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Santa Fe 3751

Santa Fe 3751 is a restored 4-8-4 steam locomotive that was originally owned and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It is located in the Central City East neighborhood of Los Angeles, California and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1927 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, 3751 was Baldwin's and Santa Fe's first 4-8-4. Tests showed that 3751 was 20% more efficient and powerful than Santa Fe's 4-8-2 3700 class steamer, which at the point was the Santa Fe's top of the line steamer. In 1936, the engine was converted to burn oil. Two years later, the locomotive was given a larger tender able to hold 20,000 gallons of water and 7,107 gallons of fuel oil. In 1941, along with other 4-8-4s, 3751 received major upgrades including: 80-inch drive wheels, a new frame, roller bearings all around, and more. That same year, it achieved its highest recorded speed at 103 mph. It continued to be a very reliable work locomotive until 1954 when it pulled the last steam powered passenger train out of San Diego on August 23, where it ran on its last revenue run. Later that year it was officially retired from the roster and placed on display in San Bernardino. In 1981, the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society was formed with intentions of restoring and operating 3751. Four years later, they achieved their goal when 3751 was sold to them for $1 with conditions, the SBRHS must restore and operate the locomotive. In 1986, 3751 was moved from its display to California Steel industries where it was restored for a cost of $1.5 million dollars and operated for the first time in 38 years in 1991. Since then, it has done countless excursions and special trips and gone to many events.

The locomotive is currently owned by the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, the organization that performed the restoration.

In 2000, 3751 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A second locomotive of the same class has also been preserved, AT & SF Locomotive 3759. It too is listed on the NRHP.

In 2008, 3751 ran on the coast line for two excursions. The first, on June 1st, was a public excursion which left 30 minutes late due to a delayed Metrolink train and arrived 4 hours behind schedule, mostly caused by the single-track railroad south of CP Avery, or the Mission Viejo station. However, it was history in the making, as no steam engine traversed the coast line since the American Freedom Train, and many proud Southern California residents turned out to watch. The train was turned at Miramar Wye, 15 miles north of San Diego station. The second excursion was a private car special, passing San Clemente at 9:30 AM. However, a trespasser was struck at CP Avery, delaying all trains up to 3 hours. 3751 passed CP Avery roughly around 9:00 PM. Still, this excursion was enjoyed by many, even catching the eye of railfans as far north as Simi Valley.

In May of 2010, the 3751 returned to the Surf Line for a third excursion pulling 10 Amtrak cars and a few dome cars, attracting large crowds to see it in action. In order to alleviate issues with turning the train, the excursion was split over two days—south to San Diego on May 1st, and north to Los Angeles the following day. This proved successful as 3751 was on time into San Diego the first day and sustained only normal delays northbound, thus proving the excursion the most successful yet. Proceeds from this trip will be used for the annual $50,000 cost of maintaining and storing the locomotive.

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