The San Francisco Bay Area’s own steam engine, Southern Pacific 2472, completed its longest journey to date when it traveled from San Jose to Los Angeles and back in September, 1992. The 4-6-2, which is owned by the Golden Gate Railroad Museum, performed flawlessly as it pulled the Pacific Limited excursion special.
On the return trip from Los Angeles to Oakland, California, the engine powered The Earth Train, a special charter headed for the East Coast. After separation from SP 2472, The Earth Train continued on its way pulled by diesels.
The engine and train traveled over Southern Pacific’s Coast Route in both directions. This route follows the scenic Pacific Coast shoreline for many miles. The colorful excursion special consisted of Rio Grande Ski Train cars and private dome cars.
SP 2472 is a beautifully restored engine that looks great at the head of a long train. This first long-distance trip will be remembered as one of its most memorable.