Howard Terminal #8 Suffers Critical Failure

Donations sought for new locomotive

What happened

Our diesel locomotive, Howard Terminal #8, suffered a major failure of its traction system while on a deadhead run to Hampton Station this past weekend.

At least one of the engine’s traction motors and one of its generators has suffered catastrophic failure, forcing us to cancel this weekend’s diesel train rides and wine tasting trains.

This is what a damaged locomotive traction motor looks like.  NOTE: This is not HT8’s actual traction motor. Photo courtesy Associated Rewinds

We are now without a diesel locomotive capable of hauling our trains, and the cost to repair the damage is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars, so the historic locomotive has been sidelined indefinitely.

We need a new locomotive [anyway]

We’ve been growing rapidly, and #8 has always been too small for our needs, especially on the long, hilly, and curvy Placerville Branch on which we operate, so we’ve been searching for a locomotive that is larger and more capable than HT8 for years.

Heber Valley Railroad #4028 is a 60-ton Baldwin RS4-TC locomotive that is larger and much better-suited to our needs. Photo courtesy James Belmont.

After finding Heber Valley #4028, a larger 65-ton Baldwin RS-4-TC, for sale in 2018, we’ve been making preparations for the last several months to purchase and transport it from Heber Valley Railroad in Salt Lake City to Folsom in mid-2019.

We need your help

Our original plan to bring the engine home this summer was based on expected income from ridership donations on this spring’s train and motorcar rides, but with our diesel train now sidelined, our income will be reduced significantly, delaying our acquisition of the new locomotive.

Many of our trains were sold out in 2018.

We are now actively making arrangements to finalize the purchase and transport #4028 to Folsom as soon as possible, and we’re asking for your support to help us with the costs so we can restore train service with minimal disruption.

Please donate today

Our goal is to raise $40,000 to purchase this locomotive and transport it from Salt Lake City to Folsom.

Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps.

Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving California’s rich railroad history. Please help us fund the purchase of this locomotive with a tax-deductible gift today.

If you are on Facebook, please donate via Facebook as they charge no fees and 100% of your donation will go to us.

Donate now

The following sponsorship levels include special gifts:

Engineer for a Day
1 VIP package of 4 train tickets

2 Engineers for a Day
2 VIP package of 4 train tickets.

1-hour Charter for 40 passengers

2-hour Charter for 40 passengers

All sponsors will be included on a plaque on the train.