Hidden Treasures

PVC RR #7, scan of original photograph taken between 1930 and 1932. I don't know who took this picture. 

As noted before, I’ve begun to enjoy the historical research side of the hobby. Whenever I find something new (or new to me), I feel like I’ve found a hidden treasure that’s been lost for the last 100 or so years. 

Recently, I found a handful of original photographs taken of the last remaining engines on the PVCRR taken between 1930 and 1932, as they sat abandoned just outside of Spreckels. Prior to abandonment, there were nine engines still in service. After the railroad was sold to the Southern Pacific in 1929, all nine engines were parked on a siding to await their fate (the scrap torch, in 1935). 

The photographs came in two batches. The first I found included three pictures (locomotives #5, #7, and #8). These photographs include details about the locomotive in each picture written on the back.

The back of the picture of #7 above

Included in the notes are the locomotive number, wheel arrangement, manufacturer, date of production, build number, wheel diameter, engine type (?), weight, and something called "T.F.", traction force? I don't know. That's a lot of useful information on a locomotive that was scrapped almost 100 years ago.

The second batch of photographs didn't have the same amount of detailed information, however, I did end up with a picture of each of the locomotives that had been abandoned. I now have photographs of #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, all taken in 1932. 

I'd like to create a page devoted to the motive power of the PVC RR, and will likely store the pictures there, and include information on each locomotive.

Another recent find came after a deep internet search, where I saw one or two images of what looked like a pay check from the PVCRR, written in 1900. Try as I might, I couldn’t find out where they were or if they were available for sale. Amazingly enough, about two weeks ago, someone decided to sell three similar checks on ebay. Fortunately, I was able to add them to my collection. I’m amazed they’ve lasted this long, in relatively decent condition. 

Three checks from 1900 that I recently found

I’ve always enjoyed researching the railroads and finding old pictures to study. It wasn’t until this recent venture, however, that I’ve decidedly added that element to my enjoyment of the hobby. Finding old pictures and documents provides a glimpse into a lost past. They also provide additional information for modeling. I hadn’t seen these pictures of the locomotives before now, and they all provide insight into the equipment I’m trying to replicate, that disappeared more than 80 years ago.


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