"The original Jupiter and No.119 were scrapped at the turn of the century. Despite their absence, the replica locomotive tell the story of the building and significance of the nation's first transcontinental railroad. Today's engines are beautiful, modern-day replicas, but the story they tell is as timeless as the visions they evoke." (D. Davies, Superintendent of Golden Spike National Historic Site, document dated 2/28/85)
Life of a Locomotive
In November 1868, Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of Patterson, New Jersey built the Union Pacific No. 119. Six months later, No.119 received the call to pull Union Pacific's Vice-President Thomas Durant and contingent to Promontory Summit. The No.119 served out her days with the Union Pacific as a freight locomotive until dismantled in 1903 for the standard scrappers fee of $1,000.
What's the Difference?
Charged with producing replicas virtually identical to the original engines, O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, California did just that, down to the last decorative detail. The safe operation of the locomotives in a modern setting, however, required certain compromises in historic authenticity. The replica engines differ from the originals in three ways:
Cylinder design-The original cylinder assemblies were cast in three separate pieces (two cylinders and saddle) bolted together. O'Connor redesigned the cylinder-saddle as a single unit.
Boiler assembly-The original boilers were made out of wrought iron and riveted. The replica's boilers are welded steel, which makes them many times stronger and less likely to rupture than the originals. To recreated an authentic appearance, the welds do not show and nonfunctional rivets appear in accurate locations.
Braking system-The original locomotives only had simple hand brakes on the tenders. The replicas, equipped with Westinghouse air brakes, operate more safely.