CTRC - The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation.
Preserving the historical heritage of railroading and trolleys in the Santa Clara Valley of California.

CTRC Calendar

CTRC meetings are open to members and non-members.  You are welcome even if you are not a member.

We usually have a short (30 minute) discussion of status of the various projects.

We meet at 10am at the SP2479 locomotive restoration site in the double wide trailer.

Date: First Saturday of each month.

Time: 10am

2479 Healy Avenue
San Jose, California

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History San Jose Presents "The Way to San Jose"

History San José Presents The Way to San Jose, A Celebration of the Valley’s Transportation History

San Jose, CA—October 7, 2010

Commuters and non-commuters alike will have the opportunity to view transportation through the ages.  Thanks to the Rotary Club of San Jose and History San José (HSJ), CalTrain will unveil the Valley’s transportation history exhibit at the San Jose Diridon Station on Tuesday, October 19 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.  The public is welcome.

Click here for the full details, invitation, and press release.

The Way to San José celebrates nearly 100 years of Rotary in San Jose with a focus on transportation in Santa Clara Valley -- from the Native Americans to the new expansion of the San Jose Airport and to the BART and high speed rail systems of the future.  The museum, a concept of immediate past Rotary president Rod Diridon, Sr., was funded by the Rotary Club of San José and implemented by History San Jose supported by the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation, and the Mineta Transportation Institute.

The Way to San José exhibit includes transportation-related historic photographs and artifacts.  Presented will be graphic mementos depicting the Native American’s foot travel and canoe to the Spanish Californio and early American settlers’ horseback and covered wagon migrations, through the early trolley and railroad periods to the current highway and airports including the emerging modern rail systems.

Water Tank Painting Project - Sept 28, 29 2010

←Day one     Day two→

Painter, Nick, spent a morning applying a rust inhibitor by roller.  The painting supervisor felt that use of a roller allows for a heavy application of the inhibitor.

It's a bit difficult to see in the image where the inhibitor has been applied.  The area to the right of the scissor lift has been finished, except for the lower panel, and is a slightly darker color then the rest of the tank.

Until today, none of us had seen the tank's inside.  (See the photos below.)  A high reaching scissor lift and the painter provided an opportunity to peak inside.

I believe the bracing was inserted for the move from Lenzen St. to the fairgrounds.

Update (Oct 6): Apparently the supervisor for the water tank painting project did not like the finish.  Today a worker was seen sanding the tank.

     ←Day three→

SP1215 - July 2010

John Ezovski

The Tuesday crew is close to wrapping up the stabilization and cleanup of locomotive SP1215.  The task began in May of last year. I had hoped the job would be complete today, but a hand full of small tasks remain.

For those that do not remember what this thing looked, below is an image taken upon arrival of the locomotive, October 2007.

Progress on SP2479 & 1215 - March 2010


Last component in the locomotive's front coupler pocket has been installed.  With the help of liquid nitrogen, donated by Todd from the Schmahl Science Workshop located at San Jose History Park, the upper hole's bushing was slipped into place on March 29th and the coupler installed.  Another task, many years in planning and work, is complete. Thank you Todd!

Various components that make up the locomotive's valve gear are now being closely examined.  Link support pin bushings have been removed on both sides.  The right side bushing holes in the yoke were found to be round.  Bushings have been machined and pressed into place.  Things are not so good on the left side.  The inside hole in the yoke was found to be out of round.  Tooling is being made to bore this hole with a magnetic base drill.

Electrical outlets are now in service near the tender, caboose and passenger cars.  Approximately 150 feet of cable and conduit was laid for this improvement.  Much needed lighting in at least one of the passenger cars is now available.  Thank you A Tool Shed and Robert Pederson for the use of a ditch witch!

Late in the month John Zielinski was informed by Siemen's management that a 5 foot square 6 inch thick acorn platen table would be donated to CTRC.  Arrangements were being made for pick up of this needed item.

The final piece of good news for the month was Oakland Machine had finished boring the main and front set of side rods.  The rods will be picked up early this coming week.


The last segments of the Fireman's cab floor has been cut and set into place.  Most of the necessary welding is complete. Holes have been located and drilled in the floor for that side's air tank.  All back head pipe, removed for asbestos abatement, has been put back into place.

Kelley Park Trolley Service Has Resumed!

The trolleys are now operational following an extensive effort to repair damage from a rare lightening strike on January 19th.

SP2479 & 1215 Restoration Highlights - February 2010

J Ezovski

Despite the many rainy days during the month, there has been progress on both locomotives and improvements at the fairgrounds restoration site.

An evaluation of 2479's valve linkage is complete.  Several of the system's bronze bushings must be replaced, several pins require truing, the link blocks must be built up with braze and valve rod crosshead needs babiting.  The main and front set of side rods are at Oakland Machine Works for boring of the main pin holes and work should be completed soon.

All removed parts belonging to 1215 have been cleaned and painted.  One section of the fireman's side cab floor has been fabricated and welded into place.  A second section has also been fabricated and fitted.  Welding of the section into place will occur on the next rain free day.

Access to materials stored in both passenger cars has been improved. Stairs were constructed from excess steel and boiler tubes removed from 2479.

Kelley Park Trolley Service Temporarily Curtailed

On January 19 the area in and around History San Jose took a number of lightning strikes that include the Power Substation.

PG&E repaired their damage quickly and confirmed that we have 480 VAC to the substation.

After two visits from Cupertino Electric (pro bono), we have identified and repaired several blown components.

The next item that is suspect is a “Type 76 DC Overcurrent”.  It has been returned to the manufacturer for repair.  Expected return will not be known until they test it on 2/8 (or so).

The area we are focusing on is the controls, which are not well protected from incoming AC problems.

The substation was installed in 1987.

Challenging us is the fact that most electricians have limited skill in the area of DC controls.

Some Historic Transportation Experience (HTE) classes are being held without the trolley operating, but until we have power, that is the best we can do.  The present outlook for return of service is early March and that is just a guess at this time.

Update SP 2479 & 1215 - January 30, 2010

J Ezovski

There has been some progress on 2479 the past several months.  All components of the valve gear have been removed from the locomotive and a close inspection of these components is under way.  A bushing was removed from the front coupler.  Measurements indicated that the coupler's pin hole had to be bored before a new bushing could be inserted.  Boring of the coupler is complete, and a bushing has been machined. A new front coupler pin has also been machined.

All bushings in the main and side rods have been removed.  Measurements showed that the bore's were round but the bore's for the main driver pin in the main and front side rods have significant pitting.  Boring of these holes is necessary but is outside of our machining capabilities.  Oakland Machine Works has been contacted and has agreed to perform this work.  The rods will be delivered to Oakland Machine Works this coming week.

Weather has also slowed work on 1215.  Painting of the tender was completed only days before the season's first rain.  A few parts have been returned to the locomotive but inclement weather has stopped additional work.  Parts are still being cleaned, painted and stored until weather improves.  The severely corroded cab floor on the fireman's side of the locomotive has been cut out.  The first replacement section has been cut and fitted, but again poor weather has prevented further progress.

Museum Update - January 25, 2010

On Monday January 25, 2010, CTRC leadership met with San Jose District 7 Councilwoman Madison Nguyen to discuss a potential museum location near Kelley Park.  Click here for more information about the museum location.

Situated between two city owned parcels, Municipal Stadium and the main city corporation yard, the privately owned 5 acre site is located across Senter Road from History San Jose at the south end of Kelley Park.

Because of their importance to San Jose’s industrial heritage, both the roundhouse and turntable had been previously designated city historical landmarks.

This selected museum location would enable complimentary programming activities with existing relocated city landmarks at History San Jose.

Plans are underway to enlist the fiscal and political support to protect the property and eventually fund the project.

Click here to read the museum proposal.  (note, it is a 5Mbyte, file that could take a few moments to download.)

SP2479 & SP1215 - As 2009 Falls Away

J Ezovski

Progress on 2479 has been slowed the past several months because of the magnitude of the tasks ahead that are outside our machine's capabilities and funds, but it has been a very busy year.  Below are listed most of our major accomplishments.  Many of these "one line" items were the cause of a good number of sore arms and backs.

Restoration Site Move

  • Repair and level three 30 foot sections of track for 2479 to rest upon during remainder of repairs.
  • Roll locomotive from old site to new.
  • Relocate, install and repair the 24 X 28 outdoor shop cover.
  • Move third of three containers.
  • Relocate air compressor shed.
  • Place double wide trailer on concrete piers and remove tires.
  • Repair damaged Clark forklift drop gear shaft.
  • Connect electrical to all containers, outdoor shop equipment, double wide and track side electrical panel.
  • Connect compressed air lines to outdoor shop and track side electrical panel.
  • Construct new secure enclosure to replace lost storage space at old site.
  • Repair stairs used to access locomotive cab deck.


  • Paint and install all brake components from brake cylinders to brake shoes.
  • Make two brake rod safety supports to replace missing components.
  • Remove and install both brake cylinders for purpose of replacing rubber brake cylinder seal.
  • Remove both steam distribution valves for inspection and repair.
  • Remove damaged left steam distribution valve cage.
  • Begin re-bushing front coupler pin hole.
1215 Initially


In May, cosmetic restoration of the exterior of locomotive and tender began.  To the right is an image of the locomotive's appearance in May.

Below is an image is the locomotive today.

Over 800 hours has been placed into this effort and there is still much to be accomplished.

1215 on Dec 29, 2009

Looking Forward

Without a major infusion of funds, there is little chance of 2479 seeing steam in 2010.  If we can have another good year, things might be very different in 2011.

1215 Locomotive November 2009 Update

Larry Murchison

The locomotive is starting to look pretty sharp.  The Tuesday volunteers have been cleaning and painting various parts and assemblies as well as adding print nomenclature to the cab and tender.  You would be surprised when comparing before and after photos.  It’s amazing what three to five volunteers can do when they put their hearts into the project under the guidance of John Ezovski.

Since the last report the left side valve and running gear parts have been reassembled to the locomotive and have been cleaned and polished.  The tender is almost completely repainted and print information has been added to the rear and right side.  Various hand rails and the accent lines along the walkway edges have been painted white on the locomotive and tender.

Remaining work involves finish painting the top and left side of the tender above the walkway, creating new walking boards for the top of the tender, adding SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES to the left side of the tender plus the tender weight information, cleaning and polishing all the running and valve gear on the right side of the locomotive.  There are a lot of parts that were removed from locomotive and tender before various moves that need to be cleaned, painted and replaced.

Please check out the "Photos/1215 Photos/Restoration Progress" for more photos of the volunteer’s efforts.  Also the article below shows some "BEFORE" pictures.

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