Tuesday, June 12, 2007

100-Year Old Locomotive on Display for El Dorado County Fair

"Current restoration activities center on preparing the Shay No. 4 for her second 'coming out.' The first one was 100 years ago when No. 4 was delivered and started work at the Diamond and Caldor Railway. This time will be for her centennial birthday," said Eric Stohl, El Dorado Western Railway Foundation president.

On Saturday, June 16, 2007, railway volunteers will pull the 100-year old logging locomotive out of the engine house and onto the "tail track" for the El Dorado County Fair.

In conjunction this year’s railroad theme at the El Dorado County Historical Museum, volunteers will dress the engine with many of the appliances that distinguished steam locomotives of the era.

Children (and adults!) will be able to ring the bell. The engine will be looking smart with the rear headlight shining out from the top of the oil tank. And the newly refurbished generator will be spotted behind the smoke stack.

Watch for the beam of light from the original Sunbeam locomotive headlight as you enter museum grounds from the fair plaza. At 1 p.m., the beacon will signal that it's time for the public to join in the birthday celebration.

The museum is located at 104 Placerville Drive, adjacent to fairground’s Green Gate. The fair admission fee is good for the museum and engine house.

April 27, 2007 marked the Diamond and Caldor No. 4's 100th birthday. It's one of three surviving Shay locomotives of the 24 that once steamed in the El Dorado County woods.

The unique reduction gear arrangement in the Shay's drive train made the engine ideal for the rough track of logging railroads. The No. 4 hauled lumber and logs along the 34-mile narrow gauge railroad between Diamond Springs and Caldor from 1907 to 1953.

The foundation is working in partnership with the County of El Dorado and the museum to educate the community about railroad logging in El Dorado County.

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