Virginia and Truckee 18 Dayton

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4-4-0 Dayton.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Central Pacific Railroad's Sacramento Shops
Serial number 6
Build date September, 1873
 • Whyte 4-4-0
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia. 60 in (1,524 mm)
Loco weight 78 short tons (70.8 t)
Fuel type Wood
Boiler pressure 130 psi (0.90 MPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 17 in × 24 in (430 mm × 610 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 12,716 lbf (56.56 kN)
Operators Virginia and Truckee Railroad
Numbers 18
Official name Dayton
Current owner Nevada State Railroad Museum, loaned to Virginia City Comstock History Center

static display

Official name Virginia and Truckee RR. Engines No. 18, The Dayton; and No. 22, The Inyo
Designated December 18, 1973
Reference no. 73002245[1]

The Virginia and Truckee 18 Dayton is a historic standard gauge steam locomotive. The Dayton is on display in Virginia City, Nevada. It spent its working life on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad.

The locomotive was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the Inyo, because of their association with the Virginia and Truckee Railroad and transportation development in Nevada

The Dayton, a 4-4-0 "American", was built in 1873 by the Central Pacific Railroad, in Sacramento, California, and was based on the design of the CP's 173 engine.[2] The locomotive weighs 78,000 pounds (35,000 kg),[3] has 60 inches (150 cm) driving wheels,[2][3] and carried 2,500 US gallons (9,500 l; 2,100 imp gal) of water and 3 cords of wood. A large snow plow was fixed to the front of the locomotive in 1879, and it performed snow clearing duties on the Virginia & Truckee lines during the winters for most of its operational life, in addition to its normal passenger hauling duties.[2]

In 1906 the locomotive had the honor of opening the branch line between Carson City, Nevada and Minden, Nevada, but after that it was used less frequently. In 1908 it was converted to burn oil rather than wood. In 1937, the locomotive, minus the plow, was sold for $1,000[2] together with No. 22 Inyo to Paramount Pictures who then had the locomotive overhauled at the Southern Pacific Railroad shops at Sparks, Nevada. Paramount had the locomotive repainted and renumbered for use in motion pictures.[4]

The Dayton film history[edit]

The Dayton appeared in several movies, beginning with Union Pacific. It traveled to New York City in 1939 to promote this film. Other movies featuring the Dayton include Young Tom Edison,[2] The Harvey Girls and Duel in the Sun.


In 1937 the locomotive was sold to Paramount Pictures. In 1969 the locomotive participated in ceremonies for the centennial of the Golden Spike. Dayton was modified to represent Union Pacific's No. 119. It remained at the Golden Spike National Historic Site throughout most of the 1970s, along with the V&T's Inyo, which was modified to represent the Central Pacific's Jupiter. In 1974, both locomotives were sold to the State of Nevada, but remained in Utah while brand-new replicas of the Golden Spike locomotives were under construction.[5] Both Inyo and Dayton finally arrived at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City in late 1978.

Once at the museum, the Inyo and Dayton were evaluated for possible restoration to operating condition. The boiler of the latter was found to be in poor condition and would require replacing for the engine to operate. Since the Dayton's boiler was original, it was decided to instead give the engine a cosmetic restoration. Dayton made its debut at the museum on Memorial Day weekend, 1982.[6]

In 2005, the Dayton was moved to the Comstock History Center in Virginia City, Nevada, where it is on static display.[7]


  1. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Koenig, Karl R. (1980). Virginia & Truckee Locomotives. Chatham Publishing Company. p. 58. ISBN 0-89685-102-8. 
  3. ^ a b Lucius Beebe, Charles Clegg (1963). Virginia & Truckee: A Story of Virginia City and Comstock Times (5th ed.). Howell North. p. 68. LoC Catalog Card 63-14279. 
  4. ^ Earl, Phillip I. (1973). "Virginia and Truckee RR engines no. 18, the "Dayton"; and No. 22, the "Inyo"" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
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