McCloud River Railroad : Passenger Operations: Excursion Photos

Steam Locomotive #25:
Labor Day 1997

The success of the Trains Unlimited Tours excursion with the former McCloud River #19 in 1994 graphically illustrated the allure the McCloud railroad still had for passenger operations, which prompted the McCloud Railway Company to launch its own excursion operations. In January 1995 the railroad signed an agreement with the Great Western Railway Museum to acquire the #25, and restoration work started shortly afterwards. The locomotive wasn't ready in time for several announced "first runs" through much of 1997, but continued work by the McCloud shop finally returned the #25 to operation in late summer 1997. The #25 completed a test run in late August when it successfully pulled one of the SD38s up to the Signal Butte switchback, and despite some hot bearing issues was deemed ready to again start handling passenger trains.

The McCloud Railway planned an ambitious weekend of excursions to mark the #25's return to service. On Saturday, 30 August, the #25 powered a train consisting of an open air flatcar and two dinner train cars from McCloud east to Hambone and back, and then that night the locomotive helped power the regularly scheduled Shasta Sunset Dinner Train. The following day the #25 took a passenger flat and one dinner train car on a round trip to Burney. On the final day of the weekend the #25 took the three passenger flats to Mt. Shasta City, where it ran a series of short trips up to Big Canyon through the day before returning back to McCloud. The return trip to McCloud included caboose #102, which had been left in Mt. Shasta earlier in the week and had been used as a gift shop and ticket counter for the Monday excursions.

The #25 performed well other than some persistent bearing issues, which were kept in check by the frequent use of an Alemite greasing gun provided by George Lavacot. The #37 tagged along for all of the trips except for the Monday excursions, pushing the fire car #1711 to fill the #25's tender on the Hambone and Burney trips as well as providing additional power and dynamic brakes on the steeper parts of the railroad. All photos on this page are by and courtesy of Martin Hansen, who was on hand at the invitation of the railroad to help out with the trips.

The #37 pushing the train near Car A on the Saturday morning excursion.

Engineer Malen Johnson posing with the #25 during the service and photo stop at Hambone.

The Sunday trip during a photo run-by at Curtis.

Another photo run-by, this time at Lake Britton.

One last photo from the Sunday trip to Burney.