"More representative American locomotives of the period would be difficult to find. Both the Jupiter and 119 were of the eight wheel or 4-4-0 wheel arrangement. This style of engine was so common in the United States that it was called the American type locomotive. Introduced in 1836 it was a standard form of locomotive by the 1840's and maintained its leading position well into the 1880s." (John H. White, Jr., Trains magazine, May 1969)
Life of a Locomotive
In 1868, Schenectady Locomotive Works in New York built the Jupiter for the Central Pacific Railroad. Steaming her way into history, the Jupiter hauled Central Pacific President Leland Stanford' special train to Promontory Summit for the joining of the rails. The Jupiter remained in service until the turn of the 20th century when, outmoded and unheralded, she was scrapped for the standard fee of $1,000.
Return to Promontory
Building an operating steam locomotive in the mid-1970's meant recreating the technology of a bygone era. O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, California took on the sizeable task of constructing working replicas of the original Jupiter and No.119. In 1979, after four years of work and with every dimension within 1/4 inch of the original, the Jupiter and No.119 "returned" to Promontory. Today, these magnificent machines are a tangible to the legacy of the first transcontinental railroad that tied the nation together economically and geographically.