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Eureka Locomotive

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Eureka Locomotive

Type and origin
Power type Steam
Builder Baldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number 3763
Model 8/18 C
Build date 1875
Configuration 4-4-0
UIC classification 2′B n
Gauge 3 ft (914 mm)[1]
Driver diameter 42 in (1,067 mm)
Locomotive weight 22 short tons (20.0 t)
Fuel type Wood
Boiler pressure 120 psi (0.83 MPa)
Cylinders Two, outside
Cylinder size 12 in × 16 in (300 mm × 410 mm)
Performance figures
Tractive effort 5,595 lbf (24.89 kN)
Operator(s) Eureka & Palisade Railroad, Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company, Warner Brothers Entertainment
Number(s) 4, SNW&L 5 in 1896
Retired 1896 (E&P); 1938 (SNW&L); 1976 (WB)
Restored 1991
Current owner Daniel Markoff
Disposition restored to operating condition, privately owned
Eureka Locomotive
Eureka in October 1997
Location Address Restricted
Nearest city Las Vegas, Nevada
Built 1875
NRHP Reference # 94001575
Added to NRHP January 12, 1995

The Eureka Locomotive is a privately owned steam locomotive in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is one of three preserved Baldwin Class 8/18 C 4-4-0 locomotives in the United States, of which it is the only operable example.[2] It is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places.[3][4]


The locomotive was built in 1875 for the Eureka & Palisade Railroad, which was built to transport passengers and goods from the mining town of Eureka to connect with the Central Pacific Railroad in Palisade. The engine served on this railroad until 1896, when it was sold to the Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company. It operated on the Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber until 1938 when the company dissolved and the engine was sold to a scrap dealer.

Warner Bros. bought the engine in 1939, and it was featured in many films, such as Torrid Zone, Cheyenne Autumn, and The Great Train Robbery. The Eureka's last film appearance was in the 1976 film, The Shootist, and it was sold thereafter to Old Vegas, an amusement park in Henderson, Nevada, where it was placed on display. In 1978, the California State Railroad Museum, was in the process of restoring North Pacific Coast no. 12 Sonoma, another 8/18C class 4-4-0 nearly identical to the Eureka. The museum had the latter stripped down to reveal its original paint scheme that was still on the engine, and used it as a guide for restoring the former. In 1985, a fire had consumed the Old Vegas park, with one of the burning buildings collapsing on the Eureka, badly damaging the engine.

A year later, the engine was discovered by Las Vegas attorney Dan Markoff, who then purchased the engine and had it restored to operating condition. The restored Eureka debuted at Railfair '91 at the California State Railroad Museum. It was then operated on U.S. Gypsum's private tracks in Plaster City, California, in 1993.[5] The locomotive was listed as a structure on the National Register of Historic Places on January 12, 1995[6] and was the first transportation listing in Las Vegas.[7]

In 1997, Eureka was transported to Chama, New Mexico, for a series of operational excursions over the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway in late June.[5] The engine continues to make appearances at various narrow gauge tourist railroads during special events, such as the Cumbres and Toltec, Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Nevada State Railroad Museum, and the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum among others. When the engine is not participating in such events, it is kept stored in Markoff's specially constructed shed, which is not open to the public. Dan Markoff is rather cautious as to how often the engine operates, and does not intend to have the engine operating regularly as the engine still retains its original boiler and several other components.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Las Vegas, Nevada (Official City of Las Vegas Text Site)". Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  3. ^ "National Register of Historic Places". Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  4. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Eureka Locomotive" (PDF). United States Department of the Interior. 1994-12-06. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  5. ^ a b Jennings, Stan (October 2, 2006). "A Narrow Gauge 4-4-0 on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad". The Narrow Gauge Circle. Retrieved February 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Nevada Entries in the National Register of Historic Places". Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ "National Recognition Near for Bonanza Rd. Underpass". Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
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