for fuel, though Kyle Wyatt notes that, "Union Iron Works in San Francisco constructed 5 or 6 little 0-6-0T locos in 1866-68 for 2 different coal mine railroads on the north slope of Mt Diablo." Likewisethe, Vulcan C/N 10, a geared 0-8-0T constructed for the Black Diamond Railroad in 1867 SFL was undoubtedly a coal burner. The earliest 'main-line application of coal apparently was on Cal-P, who reportedly set-up their locomotive Marysville as a coal burner in mid-September, 1868 (SDU). Coal was available locally from the Black Diamond fields (CP's Corral Hollow mine, near Livermore, opened later, in October, 1869). Liberty must have generated considerable interest with CP and WP (perhaps the Stevens brothers were anxious to experiment with coal and 'sold' the idea to Cohen?). CP had experimented with coal on engine #36 at Verdi the previous January
G and February (SDU)),and WP experimented with Corral Hollow Coal on the locomotive Stockton during the following October (SDU)).

Interestingly, the next year as an experiment, Liberty and three cars loaded with scrap iron were ferried from Alameda Point to the WP wharf in San Francisco, where the loco unloaded itself, then the cars - the first instance of cars crossing the bay without breaking bulk, according to (DAC).
E SF&O / SF&A Vulcan 2-2-0 locomotives
Early Vulcan Iron Works production is not well documented; is mostly derived from contemporary newspaper accounts. The Vulcan serial numbers presented here are interpolated from an 11-3-1865 DAC 1865 article, which benefits of neither corroborating, or contrary evidence. Indeed, this article contains the only direct mention that I have encountered of a Vulcan going to the SF&O. Brothers C.W. and A.J. Stevens are both thought to have a hand in design and construction of Vulcan's first five locos, at least. One biography of A.J. shows him as overseeing Vulcan's Oregon locomotive construction in the early/mid 1860's. Some disagreement exists about where the three East Bay locomotives received final assembly - at Vulcan, or the RR's shops. DAC articles seem to indicate that the two SF&A locos were assembled at Vulcan (and its original cars were constructed at Casebolt & Co, according to DAC 7-20-1864. A fundamental question about the these locos is: Did they enter service as stand-alone locomotives, or as steam cars like the Napa Valley Railroad's Napa, which the DAC article calls a locomotive? Ultimately, given that the SF&O / SF&A were both under control of the Cohen interests, the three locos may have played musical chairs. Thus, the three locomotives' dispositions are far from certain.
F Schenectady C/N's 538, 603, 604, 573, 574
The dispersal of these Schenectady locomotives has caused much confusion amongst historians researching Central Pacific and subsidiary locomotives. Arnold Menke's The Compendium Companion (10-2003), using data supplied by Wendell Huffman puts forth a very plausible explanation of the five loco's histories that contradicts some of the conclusions drawn in the several earlier works of Best, as well as Diebert & Strapac's Southern Pacific Company Steam Locomotive Compendium. The following is a distillation of these works with some additional info and commentary.

Page 14 of The Companion arranges the locos thus:
Schenectady C/N's 573 and 574 were ordered by C.P. Huntington on 2-1-1869 as CP 166, Argenta and CP 167 Oreana. Prior to delivery, CP apparently decided that the locos were not needed, so the locos were sold to unknown parties before departing the factory. Thus, Sacramento Valley #1, an 1855 Hinkley was actually CP's first #166, Argenta; A.J. Steven's 11-1886 CP Shop #29 was the second #166; there was no third #166. Huffman believes that CP 167, San Leandro, was C/N 603, as explained later below.

C/N's 538, 603, and 604 seem to have been involved in a game of musical chairs. Schenectady records show that SF&O ordered the C/N 538, completed in 2-1869, through their (and LA&SP's) agent, M.K. Jesup & Co., but the loco was diverted to the LA&SP as their #2, the Los Angeles. Kyle Wyatt speculates that it was intended to be named the San Leandro. Contemporary newspaper accounts of 9-1869 tell us that LA&SP's ex-SF&O Vulcan San Gabriel was breakdown-prone, and the railroad would not be completed until after a new locomotive arrived. The new loco, presumably the C/N 538, made its inaugural run on 10-20-1869.

Part of the LA&SP construction contract required that the contractor furnish "two first class locomotives". In December 1869, a City of Los Angeles committee found the railroad finished "…with the exception of the furnishing of one of the two first class locomotives named in the contract…" and a small amount of grading. It appears to me that Schenectady C/N's 603 and 604 were intended to fulfill the contract, but delays in ordering and/or construction caused the emergency trade of C/N 538 for the on-order C/N 603. Huffman believes that the 603 was the locomotive set-up in Sacramento as California and Oregon #3, the San Leandro, in March, 1870. A 3-17-1870 Sacramento Daily Union article stated that the San Leandro was intended for, but not placed in service by, the "San Francisco and Alameda Railroad Company". Menke states that the engine became CP first 167, San Leandro "Sometime before June, 1870…". Later - and rather ironically, I would say - CP became LA&SP #5, San Leandro, in 1873, according to Diebert & Strapac, who also relate that C/N 604 eventually arrived on LA&SP in February, 1870.

It all fits together almost too well...

G Arnold Menke and Larry Mullaly, citing SP records at CSRM. They also state that soon after the Stockton experiment, most WP locos were burning coal, and by January, 1870 the majority of engines running between Sacramento and Oakland burned coal. See: The Great Transformation: Coal to Oil on the Southern Pacific in the SP Trainline, Issue 85, Fall 2005, pg. 15

The following works were consulted, but not necessarily employed, in the creation of the rosters:
Newspapers: See Research Sources page for clippings.

Newspaper abbreviations:

  • Sacramento Daily Union (SDU)
  • Daily Alta California (DAC)
  • Alameda Encinal
  • Healdburg Flag
  • Oakland Daily News
  • Alameda Daily Democrat
Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive Compendium (D&S) by Timothy S. Diebert & Joseph A. Strapac; Shade Tree Books, 1987
The Compendium Companion (Menke), by Arnold S. Menke; self-published, 2003
The Great Transformation: Coal to Oil on the Southern Pacific; SP Trainline, Issue 85, Fall 2005, by Arnold S. Menke and Larry Mullaly
Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History, by Donald T. Robertson; Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1998
Iron Horses to Promontory, by Gerald M. Best; San Marino, CA: Golden West Books, 1969
Grant Locomotive Works (GR), typewritten list of production, by Gerald M. Best, no date
Locomotives of the Southern Pacific Company, Issue 94 of Bulletin, Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, by Gerald M. Best, David Lindsay Joslyn, 1956
From Trails to Rails, series in Southern Pacific Bulletin, January to May, 1928
Past and Present of Alameda County, California; Joseph E. Barker, editor; Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914
CP RR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum; various threads online at http://discussion.cprr.net/
The Western Railroader, Published/Edited by Francis A. Guido; San Mateo, CA
  • a) San Francisco Locomotives, by Gerald M. Best; Vol. 33, No. 6; Issue No. 364; June, 1970
  • b) Stockton and Copperopolis R.R., Stockton & Visalia Railroad, by Francis A. Guido [roster info from Best]; Vol. 37; April, 1974; No. 407
  • c) Revised Roster of Locomotives, California Pacific Railroad, by Gerald M. Best; Vol. 38: January, 1975; Issue 415
When Steam Ran on The Streets of San Francisco, by Walter Rice Ph.D. and Emiliano Echeverria; printed by Harold E. Cox, 2002; also published in the Nov/DEC 1999 issue of Live Steam; available online:
March 1, 1873 letter from A.J. Stevens reproduced in The Sixth Annual Session of the American Railway master Mechanic's Association convened at Raines' Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, May 13, 1873, Volume 1, pp. 106-108
Stevens, Andrew Jackson [resume], Who's Who in American Railroading, Simon-Boardman, 1885