My guess is that local train enthusiasts know that the display site for the Southern Pacific 2252, Roseville’s own historic locomotive, has been upgraded twice in the past six months. The changes include improved lighting for the entire display site and the installation of an authentic “steam era” headlight on the engine.
Last month Roseville Electric crews removed the display site’s incandescent bulbs and replaced each with energy efficient LED lights. In addition, the solar panel batteries were replaced. This revised solar powered lighting system provides increased durability and performance, and ensures that the power provided by the sun will illuminate the locomotive well into the evening.
The display site has also benefited from a community donation. David Houston, owner of Daylight Sales in McClellan, CA, presented a vintage headlight to the Roseville Historical Society that was subsequently installed on the SP 2252 late last year. This light, which was initially in service in the same early 1900s era as the 2252, replaces the steam engine’s long missing original headlight.
Although the Historic SP 2252 Steam Locomotive now rests in a prominent location in Downtown Roseville, many will remember the concerted community effort that went into retaining, refurbishing, and relocating the engine. Originally donated to the Roseville community by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1956, the 2252 was displayed at the Placer County Fairgrounds. In 2004, the combined efforts of the Roseville Historical Society, the Community Coalition for the Relocation of the 2252, and the City of Roseville resulted in the transition of the locomotive from the Fairgrounds. The current display site, located at the intersection of Atlantic and Vernon Streets in the Downtown, represents the culmination of the 3+ year campaign designed to re-establish the SP 2252 as a prominent tribute to Roseville’s proud railroad heritage.
Even though the 2252 was relocated over 8 years ago, its importance is still evident through the ongoing efforts to continually maintain, and upgrade, the display. So, don’t forget to check out the improvements the next time you travel past the Mighty 2252.
Bill Aiken works for the City of Roseville, concentrating on downtown revitalization efforts. His blog focuses on Downtown Roseville.