Virginia and Truckee Railway Locomotive No. 27
Virginia and Truckee Railroad Engine No. 27 is an historic standard gauge steam locomotive. It is currently on display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, Nevada. It was the last locomotive acquired new by the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, and pulled the last commercial train for the V&T on May 31, 1950, the date that freight and passenger services officially terminated for the company. The locomotive was placed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its association with the Virginia and Truckee Railroad and transportation development in Nevada.
Locomotive #27, also known as Baldwin Locomotive Works #39453, was built in 1913 by Baldwin. It weighs 121,000 pounds, 100,000 of this is weight on the driving wheels. Its 56-inch drivers provide 22,400 pounds of tractive effort.
A 4-6-0 “ten wheeler”, it was the last locomotive delivered new to the Virginia and Truckee Railroad (V&T), and the third ten-wheeler delivered, behind its twin #26 in 1907, and the so-called "Second #25" in 1905.:69–74 #27 served the V&T dependably and without incident throughout its operational life.
In 1948, #27's boiler permit expired, and the locomotive was retired by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), leaving only #26 and a giant Alco 75-ton 2-8-0 known as the "Second #5" (due to its numbering with its previous owner) in service with the bankrupt V&T Railroad.:19 In 1949, #27 was granted a one-day operating permit to serve as a special train for the California-Nevada Railroad Historical Society, before being put back into its engine house to resume retirement.:74
1950 saw the V&T approaching abandonment as an operating railroad. #26 was the workhorse of the railroad by this time, with Second-5 seldom being used due to its much greater weight causing damage to the rails and ties. #26 was intended to run the last revenue routes for the V&T when, on May 2, 1950, it was destroyed by a fire in its engine house.:72 The V&T executives requested special authority from the ICC to bring #27 back into service for the remaining weeks of V&T operations. This request was granted and, on May 31, 1950, locomotive #27 pulled the last revenue train from Minden to Reno.:74
Following the V&T ceasing passenger and freight operations on that date, #27 was used to pull the remainder of the railroad's own equipment into Carson City on June 1, as well as some ancillary clean-up duties until June 3. That summer it was used in movie production before the Purdy Company, which now owned #27, scrapped the remainder of the V&T railroad.:74
The Purdy Company presented the locomotive to the governor of Nevada with the intent that it be preserved. It was displayed near Carson City starting in 1955 where it stayed until 1963 when it was moved to the airport for display. It was further moved in later years before finally being housed in the Nevada State Railroad Museum, where it remains to this day.:74
- "National Register of Historic Places, NEVADA, Carson City County".
- "Virginia & Truckee, Locomotive 27".
- Koenig, Karl R. (1980). Virginia & Truckee Locomotives. Chatham Publishing Company. ISBN 0-89685-102-8.
- Beebe, Lucius; Clegg, Charles (1963). Virginia & Truckee: A Story of Virginia City and Comstock Times (5th ed.). Howell North. p. 54. LoC Catalog Card 63-14279.