Go home, California Heisler, go home

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MountTamalpasHeisler
This California Heisler is returning to the area where it first worked.
Mill Valley Historical Society
MILL VALLEY, Calif. — The only remaining original equipment from the fabled Mount Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railroad in Marin County is on its way to a new home. No. 9, a 30-ton two-truck Heisler built in 1920, was sold by the railroad in 1924 to the Siskiyou Lumber Cop. and in 1950 to the Pacific Lumber Co.

Since 1953, the engine has been on display in Sciota, over 250 miles to the north. A group of Marin County folks purchased No. 9 at auction and moved it this week to "an undisclosed location in Sonoma County." A spokesman for the group declined to tell area media where the locomotive was, citing concerns for trespassing.

The new owners of No. 9, known as Friends of No. 9, plan to restore it and display it in the Mill Valley area. It will be kept on private property until it is restored and ready for display, the Friends group stated.

The Mount Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railroad was known as "the crookedest railroad in the world," as in its 8.19-mile main line there were 281 curves as it climbed 2,400 feet. The trip from Mill Valley to the top of the mountain was a highlight of the earliest days of tourism in California, passing through a redwood forest along the way.

The railroad was built in 1896, and the redwood forest was declared a national monument in 1908. The line was featured in an article in Scientific American, which hailed it as an engineering feat. A tavern owned by the railroad at the top of the mountain burned down in 1923, and the railroad shut down for good in 1930. Today, the railroad grade is a fire road and is used for biking and hiking.








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