Virginia & Truckee Locomotive No. 18 – Dayton

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Built according to the designs of Central Pacific Railroad Master Mechanic A. J. Stevens, Virginia & Truckee locomotive No. 18, Dayton, and No. 17, Columbus, were the fifth and sixth of twelve locomotives which were constructed at the Central Pacific shops in Sacramento in 1873-74. The V&T locomotives cost $15,249 each. The two arrived in September and October, 1873, and were immediately pressed into freight service.

The Columbus and Dayton were the heaviest V&T locomotives prior to 1901 and usually hauled the local mixed trains. The Dayton also saw frequent snow plow service in winter. A large wedge plow was fastened in front and several other locomotives pushed from behind. Paramount Pictures bought the Dayton in 1938. It appeared in Union Pacific and other major Hollywood films. The Dayton was dressed up as Union Pacific No. 119 and displayed at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Utah from 1970 to 1978.

The State of Nevada purchased the Dayton in 1974 and moved it to Carson City in 1978. In February 1982, the locomotive emerged from restoration, returned to its appearance of 1882. Today, the Dayton is the oldest remaining locomotive constructed by the CP’s Sacramento Shops. Because the Dayton has a wrought iron boiler containing most of its original fabric, the locomotive is not a candidate for restoration to operating condition.

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