Santa Fe 3751

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 3751 is a class 3751 4-8-4 steam locomotive built in 1927 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF). 3751 was the first 4-8-4 steam locomotive built for the Santa Fe and was referenced in documentation as type: "Heavy Mountain", "New Mountain", or "Mountain 4-wheel trailer". No. 3751 served in passenger duties until being retired in 1953.

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 3751
3751 in the yard July 2017.jpg
Santa Fe No. 3751 preparing to leave the Amtrak L.A. maintenance yard for a final public appearance in 2017 until 2022
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderBaldwin Locomotive Works
Serial number60004
Model16-54 1/4 E
Build dateMay 1927
Rebuild date1941
 • Whyte4-8-4
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia.80 in (2,032 mm)
Axle load73,000 lb (33,100 kg) (Originally 70,500 lb (32,000 kg))
Adhesive weight287,000 lb (130,000 kg) (Originally 270,000 lb (122,000 kg)
Loco weight478,100 lb (216,900 kg)
Tender weight396,246 lb (179,730 kg)
Total weight874,346 lb (396,600 kg)
Fuel typeCoal (1927-1936), later converted to oil
Fuel capacity7,101 US gal (26,880 l; 5,913 imp gal)
Water cap.20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal)
Boiler pressure230 psi (1.59 MPa), originally 210 psi (1.45 MPa)
Feedwater heaterWorthington Type 6-SA
Cylinder size30 in × 30 in (762 mm × 762 mm)
Performance figures
Maximum speedOver 100 mph (160 km/h)
Power outputAs built: 3,220 hp (2,400 kW)
Tractive effort65,981 lbf (293.50 kN)
Factor of adh.4.35
OperatorsSanta Fe (1927 to 1958)→(1991 to 1996)→BNSF (1996-present)
San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society
  • ATSF 3751
RestoredAugust 13, 1991
Current ownerSan Bernardino Railroad Historical Society
DispositionOperational, based in Redondo Junction, California
Santa Fe 3751
Santa Fe 3751 is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Santa Fe 3751
Santa Fe 3751 is located in California
Santa Fe 3751
Santa Fe 3751 is located in the United States
Santa Fe 3751
Location2435 E. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles
Coordinates34°1′9.10″N 118°13′31.7″W / 34.0191944°N 118.225472°W / 34.0191944; -118.225472Coordinates: 34°1′9.10″N 118°13′31.7″W / 34.0191944°N 118.225472°W / 34.0191944; -118.225472
ArchitectAtchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; Baldwin Locomotive Works
NRHP reference No.00001178[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 4, 2000

The locomotive was then placed on display in San Bernardino until it was restored to operating condition in 1991. It is currently located in the Central City East neighborhood of Los Angeles and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2000. It holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving 4-8-4 type steam locomotive in the world.

The locomotive is currently owned and operated by the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, which uses the locomotive to haul occasional mainline excursion trains. However, a federally mandated 15-year inspection put it out of service for three to four years. No. 3751's overhaul was completed in September 2022.


Revenue serviceEdit

Built in May 1927 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, No. 3751 was Baldwin's and the Santa Fe Railway's first 4-8-4 type. Tests showed that the new locomotive was 20% more efficient and powerful than the 3700 class 4-8-2 "Mountain" type steamers, which at the time were Santa Fe's most advanced steam locomotives. Santa Fe adopted the terminology "Heavy Mountain", "New Mountain", or "Mountain 4-wheel trailer" as notation for this new 4-8-4 type and continued the numbering sequence of the 3700 class Mountains by numbering the first 4-8-4 3751.

In 1936, the locomotive was converted to burn oil and was given a larger tender that holds 20,000 US gallons (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal) of water and 7,107 US gallons (26,900 l; 5,918 imp gal) of fuel oil two years later. No. 3751 was also present at the grand opening of Union Passenger Terminal in Los Angeles on May 7, 1939, pulling the Scout, one of Santa Fe's crack passenger trains as it arrived from Chicago. It was the first steam locomotive to bring a passenger train into Union Station.

In 1941, along with other 4-8-4s, 3751 received major upgrades including: 80-inch (2.0 m)(or. 73") drive wheels, a new frame, roller bearings all around, and more.

That same year, it achieved its highest recorded speed at 103 miles per hour (166 km/h). It continued to be a very reliable working locomotive until 1953, when it pulled the last regularly scheduled steam-powered passenger train on the Santa Fe to run between Los Angeles and San Diego on August 25; this was its last run in revenue service before being official retirement from active service. After that, it was stored at the Redondo Junction. In 1958, it was placed on display in San Bernardino.


In 1981, the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society was formed with intentions of restoring and operating 3751. Four years later, it achieved its goal when 3751 was sold to it for one cent with the condition that the SBRHS must restore and operate the locomotive. In 1986, 3751 was moved from its display to California Steel Industries, where it was restored at a cost of $1.50.[2] On August 13, 1991, it moved under its own steam for the first time in thirty-eight years. It made its first excursion run on December 27, 1991, running with two Santa Fe EMD FP45s and 16 passenger cars on a four-day trip from Los Angeles to Bakersfield. Since then, it has been utilized for a large number of excursions and special trips, and for display at many events.[3]

Excursion serviceEdit

1991 to 2000Edit

The locomotive is currently owned by the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, the same organization that performed the initial 1986 restoration.

ATSF No. 3751 leads an employee special train westbound through Streator, Illinois in 1992

In August 1992, the 3751 was found on its largest assignment so far, as the engine ran the entire route of Santa Fe's Transcon route between Los Angeles and Chicago with three (and later two) Santa Fe GE Dash 8-40CWs. The engine spent 18 days traveling over 2,300 miles (3,700 km) in both directions. This run would include travelling to Topeka, Kansas to attend that year's Topeka Railroad days, where the locomotive was briefly displayed near Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 No. 3985.[4][5]

ATSF 3751, on its first trip after restoration, leads a train eastbound through Cajon Pass.

On April 22–23, 1995, 3751 was displayed in the Riverside Sunkist Orange Blossom Festival in Riverside. On December 31, 1996 when Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe merged with Burlington Northern Railroad to form Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the locomotive retained the same number. The excursion was operated again on April 20–21, 1996.

In June 1999, the locomotive participated in Railfair 99. On the way to the fair, 3751 ran with a BNSF GE Dash 9-44CW and a passenger train mixed with a boxcar train.

2000 to 2010Edit

In October 2000, 3751 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, much like sister engine No. 3759.[1]

The locomotive has been displayed at Fullerton Railroad Days in Fullerton, California a number of times.

In August 2002, the 3751 ran an Amtrak excursion from Los Angeles to Williams, Arizona to participate in the 2002 National Railway Historical Society Convention. The excursion ran over Metrolink, BNSF Railway, and Arizona and California Railroad tracks. The engine also ran on the Grand Canyon Railway for an excursion on the former Santa Fe's Grand Canyon line. The event including double and tripleheading with the Grand Canyon Railway's own steam engines, ex-Chicago Burlington & Quincy 2-8-2 4960 and ex-Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 18. There was a night photo session that took place which featured the three locomotives side-by-side.[6]

2010 to presentEdit

In May 2010, the locomotive returned to the Surf Line for a third excursion from Los Angeles to San Diego, pulling eight Amtrak cars and a few dome cars, attracting large crowds. In order to alleviate issues with turning the train, the excursion was split over two days: south to San Diego on May 1, and north to Los Angeles the following day. This proved successful, as 3751 was on time into San Diego the first day and sustained only normal delays northbound, thus proving the excursion to be the most successful yet.[7] The weekend after the trip to San Diego saw the engine in San Bernardino for National Train Day and the 2010 San Bernardino Railroad Days festival. It has made annual runs to San Bernardino for the Railroad Days Festival in April or May since the initial trip.[8][9][10][11]

No. 3751 with Grand Canyon Railway 2-8-2 No. 4960, 2002.

In May 2012, 3751 powered a six-day excursion from Los Angeles to Williams, Arizona to celebrate the state's Centennial. As part of the excursion, another special round-trip doubleheader to the Grand Canyon and back was run with 3751 and GCRY 4960. The train also operated over the Arizona & California Railroad on the way to Williams and on the return trip to Los Angeles. Three weeks before the trip to Arizona, the engine also made the trip east to attend the San Bernardino Railroad Days Festival for the third year in a row.

In May 2013, 3751 ran on a fourth trip to the San Bernardino Railroad Days Festival.

In May 2015, 3751 made an appearance at Fullerton Railroad Days 2015 in Fullerton, California, making it the first time since 2008 to appear at this event. From April 30 - May 1, 2016, the loco was on display again and left Fullerton 2 hours late due to traffic. From May 6–7, 2017, she was on display yet again for the last time for a few years as she went into a 3-4 year restoration. She was on display at Union Station's Summer Train Fest on July 15, 2017 before being overhauled. 3751's overhaul was estimated to be completed in 2021, and on August 10 of that same year, No. 3751 was test fired right before the 30th anniversary of the locomotives' first return to steam, as well as the 40th anniversary of the SBRHS.[12] In March-April 2022, No. 3751 was equipped with the new Positive train control (PTC) system.[13][14] Afterwards, on September 24 and 25, 2022, No. 3751 participated in the Amtrak Track Safety community event at the Fullerton Transportation Center.[15]

Surviving sister enginesEdit

  • 3759 is displayed at Locomotive Park in Kingman, Arizona.
  • 3768 is displayed at Great Plains Transportation Museum in Wichita, Kansas.
  • 2903 is displayed at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois.
  • 2912 is displayed at the Pueblo Railway Museum in Pueblo, Colorado.
  • 2913 is displayed at Riverview Park in Fort Madison, Iowa.
  • 2921 is displayed at the Modesto Amtrak Station in Modesto, California.
  • 2925 is displayed at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.
  • 2926 moved from Coronado Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1999 to the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society; then moved again for restoration to operating condition, which was completed in 2021.

Historic designationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Santa Fe Behemoth Moved Pacific RailNews issue 274 September 1986 page 14
  3. ^ Boerio, Larry; Gary Page; Dennis White. "Santa Fe No. 3751 and Fullerton: Interesting Facts" (PDF). Fullerton Model Railroad Historical Society. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
  4. ^ "ATSF 3751 History". SoCalTrains. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Topeka Railroad Days Memories". Discussion. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "RailPictures.Net Photo: ATSF 3751 Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (ATSF) Steam 4-8-4 at Williams, Arizona by Michael Biehn". Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  7. ^ Gold, Scott (April 30, 2010). "Cadillac of steam' to ride the rails again". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  8. ^ Weeks, John (April 8, 2011). "All aboard for a trip back in time". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  9. ^ Buck, Fielding (April 12, 2012). "Take a steam train to LA or back". The Press Enterprise. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Nolan, Michel (April 23, 2013). "San Bernardino to celebrate historic train culture at Railroad Days". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Nolan, Michel (April 10, 2014). "San Bernardino to celebrate Railroad Days". San Bernardino Sun. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society Overhauls Santa Fe 3751". Railfan & Railroad Magazine. August 10, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  13. ^ "LeapTC Hardware Installation Begins". From The Yard. San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society. March 27, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  14. ^ "PTC Screen Install Begins". From The Yard. San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society. April 10, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  15. ^ Keefe, Kevin P. (August 31, 2022). "Santa Fe No. 3751 steams for Fullerton event". Trains. Kalmbach Media. Archived from the original on September 4, 2022. Retrieved September 4, 2022.

External linksEdit