Lomita Railroad Museum
2137 West 250th Street, Lomita, California 90717

The Great Move of 1967

When Irene Lewis acquired a 1902 M-6 Mogul locomotive, a Southern Pacific tender, and a 1910 Union Pacific caboose, she was faced with the daunting task of moving these treasures to her small suburban neighborhood. These are the details and photos about that move to the Lomita Railroad Museum.

The story of the Great Move of 1967, Lomita Railroad Museum
Southern Pacific Tender loaded on truck

It was a rainy day in the middle of April, 1967. The tender and caboose were loaded onto low-bed trailers at the Harbor City Team track at Lomita Blvd. and Normandie Ave. A ramp was built by blocking up rails from the track to the bed trailer.

Southern Pacific Tender loaded on truck

The rails were laid on their side to eliminate spiking and possible moving or tipping. The wheel flanges tracked in the channel created between the head and foot of the rail.

Southern Pacific Tender delivered to the Lomita Railroad Museum

Unloading the tender was fairly simple. The trailer was backed up in line with the museum track. A ramp was built similar to the one used in loading and the tender was rolled down the ramp and into place on the museum track.

Union Pacific caboose is loaded onto truck

The cars were rolled onto the trailer beds and secured with chain binders. The rails on the trailers were also laid on their sides. The work was slowed considerably due to frequent showers and wet ground equipment.

Union Pacific caboose being secured onto transport

Putting the caboose in place between the museum depot and the neighboring building was a bit more of a problem. The trailer carrying the caboose was spotted at an angle in the street and a ramp was built to a temporary set of rails which were laid on cross rails over the museum track. The caboose was rolled down off the trailer onto temporary rails and chained to them.

Spotting the caboose into place at the Lomita Railroad Museum

Using a cable and winch, the caboose and temporary rails were skidded over the cross rails into place above the museum track. The chain binders were then released and the caboose was jacked up so the temporary rails and cross rails could be removed. The caboose was then jacked down into place on the museum track. Loading, moving and unloading the tender and caboose took about 15 hours in spite of the rain and mud.