Gov. Stanford

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Gov. Stanford
Gov. Stanford, now at California State Railroad Museum
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderNorris Locomotive Works
Serial number1040
Build date1862
 • Whyte4-4-0
Gauge5 ft (1,524 mm) (as built)[1]
4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge (as rebuilt)
Driver dia.54 in (1,372 mm)
Adhesive weight35,700 lb (16,200 kg) rebuilt
Loco weight50,000 lb (23,000 kg),
56,000 lb (25,000 kg) rebuilt
Boiler pressure100 psi (690 kPa),
125 psi (860 kPa) rebuilt
Cylinder size15 in × 22 in (381.0 mm × 558.8 mm)
bore × stroke;
16 in × 22 in (406.4 mm × 558.8 mm)
bore × stroke rebuilt
Performance figures
Tractive effort7,791 lbf (34,660 N),
11,081 lbf (49,291 N) rebuilt
OperatorsCentral Pacific, Southern Pacific
Numbers1, renum. 1174 in 1891
Official nameGov. Stanford
First runNovember 9, 1863
RetiredJuly 20, 1895
Current ownerStanford University, loaned to Pacific Coast chapter R&LHS
Dispositionstatic display at the California State Railroad Museum

Gov. Stanford is a 4-4-0 steam locomotive originally built in 1862 by Norris Locomotive Works.[2] Following construction, it was disassembled and hauled by the ship Herald of the Morning around Cape Horn to California, then up the rivers aboard the schooner Artful Dodger, arriving in Sacramento on October 6, 1863.[3][4][5] With a dedication ceremony that included artillery discharge,[6] it entered service on November 9, 1863,[7] and it was used in the construction of the First transcontinental railroad in North America by Central Pacific Railroad bearing road number 1.[8][9][10] It was Central Pacific's first locomotive and it is named in honor of the road's first president and ex-California governor, Leland Stanford.[1][5]

In May 1864, the Gov. Stanford was used to pull the first ceremonial passenger train beginning in Sacramento.[11] The locomotive was withdrawn from mainline service in 1873, and was rebuilt in 1878 with larger cylinders and an increased boiler pressure, which increased its tractive effort to 11,081 pounds-force (49,290 N), as well as being outfitted with a water pump for extinguishing lineside fires. In 1891 the locomotive was renumbered to 1174, although both Joslyn (1956) and Diebert & Strapac (1987) both assert that this number was never actually applied to the locomotive.[1][8] From 1873, the engine operated as a switcher in the road's Sacramento railyard until retired on July 20, 1895, at which time the railroad donated it to Stanford University;[8] however, it was not delivered to the university until 1899.[1][3][5][12]

The locomotive was disassembled and stored during World War II but was returned to display at the university after reassembly by retired Southern Pacific engineer Billy Jones. In the 1960s, the university needed the space occupied by the engine for other uses, so the engine was removed and loaned in 1963 to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society,[3][13] which had been in the process of collecting historic locomotives and rolling stock to be displayed in what would ultimately become the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.[14] The locomotive is currently a centerpiece at the museum, where it has been cosmetically restored to its 1899 appearance.[2][3][4][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Joslyn (1956), p. 155.
  2. ^ a b Boyd (2018), p. 1862.
  3. ^ a b c d "Exhibits - Central Pacific Railroad No. 1 Gov. Stanford". California State Railroad Museum. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "The Transcontinental Railroad: Transforming California and the Nation" (PDF). National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Education Programs. p. 7. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Ingram, K.G., ed. (May 1922). "Story In Every 'Iron Horse' of Early Days: 'Governor Stanford', First Central Pacific Locomotive Shipped Around Cape Horn, Was Put in Operation Early in 1863". Southern Pacific Bulletin. Vol. XI, no. 5. San Francisco, CA: Southern Pacific Company, Bureau of News. p. 27 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "The Pacific Railroad". Gold Hill Daily News. November 11, 1863. p. 2 – via open access
  7. ^ "Letter from Sacramento". The Sonoma County Journal. November 13, 1863. p. 2 – via open access
  8. ^ a b c Diebert & Strapac (1987), p. 33.
  9. ^ Poole, Marcia (October 25, 1992). "'Road Warriors - Railroad museum breathes life into old trains". Sioux City Journal. p. 61 – via open access
  10. ^ "Suspended". The Sacramento Bee. November 27, 1864. p. 3 – via open access
  11. ^ "The First Passenger Trip over the Pacific Railroad". The Deseret News. May 11, 1864. p. 8 – via open access
  12. ^ Chesley, Kate (May 8, 2019). "First Transcontinental Railroad and Stanford forever linked". Stanford University. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Diebert & Strapac (1987), p. 25.
  14. ^ Rodda, Richard (March 5, 1972). "Amtrak Could Bring Back Rail Travel If..." The Sacramento Bee. p. P8 – via open access
  15. ^ "Locomotive Collection". California Department of Parks and Recreation. State of California. Retrieved August 29, 2020.

External links[edit]