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Jupiter replica at Golden Spike N.H.S.
|Builder||Schenectady Locomotive Works (original)
O'Connor Engineering Laboratories (replica)
|Build date||September 1868 (original)
|Gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Fuel type||Wood, converted to coal in 1893|
|Railroad(s)||Central Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Railroad, Gila Valley, Globe and Northern Railroad|
|Number||60 (CP), renum 1195 in 1891, GVG&N 1 in 1893|
|First run||March 20, 1869|
|Disposition||Scrapped in 1909; replica built in 1979|
The Jupiter (officially known as Central Pacific Railroad #60) was a 4-4-0 steam locomotive which made history as one of the two locomotives (the other being the Union Pacific No. 119) to meet at Promontory Summit during the Golden Spike ceremony commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
The Jupiter was built in September 1868 by the Schenectady Locomotive Works of New York, along with three other engines, numbered 61, 62, and 63, named the Storm, Whirlwind, and Leviathan, respectively. These four engines were then dismantled and sailed to San Francisco, CA, where they were loaded onto a river barge and sent to the Central Pacific headquarters in Sacramento, then reassembled and commissioned into service on March 20, 1869.
The Jupiter was a wood burning locomotive. The distinctive conical chimney, known as a 'balloon stack', contained a spark arrestor.
This engine was scrapped in 1909, and a replica was built in 1979, 70 years after scrapping.
Golden Spike Ceremony
The Jupiter was not Leland Stanford's original choice for transporting his party to the Golden Spike site. Originally, Stanford's train was to be pulled by another Central Pacific locomotive, the Antelope. For some distance, this train followed closely behind a regularly scheduled train pulled by the Jupiter. However, at one point the two trains were to go through a cut where a logging camp resided atop the hill. Apparently, either the Jupiter did not wear the proper flag to designate an extra following close behind, or the workers had failed to notice the flag. As a result, once the Jupiter passed, the workers rolled a large log down the mountain, which struck the Antelope. With the engine damaged, a message was sent to the upcoming station to hold the approaching train. There, Stanford's consist was added to the Jupiter's train.
After the ceremony, Jupiter continued in service for the Central Pacific. In the 1870s, the railroad decided to end their practice of naming their engines, and thus, the Jupiter name was dropped and the engine was simply known as C.P. #60. The locomotive also received many new upgrades such as a new boiler, cowcatcher, domes, and smokestack. In 1891, the Southern Pacific, which acquired the Central Pacific in 1885, began renumbering its locomotives. As part of this renumbering, the former Jupiter engine #60 became S.P. #1195. In 1893 it was converted to burn coal, and later that year was sold to the Gila Valley, Globe and Northern Railroad and designated GVG&N #1. In 1909 the locomotive which no longer resembled the original Jupiter was sold to scrappers for $1,000.
The Southern Pacific had not acknowledged the Jupiter's significance until well after the engine had been scrapped. The railroad later used a stand-in for the Jupiter, usually Virginia and Truckee Railroad's Genoa locomotive, to celebrate the road's legacy at various events, such as the Chicago Railroad Fair.
In 1969, another stand-in for the Jupiter was placed on display, this one at the Golden Spike National Historic Site to celebrate the centennial of the Golden Spike. In this instance, the engine was portrayed by Virginia and Truckee Railroad's Inyo.
In 1974, the National Park Service had approached O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, California, to construct exact, full-size replicas of the Jupiter and Union Pacific 119. As was the case with the engines themselves, no drawings or plans of the engines survived, necessitating entirely new drawings to be produced based mostly on photos of the engines as well as research done on similar engines built around the same time. That same year, the existing engines portraying the Jupiter and 119 (the latter portrayed by the Virginia and Truckee Railroad's Dayton), had been sold to the state of Nevada, though they remained displayed at the Golden Spike NHS until the construction of the new replicas was complete.
The replicas were completed in 1979, and began operations on May 10 of that year, 110 years after the original Golden Spike ceremony, and continue to make demonstration runs.
Other historic Jupiter locomotives
Jupiter was known as "King of Gods" or "God of Sky", and it was common for railroads of the 1800's to name engines after this and other mythological legends to invoke awe and wonder. Thus, there have been many engines named "Jupiter" by their respective railroads that, apart from the name, had little else in common with the engine of Golden Spike fame. One such engine is Santa Cruz Railroad no. 3, also named Jupiter. This engine, owned by the Smithsonian Museum, is also a wood-burning 4-4-0. However, this engine was built for narrow-gauge track, unlike the broader standard gauge of the trains at the Golden Spike ceremony.
A trailer for the Disney film "The Lone Ranger" shows Jupiter for a very short moment at the end. The word "Jupiter" can be seen on the tender. The locomotive, a 4-4-0 or American, was based on the Central Pacific Jupiter that was on hand for the real Golden Spike Ceremony up on Promontory Point in the film its the site of the union of the Transcontinental Railroad. After a furious chase and fights on both trains the Jupiter plunges off the severed bridge and into the river below. The bluegrass band Railroad Earth has a song entitled "The Jupiter and the 119" about the meeting of the two trains.
- U.S. National Park Service, Brigham City, UT (2006). "Everlasting Steam: The Story of Jupiter and No. 119." Brochure. Golden Spike National Historic Site.