Society making final push to restore Western Pacific steam locomotive

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PORTOLA, Calif. — A Northern California museum is making a final push to restore Western Pacific 0-6-0 No. 165 to service. The Feather River Rail Society Board of Directors has given its support to a joint effort of the society’s WP 165 Restoration Team and Wasatch Railroad Contractors to complete the final steps in returning No. 165 to operation. The society needs to raise $80,000 for the engine to be put in operating condition.

The American Locomotive Co. built No. 165 in 1919 for the United Verde Copper Co. of Jerome, Ariz., as its No. 87. On Sept. 17, 1927, the 165 and three sister United Verde engines were sold to the WP and become the S-34 class, numbered 163 to 166.
No. 165 was used at many of WP’s yards, including Stockton, Sacramento, and Portola.

It last operated in March 1953, and retired in October 1957. Five years later, the engine was donated to the City of San Leandro. It was displayed for many years at the San Leandro Bay Area Rapid Transit station, before being transferred to the Alameda County (Calif.) Fairgrounds for display there. It was later acquired by the Pacific Locomotive Association and was eventually acquired by the Feather River society in a trade with a later owner. On March 1, 2006, the 165 returned to Portola on a museum flatcar.

No. 165 is one of only five Western Pacific steam locomotives in existence and the only one currently slated for operation. The locomotive is being restored at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola.

More information is available online

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