Placerville & Sacramento Valley welcomes steam locomotive for excursions

News Wire Digest second section for May 18: New owners for Santa Fe Southern include 'Game of Thrones' writer; North Platte's Rail Days go virtual
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Santa Cruz Portland Cement No. 2 arrives in Folsom, Calif., via Nelson Brothers Trucking for use on the Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad.
Michael Florentine

Monday morning tourist railroad and railfan news in brief:

— The Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad has received an operating steam locomotive for excursions on a portion of the former Southern Pacific Placerville branch in Northern California. Santa Cruz Portland Cement No. 2, an oil-burning 0-4-0 built by H.K. Porter in 1909, was purchased by Efstathios Pappas in 2006. Since its restoration, it has operated at the Niles Canyon Railway, Roaring Camp Railroads, and Northwest Railway Museum. It arrived Friday at Folsom, Calif., thanks to Jerry Bernau, president of Bernau Development Corp., who donated the cost of transporting the locomotive from its former home in Washington state. Visit the Placerville & Sacramento Valley website for more information.

— The Santa Fe Southern Railway has new owners who aim to restore excursions on the 18-mile short line between Santa Fe and Lamy, N.M. — and one of them will be will known to fans of “Game of Thrones.” George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books adapted into the HBO series, on which he was co-executive producer, has joined movie-theater owner Bill Banowsky and arts philanthropist Catherine Oppenheimer to purchase the railroad, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Their goal is to resume excursions by 2022.

— This year’s North Platte (Neb.) Rail Days will be held virtually Aug. 7-9, the North Platte Telegraph reports. Kirsten Parker, executive director of the Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center at Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard, told the newspaper that events will include online versions of the Bailey Yard tour, usually conducted by bus, and an Operation Lifesaver train ride. The visitor center remains closed because of the coronavirus.


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