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19 February 2010

Roots of Motive Power to Attend Niles Canyon Steam Railroad Festival

Mason County Logging No. 7 in operation at Roots of Motive Power in Willits.
Roots of Motive Power's first operational steam locomotive, Mason County Logging Company's No. 7, will be among the select invited participants to Steamfest II, a steam railroad festival on the Niles Canyon Railway, which operates from Sunol to Fremont.
The historic route was part of the Central Pacific Railroad's first Sacramento-San Francisco Bay connection in 1869.
The steam festival will take place over two weekends, the 13 and 14 Mar 2010, and 20 and 21 Mar 2010.
Mason County No. 7 will join four other steam locomotives, two locomotives of the host Niles Canyon Railway, the Quincy Railroad Company No. 2, and Robert Dollar No. 3. Also in attendance will be the California State Railroad Museum's Granite Rock Company No. 10, a former Army 0-6-0T, and for one day only, Golden Gate Railroad Museum's huge Southern Pacific No. 2472.
The railroad festival also is being termed Tankfest 2, since four of the steam locomotives are what is termed "tank engines," engines that utilize water tanks on the engines rather than tenders, allowing the locomotives to operate equally well forward or reverse. This was a necessity on many of the logging railroads, which lacked facilities to turn locomotives. Southern Pacific No. 472 was one of the SP's famous 4-6-2 Pacifics, working in fast passenger service from Sacramento to Ogden, Utah.
Sunday, 14 Mar 2010, a Photographers Special will coincide with the annual Winterail swap meet held in Stockton on Saturday, 13 Mar 2010. Winterail is the premier West Coast railroadiana market and photography display.
The Winterail Photographers Special on Sunday, 14 Mar 2010, will depart Sunol at 8:45 a.m. for Niles behind SP No. 2472. Along the way, the passenger train will pass a freight train powered by Mason County Logging No. 7 and Robert Dollar No. 3.
On the return trip to Sunol, both the passenger and freight trains will perform numerous run-bys. The train should return to Sunol around 12:30 p.m.
Tickets prices for this event are $50, seating is limited.
Steamfest II continues on Saturday, 20 Mar 2010, with four steam locomotives pulling passenger and freight trains between Sunol and Niles. The locomotives will be Robert Dollar No. 3, Quincy Railroad No. 2, Granite Rock No. 10, and Mason County No. 7.
Departure from Sunol will be at 8:30 a.m. for Niles, with many photo run-by opportunities on the return trip to Sunol.
At noon all four locomotives will quadruple-head a passenger train to Hearst and return with a photo run-by opportunity along the way.
The afternoon departure from Sunol will be at 1:30 p.m. for Niles.
Various ticket packages are available for the day.
Steamfest II continues Sunday, 21 Mar 2010, with two passenger trains running between Sunol and Niles throughout the day on a special schedule. A third passenger train will make short runs from Sunol to Hearst Junction throughout the day.
Tickets for these trains will be available for purchase at Sunol and Niles depots on 21 Mar 2010.
Tickets for the Winterail Photographers Special on 14 Mar 2010, and Steamfest II on 20 Mar 2010, are on sale now. Ticket quantities are limited for both special events.
For pricing information:, or call the Pacific Locomotive Association at (925) 944-5883.
Roots of Motive Power engineers, firemen, and brakemen will operate the locomotives at Steamfest II, providing valuable experience for train crews on new and challenging track.

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