York #17 and Leviathan #63 Steam Locomotives; Reenactment of Transcontinental Railroad Golden Spike Ceremony, right here in York County

East Shakes Hands with West at Laying Last Rail (Andrew J. Russell’s May 10th, 1869 Photograph celebrating the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Point, Utah; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

East Shakes Hands with West at Laying Last Rail (Andrew J. Russell’s May 10th, 1869 Photograph celebrating the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Point, Utah; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

In November, Leviathan Week at Steam Into History will feature TWO 1860s era replica Steam Locomotives rambling on the tracks adjacent to the York County Rail Trail in Southern York County.  On May 10th, 1869, the Union Pacific Railroad building from the East, linked up with the Central Pacific Railroad, building from the West, at Promontory Point, Utah.  The driving of the Golden Spike marked the completion of the first of five transcontinental railroads built in the 19th century.

The TWO 1860s era replica Steam Locomotives, York #17 and Leviathan #63, are nearly identical to the two locomotives shown in the photograph taken May 10th, 1869.  Continue reading for details about these locomotives and discover all the reenactments planned during Leviathan Week at Steam Into History.

Yesterday my installment of Railcar Gold, included The Gazette article about the transcontinental railroad completion.  That article appeared in the May 11th, 1869 issue of the local York newspaper.  I found it interesting that: “Arrangements had been made by the Western Union Telegraph Company so that each stroke of the hammer on the last spike driven should be reported simultaneously in New York and San Francisco by telegraph.”

Several of my past posts are related to Steam Into History; their links follow:

 

 

By the time of the Civil War and for decades afterward, the 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive was, by a wide margin, the most common engine used on railroads throughout the United States.  A combined total of more than 25,000 locomotives of the 4-4-0 type were produced by many engine builders in the United States.

York #17 Steam Locomotive rambling on the tracks adjacent to the York County Rail Trail (S. H. Smith Photo, 2013)

York #17 Steam Locomotive rambling on the tracks adjacent to the York County Rail Trail (S. H. Smith Photo, 2013)

Look at this view of the York #17; a photo that I captured while walking on the Rail Trail.  The 4-4-0 designation is a classification notation for steam locomotives.  4-4-0 represents the arrangement of 4-leading wheels, 4-powered and coupled driving wheels, and no trailing wheels.

Steam Into History’s York #17, which commenced operating in Southern York County during June 2013, is a replica of a Rogers 4-4-0 Steam Locomotive that would have been built in the 1860s era.  Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works were based in Paterson, New Jersey.  This company built more than six thousand steam locomotives for railroads not only in the United States but also around the world.

Dave Kloke completed build of the York #17 for Steam Into History earlier in 2013.  The York #17 is a sister to Dave Kloke’s first steam locomotive built; the Leviathan #63.  Dave Kloke is presently in the process of building a historically accurate replica of the Lincoln Funeral Train.

Leviathan Week at Steam Into History is planned for the week of November 10; see the Steam Into History web site to confirm dates.  With both York #17 and Leviathan #63 Steam Locomotives “you will have the opportunity to relive the Great Civil War Locomotive Chase, a reenactment of Promontory Summit and the recreation of that famous Mathew Brady photo at Hanover Junction.”

Exactly one year before the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law on July 1st, 1862.  The act authorized the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad to build the first transcontinental railroad.

The Union Pacific laid track westward from a point near Omaha, Nebraska.  The Central Pacific laid track eastward from Sacramento, California. On May 10th, 1869 the tracks were joined at Promontory Point, Utah.

Steam Locomotives on the May 10th, 1869 Photograph

Left Side of Photograph

Central Pacific Engine #60, named Jupiter.  This is a 4-4-0 steam locomotive built by the Schenectady Locomotive Works of New York.  Like all west coast engines prior to the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the engine was put on a ship and sailed from the east coast to San Francisco, California.

Right Side of Photograph

Union Pacific Engine #119.  This is a 4-4-0 steam locomotive built by Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey.

The Central Pacific Railroad had an engine named the Leviathan #63.  Thus in the reenactment of the transcontinental railroad golden spike ceremony, here in York County, I would think that the Leviathan #63 would take on the part of the “west coast engine.”  Leaving the York #17 taking on the part of the “east coast engine.”

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

About Stephen H. Smith

Stephen H. Smith is a design engineer who worked at York International Corp. for 33 years before retiring several years ago to research and write books full time; his second career. The initial emphasis was on family history when he won a national award during 2002 for his first book “Barshingers in America." Positive feedback and that award were influential in his decision to retire early from engineering and start a retirement career.
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