Another piece of railroad history arrives in Truckee
Arriving on the back of a truck rather than by rail, another piece of locomotive history arrived in Truckee Friday afternoon.In its heyday, cranes like the one that arrived last week would have hoisted timber onto flatbed rail cars as the train passed through Truckee and traveled up and down one of the areas many logging spurs.Now the crane sits on an old section of rail off Church Street, and is the second piece of rolling stock that will eventually become part of the towns own railroad museum.We will be restoring it to operating ability we plan to obtain logging flat cars and set up a logging display, said Bob Bell, president of the Truckee Donner Railroad Society.While this particular crane didnt work in the Sierra, Bell said it has its own interesting history.We believe this crane worked at the construction of the Panama Canal, Bell said.The crane, built by the Brown Hoisting Machinery Company, had a 10-ton capacity, and could run under its own power, according to the Truckee Donner Railroad Society.The Truckee Donner Railroad Society took delivery of a 1953 diesel locomotive in December, and is expecting to receive an old rotary snowplow train and a sleeper car this summer, said Nelson Van Gundy, a historian for the society.The snowplow is the one which rescued the City of San Francisco [train] in 1952, and the 89-foot sleeper was a Southern Pacific car that used to run through here, Van Gundy said.All of the rolling stock has come from or is coming from the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.For now, the two pieces already here are sitting next to Truckee Tahoe Lumber on an inactive spur that took trains to Hobart Mills, Van Gundy said.The plan, Bell said, is to build the Railroad Museum as part of the Railyard Development, so timing will be dependent on the downtown project.Well have an office with displays and run tours through the different cars, Bell said.Until the museum finds a final home within the Railyard project, Bell said the railroad society will continue raising funds and working with local groups to acquire more historic pieces and information.Tiechert Aggregates, the Tahoe Mountain Resort Foundation, and the Truckee Rotary Foundation have all been helping out, he said. Recent donations have been matched by Tom and Polly Bredt through the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.The goal is to not only showcase an important part of Truckees history, but to also create a new tourism draw for the town, said Misty Young, secretary of the society, in a previous interview.
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