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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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The Past Comes Back to Life

If you are a Southern Californian who has taken that magnificent drive up US 395 into the Owens Valley, you have no doubt passed Dehy Park in Independence, CA.  You also probably noticed the narrow gauge locomotive (Southern Pacific 4-6-0 # 18) which has been on on display at the entrance to the small park since about 1960.  You may even have toured the narrow gauge museum at Laws, CA, just north of Bishop, where #18's sister locomotive, #9, resides in the midst of rusting narrow gauge passenger coaches and assorted and odd freight cars.  I've posted on US 395 and the SP Narrow Gauge before (SP Narrow Gauge and US 395).

Several years ago the Carson & Colorado Railway, Inc. (a group of folks interested in fully restoring #18), began the task of removing the locomotive from the Dehy Park to a new engine house and then completely restoring the nearly century-old locomotive to pristine running condition.  That project was completed over a year ago.  The locomotive has run under live steam power several times.  Since #18 has little track to run on in its new home (the Eastern Sierra Museum), it was trucked over to Laws for a full-steam exhibition on much longer track (nearly a mile).

But the full-steam run at Laws (while better than than 1500 feet of track in Independence) did not allow for a full display of what a completely restored #18 could do on a longer run at operating speed. 

The Carson & Colorado folks recently loaned #18 to the Durango and Silverton Railroad in Durango, Co.  The folks who run the famed tourist train helped restore #18 and are quite interested in duplicating #18's oil-fired boiler system in their own coal-burning locomotives. 

Jerry Day's recent video (above) captures #18 in all is steam-era glory.  There is nothing like a steam-powered locomotive.  It sounds like it is alive and its driving mechanism is not hidden under an aluminum shell as with a modern diesel-electric.  You see how a steam locomotive works as it runs, even as you feel the raw power of super-heated steam, the pop-valves, and the steam whistle.  Nothing like it.

Thanks to all the folks at the Carson & Colorado for bring to life a great locomotive which had become a mere roadside curiosity.

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