Santa Fe 3751

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Santa Fe 3751
ATSF 3751 19920000 IL Streator.jpg
ATSF 3751 leads an employee special westbound through Streator, Illinois, in 1992
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number 60004
Build date May 1927
Configuration 4-8-4
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Fuel type Fuel oil
Performance figures
Tractive effort 66,000 lbf (293.58 kN)
Factor of
Operator(s) Santa Fe
Retired 1957
Restored 1991
Current owner San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society

Operates in occasional excursion service

Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Steam Locomotive No. 3751
Santa Fe 3751 is located in Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Santa Fe 3751
Location 2435 E. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°1′2″N 118°13′31″W / 34.01722°N 118.22528°W / 34.01722; -118.22528Coordinates: 34°1′2″N 118°13′31″W / 34.01722°N 118.22528°W / 34.01722; -118.22528
Built 1927
Architect Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; Baldwin Locomotive Works
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 00001178[1]
Added to NRHP October 04, 2000

Santa Fe 3751 is a 4-8-4 steam locomotive that was originally owned and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It is located in the Central City East neighborhood of Los Angeles, California and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Built in 1927 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, 3751 was Baldwin's and the Santa Fe railway's first 4-8-4. It had a Santa Fe 5-chime freight whistle mounted on it. Tests showed that 3751 was 20% more efficient and powerful than Santa Fe's 4-8-2 3700 class steamer, which at the point was Santa Fe's most advanced steam locomotive. In 1936, the engine was converted to burn oil. Two years later, the locomotive was given a larger tender able to hold 20,000 gallons of water and 7,107 gallons of fuel oil. 3751 was also present at the grand opening of Union Station in Los Angeles on May 7, 1939 pulling the Scout, one of Santa Fe's crack passenger trains as it arrived from Chicago. It was the first steam locomotive to bring a passenger train into LAUPT. In 1941, along with other 4-8-4s, 3751 received major upgrades including: 80-inch drive wheels, a new frame, roller bearings all around, and more. That same year, it achieved its highest recorded speed at 103 mph. It continued to be a very reliable working locomotive until 1953, when it pulled the last regularly scheduled steam powered passenger train on the Santa Fe to run between Los Angeles and San Diego on August 25, this was its last run in revenue service. After that, it was stored at the Redondo Junction, California roundhouse in Los Angeles for four years before it was officially retired from the roster by the railroad in 1957, and in 1958 it was placed on display in San Bernardino.

In 1981, the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society was formed with intentions of restoring and operating 3751. Four years later, they achieved their goal when 3751 was sold to them with the condition that the SBRHS must restore and operate the locomotive. In 1986, 3751 was moved from its display to California Steel Industries, where it was restored at a cost of $1.5 million. In 1991, it operated for the first time in 38 years, running with two Santa Fe FP45s and 16 passenger cars on a four day trip from Los Angeles to Bakersfield. Since then, it has done countless excursions and special trips and gone to many events.[2]

The locomotive is currently owned by the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, the organization that performed the restoration.

August 1992 had 3751 on its largest assignment so far, as the engine ran the entire route of Santa Fe's Transcon route between Los Angeles and Chicago with three and later two Santa Fe C40-8Ws. The engine spent 18 days traveling over 2,300 miles (3,700 km) in both directions.

In April 22–23, 1995, 3751 was displayed in the Riverside Sunkist Orange Blossom Festival in Riverside, CA.

In January 12, 1999, 3751's original Santa Fe 5-chime freight whistle was replaced with a new Santa Fe 6-chime passenger whistle.

On June 1999, the locomotive participated in Railfair 99. On the way to the fair, 3751 ran with a BNSF C44-9W and a passenger train mixed with a boxcar train.

In October 2000, 3751 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

A second locomotive of the same class has also been preserved, Santa Fe 3759 in Kingman, Arizona. It too is listed on the NRHP.

In May 2001, 3751 was displayed at Fullerton Railroad Days in Fullerton, California.

In August 2002, the 3751 ran an Amtrak excursion from Los Angeles to Williams, Arizona to participate in the 2002 National Railway Historical Society Convention. The excursion ran over Metrolink, BNSF Railway, and Arizona and California Railroad tracks. The engine also ran on the Grand Canyon Railway for an excursion on the former Santa Fe's "Grand Canyon" line. The event including double and tripleheading with Grand Canyon Railway's own steam engines.

In 2008, 3751 ran on the Surf Line for two excursions from Los Angeles to San Diego. The first, on June 1, was a public excursion which left 30 minutes late due to a delayed Metrolink train and arrived in San Diego 2 hours behind schedule, mostly caused by the single-track railroad south of Mission Viejo station. The excursion made the locomotive the first steam locomotive to run in the Surf Line since the 1976 American Freedom Train, it was also the first steam powered passenger train to make the run between Los Angeles and San Diego since 3751 last traveled the line in 1953. The train was turned at Miramar Wye, 15 miles north of San Diego station. The second excursion was a private car special on September 21. However, a trespasser was struck near Mission Viejo, delaying all trains up to 3 hours. The excursion passed the cleared location at around 9:00 PM.

In May 2010, the locomotive returned to the Surf Line for a third excursion from Los Angeles to San Diego, pulling eight Amtrak cars and a few dome cars, attracting large crowds. In order to alleviate issues with turning the train, the excursion was split over two days: south to San Diego on May 1, and north to Los Angeles the following day. This proved successful, as 3751 was on time into San Diego the first day and sustained only normal delays northbound, thus proving the excursion to be the most successful yet.[3] The weekend after the trip to San Diego had the engine in San Bernardino for "National Train Day" as well as the 2010 San Bernardino Railroad Days festival. It made an annual run to San Bernardino for the Railroad Days Festival in April or May since the initial trip.[4][5][6][7][8]

In May 2012 3751 powered a six day excursion from Los Angeles to Williams, Arizona to celebrate the state's Centennial. As part of the excursion a special roundtrip doubleheader to the Grand Canyon and back was run with 3751 and Grand Canyon Railway's former Chicago Burlington and Quincy 2-8-2 Mikado 4960. The train also operated over the Arizona and California Railroad on the way to Williams and on the return trip to Los Angeles. Three weeks before the trip to Arizona the engine also made the trip east to attend the San Bernardino Railroad Days Festival for the third year in a row.

In May 2013, 3751 ran on a fourth trip to the San Bernardino Railroad Days Festival.

ATSF 3751, on its first trip after restoration, leads a train eastbound through Cajon Pass.
ATSF 3751, on its first trip after restoration, leads a train eastbound through Cajon Pass.

In May 2015, 3751 made an appearance at Fullerton Railroad Days 2015 in Fullerton, California, making it the first time since 2008 to appear at this event.

In media[edit]

3751 was also featured in the There Goes a... episode "There Goes a Train" footage used in "Route of the Chief".

Santa Fe 3751 can also be briefly viewed near the end of the 1952 film Boots Malone starring William Holden, and Harry Morgan.

3751 was also featured in the 1950 Clark Gable-starred film Key to the City and the 2001 film Pearl Harbor.

Historic designations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ Boerio, Larry; Gary Page and Dennis White. "Santa Fe No. 3751 and Fullerton: Interesting Facts" (PDF). Fullerton Model Railroad Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  3. ^ Gold, Scott (2010-04-30). "Cadillac of steam’ to ride the rails again". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  4. ^ Wall, Stephen (8 May 2010). "Hundreds pack station to see vintage steam locomotive roll into San Bernardino". San Bernardino Sun. 
  5. ^ Weeks, John (8 April 2011). "All aboard for a trip back in time". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Buck, Fielding (12 April 2012). "Take a steam train to LA or back". The Press Enterprise. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Nolan, Michel (23 April 2013). "San Bernardino to celebrate historic train culture at Railroad Days". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Nolan, Michel (10 April 2014). "San Bernardino to celebrate Railroad Days". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 

External links[edit]