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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SP2479 Progress: March 23-28, 2009

By John Ezovski

A secure storage area between two containers was completed this past week.  Work included installing gutters along the roof edge, installation of the roof, attaching chain link fencing along the back, fabrication and installation of double gates at the entrance.

With the storage area complete, all remaining material was removed from the women's restroom and deep sink area.  The locomotives pistons that were stored in the men's room entrance area were moved into the outdoor shop area.

Two and one half panels of track were leveled in preparation of the final move of the tender and caboose.

While materials were being moved and track leveled, the small shaper/planner received some much needed attention.  Various oil lines were replaced, and the machine tested.

In addition, grass (weeds) in and adjacent to the new site were cut.

The end of the move is here!  By the end of this coming week, all remaining CTRC equipment (exclusive of the turntable and water tank) should be within the county designated area.

2479 Update - Feb 28 through March 21 2009
Moving the 2479

Feb 28

Muddy conditions created by heavy rain during the first part of February slowed the relocation of CTRC material to the new site but did not stop all work.

Site improvements continued.  Fairgrounds staff have spread many more yards of base rock like material.  This has allowed us to ballast and level panels of track that the locomotive will sit.  The dirt bike motorcycle course operator, located on the fairgrounds, allowed CTRC the use of a loader for several hours this past week.  Ballast from the old site was recovered, spread and tamped under the panels of track.  Some additional ballast is needed between the ties then the locomotive can be pulled forwarded to the new work area.

The trailer was the last large object to be moved by CTRC members.  Several days of work remain to clear the old site of a number of small items.  Dry weather and identifying a storage location are all that is necessary.  On the other hand, much work remains at the new site.


On Saturday, Feb. 28, the crew decided to take advantage of the prior week's dry conditions with an attempt to move organizations 40 by 20 foot double wide trailer.  Tires were installed and the task of extracting the trailer began.  Eight years ago this trailer was positioned between trees. (We must have never thought about having to move this trailer again.) Those trees have grown over the years combined with the delicate structural integrity of the trailer made extraction a bit more difficult.  Several hours of jockeying the trailer about were expended.  The trailer was successful rotated into a direction where it could be pulled across the field to the new location. The trailer must now be leveled, placed back onto concrete piers and electrical installed.

Mar 7

Today's large crew and dry weather moved several tasks forward.  The double wide trailer received most of the attention.  The trailer was placed back on to its concrete piers and tires were removed.

Thanks to the generosity of Mr.  Pedersen of A Tool Shed, a trench was quickly dug from the main power panel to the trailer.  Conduit and wire were laid and electrical power restored to the trailer.

A second trench was dug from the main power panel over to the rail.  A circuit breaker panel and power outlets, mounted on 4 x 4 posts, was set into the ground. Conduit and wire have been set into place but several small connection issues remain.

Three months have elapsed since the present phase of site consolidation began.  We are very close to being able to place all of our attention on restoration of SP 2479.  All remaining material should be relocated to the new site in the coming weeks, assuming relatively dry weather.

Thank you Mr.  Pedersen for the use of the walk behind trencher!

Mar 14

Another busy week at the restoration site.

  • The circuit break and outlet box adjacent to the rail was connected to the main power source.
  • Compressed air was also made available at this same location.
  • The large rack was set into its new location and filled with pallets.

Today a significant amount of material was relocated from the old site and with this the relocation of CTRC material to the new site is almost complete! One more day's worth of work is all that is needed to place this task in the complete column. By the end of the month focus will be back on the locomotive.

Moving the 2479

Mar 21

Its been another busy week at the restoration site.

The most significant event taking place today.  The Saturday crew completed the necessary track work and pulled the locomotive forward 120 feet to the location where restoration of SP 2479 may be completed.

The week day crew has begun construction of a storage shed between two of our containers.  This shed will be a secure area for equipment previously stored in rest rooms at the old location.

This coming week fairgrounds staff will have a crane company provide a quote to move the turn table and water tank.  To help reduce this cost, the week day crew moved a portion of the structure that supports the large water tank.  This large support is seen in the image below to the right of the double wide trailer.


Today's crew spent most of the day clearing materials from the old site.  Finally, all CTRC materials have been removed from the field previously occupied.  The end of the move is in site!

SP 2479 Update: February. 1 - 7, 2009

This past week a 200 ampere, 3 phase, 220 volt source was connected at the new site.  The shop was connected to this source and each machine verified for correct operation.  While machines were being check another crew was busy plumbing the air compressor.

With all of the electrical issues resolved, the crew turned to repairing the panels of track that the locomotive will sit for remaining repairs.  Ballast can now be recovered from the old site and the rails leveled.

The rain that has fallen during the past two days has turned the area between the old and new sites into a large field of mud.  Our Clark forklift is not operable in this environment.  The remaining large objects at the old site, double wide trailer and large rack, will remain until the ground dries.

Dec. 6, 2008 marked the beginning of this stage in the move.  Much has been accomplished since that date.  In two months crews have relocated three large containers (and contents), a 26 x 32 foot boiler tube canopy (and all the equipment it protected), and one 225,000 pound pacific class steam locomotive.  Not bad for two months work!

SP2479 Progress: January 31, 2009

By J. Ezovski

During the week, fairgrounds personnel spread many yards of base rock and installed posts for the new site's power distribution panel.  Hopefully power will be delivered to the new site early this coming week.

Today's large crew finished turning the locomotive.  The locomotive is now in line with its tender in the new area.  The crew began replacing unserviceable ties in panels that the locomotive will sit on for future repairs.  Once track repairs are complete, ballast will be spread and the panels leveled.  The locomotive will then be pulled forward about 80 feet to its new location.

With the locomotive close to its new home, the crew turned to relocating the site's air compressor shed.  This task was completed very late in the afternoon.

Another Thank You to Mr. Pedersen and A Tool Shed.  None of the locomotive moves completed these past three weeks would have been possible without the help of a second forklift.  The locomotive can almost be pulled by John Blaine's forklift but the A Tool Shed forklift made the pull easy.

A number of items remain at the old site.  The most significant of these is the double wide trailer.  Moving it will not be easy.  Hopefully it will survive one more move.

Moving the SP2479

By J. Ezovski

With the help of Dennis and Larry Murchison, and Frank Valerga, 2479 began its journey across the fairground to the new site.  Four panels of track were laid out in front of the two panels that the locomotive sat upon.  Near 2 PM, the locomotive was rolled about 170 feet west with the aid of the Wiggins and A Tool Shed fork lifts.

Moving the 2479

The above image shows the locomotive coming off of its old location.  There was a slight down grade in this area and the locomotive made good use of it! Air brakes were rather helpful.

Moving the 2479

Above shows where the locomotive sat at days end.  The front of the locomotive is very close to the site limit line.

Tomorrow the crew will begin to relocate the panels to the front of the locomotive for the next step in the move.

SP2479 Progress: January 5-10, 2009

By J. Ezovski

Relocation of our containers is complete.  The last container was of the three units was emptied, moved and equipment returned today, Saturday, January 10.  The task did take most of the day as an unusually small crew tackled this significant task.

With the container in place, the crew moved over to the locomotive.  It was pulled back to the end of its track, a distance of about fifteen feet.  There were two reasons for this move.  First was to see how difficult it was for two medium size forklifts to move the locomotive.  Second reason was to point the front panel of track in the optimum direction for the coming move. Surprisingly the locomotive rolled easily.  There was virtually no strain placed on the forklifts.

During the week work continued on the canopy.  Rain gutters were reconnected and a three foot extension was added.  Some electrical work was also performed. Fairgrounds staff continued site work by spreading a layer of base rock.

Another very big thank you to A Tool Shed.  Mr.  Pedersen's crew delivered a much needed forklift to the site on Friday.  None of the today's work could have been accomplished without the use of A Tool Shed's lift.  None of the work accomplished over the past month could have been completed with A Tool Shed's assistance! Thank you Mr.  P.!

Fairgrounds management is very satisfied with the move's progress.  With some luck and not a lot of rain, the move could be complete by the end of February.  A number of small items and two big objects remain: locomotive, double wide trailer.

During the coming week, we hope to have electrical service installed and power restored to the shop.  All parts for the Clark forklift are now at the site. The lift should be returned to service early in the week.  It will then be placed into service positioning panels of track for the move of the locomotive.

Its been a good week!

Happy Hollow Extension - Construction Begins
Second Pole Hole

Construction has begun on the the Happy Hollow Extension

The crew from Stacy & Witbeck arrived this morning (January 5, 2009) and started to dig holes for the Happy Hollow Extension poles.

Some of the poles are wood and some are metal in concrete bases.

It may take several weeks for the poles to be installed.  Once installed the installation of the wires can begin.

Come spring the new line will have operating trolleys!

2479 Update - December 2008

The last journal wedge was installed mid November.  It seems that we forgot to trim the wedge to its required thickness before installation.  With boiler finally sitting on its wheels, the steel beam that supported the firebox end of the locomotive was removed.  All cribbing and jacks were removed and stored.

Our focus has now been turned towards relocating to the area designated by the county.  Significant progress had been made during the past several months towards complying with the county's requests.  Earlier all rail material and round house building materials were moved.  The locomotive's tender and caboose were repositioned, but much work remains before we are fully in the new area.


Fairgrounds staff have been most helpful.  Construction of a 36 foot by 28 foot concrete pad has been completed.  This will become our outdoor covered work/machine area.  The immediate area around the pad has been dressed with base rock and leveled.  350 feet of conduit has been laid for electrical power to the shop area.

The past three weekends have been spent repositioning the two 36 foot containers that serve as our indoor machine shop and finished parts storage.  Both units are now sitting adjacent to the new pad.  Moving these objects have consumed all of our time.  The shop container requiring the most, as it contained two very heavy lathes and Bridgeport mill.Image

A special event occurred on December 10th. NBC channel 11 visited the site and performed a live broadcast on CTRC's restoration of SP2479.  Ken Middlebrook was interviewed by Bob Redell for the 11:00 news.


Not all the news has been good.  On December 6th while moving the first container, our large Clark forklift suffered a major casualty.  A shaft between the drive line and the transmission broke. The repair is not difficult, but the part is not readily available.  Efforts to locate the part are on-going.  If a part can not be located, one of our journeymen machinists will be called upon to make one.


Fortunately A Tool Shed has again come to our aid by providing a forklift.  Thank you again A Tool Shed.

2479 Update - Nov 8, 2008

Today's major task was the installation of the three remaining wedges and pedestals binders.  This task consumed most of the day.

An issue remains with the right wedge for number three driver.  It was decided that pulling the locomotive back a small distance might help correct the problem.  For the first time since December 1990, the locomotive rolled easily upon its own wheels (with a forklift providing power).

While the group struggled with wedges and binders other members continued to relocate materials to the new area.  No additional material can be relocated until new site preparations are complete.

2479 Status - Nov 1, 2008

Even rain could not keep us from moving forward in the final step of the rewheeling process.  Wedges and binders were jacked into place for number 1 and 3 left axles.  The wedge and binder for axle 3 right are up but the binder has not been drawn up tight.  Near 2PM the crew decided it was prudent to call it a day with moderate rain falling.

The image is shows wedge and binder for 3 left being jacked into place.

Modifications were completed on the extensions for the Clark and put to use.  Six panels of track were relocated to allow contractors access for construction of new machine shop pad.

Even with rain it was a good day!

Re-Wheeling the 2479 - Day 4

The 2479 is now on her own wheels just 2 day’s shy of 15 Years from the date the wheels were removed for repair.  Picture from 12:00 PM 10/28/2008


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