Locomotive #2579 is a typical example of over 350 small steam locomotives called "Consolidations" that were used by the Southern Pacific Railroad from the early 1900s well into the 1950s. During their time she and her sisters were assigned to almost every imaginable duty, even handling passenger trains on rare occasion. At nearly 400,000 pounds and 71 feet she would be considered large by many standards. However, compared to modern diesel locomotives of today #2579 is small. Nevertheless, she represents the real work horses that carried America from before the Civil War into the 20th Century. Last used in revenue service in Nov. 1956, #2579 was donated to the City of Klamath Falls on Sept. 8, 1957.
[Photo captions (clockwise):]
The earliest known photo of #2579 shows her simmering with a full head of steam at Drain, Oregon circa 1915. She had been built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1906 and represented a relatively large and modern locomotive when this photo was taken. The fireman, visible in the cab could have only wondered at what the future held for his trusty steed.
#2579 was caught taking a break at Ashland, Oregon on April 25th 1950. By this time she was assigned to switching and local freight service having been bumped from heavier assignments by larger steam locomotives and more
recently by diesel locomotives.
#2579 was at Roseville, California on October 15th 1936. The large snow plow suggests she is prepared for helper duty in Donner Pass where even this plow would only be adequate for 'light' snowfalls. Note that in each photo #2579 is equipped with a different size and style of tender. Changing tenders was a matter of convenience on the Southern Pacific. Which type of tender does she have now?