Odyssey Of Five Locomotives 1835-1965  Kline

Odyssey Of Five Locomotives 1835-1965 Kline

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Odyssey Of Five Locomotives 1835-1965 Kline
 
The Odyssey Of Five Locomotives 1835 - 1965 By Benjamin Kline
On October 21, 1864, this item appeared in the Lancaster newspaper: "The locomotive works, operated by J. A. Norris, has been contracted for delivery of five locomotives to the Western Pacific Railroad in California."
Let us examine this for more detail. First, the Western Pacific Railroad - chartered December 13, 1862 - in November 1869, was consolidated with the San Francisco Bay Railroad, which was chartered September 25, 1868. Following this consolidation, it retained the name of the Western Pacific Railroad until June 23, 1870, when it was in turn consolidated with the Central Pacific Railroad of California.
The consolidated line became a part of the Central Pacific Railroad of California. The Western Pacific Railroad and the San Francisco Bay Railroad linked Sacramento with Oakland and the San Francisco area. This provided the Central Pacific with a connection to the San Francisco area. The original Western Pacific was a line 123.45 miles in length; the consolidation with the San Francisco Bay Railroad Company added about 22.5 miles to this, giving the consolidated Western Pacific Railroad a total mileage of approximately 146 miles.
A sheet issued November 6, 1868 listed all Central Pacific motive power with their specifications. Also listed separately were the ten locomotives which were received from the Western Pacific Railroad. The first five are of no interest to us because they were Baldwin and Mason products. The remaining five were listed as being built by Norris of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Second, let us look at the builder. He was James Alexander Norris, one of the brothers of William Norris, who had built locomotives since almost the beginning of railroads in America.
James A. Norris acquired the facilities of the Lancaster locomotive works, which had been operated by John Brandt, Sr. from 1853 to 1857, and closed during the panic of 1857-58. Norris opened his works in 1863-64.

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