Virginia & Truckee Locomotive No. 25

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The first new locomotive purchased by the Virginia & Truckee Railway since its boom days of 1876 was No. 25. Built in 1905 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, No. 25 was acquired for passenger service and replaced the V&T’s 4-4-0 locomotives on the run from Reno to Virginia City. In typical V&T fashion, No. 25 was also used for freight service when needed. It was built as a coal burner but was converted to oil in 1907.

By the mid-1920s, passenger traffic declined on the V&T due to the increase of personal automobiles and the paving of highways that paralleled the V&T route. As a result, the V&T terminated the passenger train and changed to mixed train service in 1924. The larger locomotives, Nos. 26 and 27, carried out most of these chores.

In 1932, the V&T downgraded its original line between Carson City and Virginia City to branch line status. No. 25 then became the regular engine on that line. The engine was used for snowplow work after No. 18 was sold in 1938. No. 25 received its last major overhaul while with the V&T at the Southern Pacific shops in Sparks in 1944.

The railroad sold No. 25 in 1947 to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios to raise money for a larger locomotive, Nevada Copper Belt No. 5, a 2-8-0. No. 25 was purchased by the State of Nevada in 1971 and returned to operating condition by Shortline Enterprises in 1981. It is currently operated for special events.

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