A “Steamy” Affair: No. 2 of the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company

There is nothing like the sound, the sweet sing-song timbre of a steam locomotive whistle.  It is a quiet melody unlike the vulgar roar of a modern diesel.  An antique vibration that hangs in the air like a bit of cool fog surrounded with the clatter of a gleaming brass bell.  

Here in Fort Bragg, the new Skunk Train general manager, brought his very own 45-ton 0-4-OT old No. 2 of the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company to town.  What a doll!  Simply adorable, this darling (yes, to us railroad loving folks, locomotives can be cute) is a petite work horse pulling the Skunk to and fro each weekend trip through mid-September.  This beauty was built in 1908 for use in the Davenport (Santa Cruz County) quarry. Although fifteen years past a century old, she operates perfectly and looks brilliant with no rust spots or wrinkles in sight.

Not to wax poetic…but I will anyway! Unlike modern diesel, steam locomotives are alive: they drink oil, breathe steam and on occasion spits a bit of water. 

Enjoy the moments she is running around, because she’ll be gone before you know it.

LeeAnn Dickson

The 45-ton 0-4-0 Santa Cruz Steamer being delivered to The Skunk Train
The Skunk Train Guests Enjoying a Classic Steam Locomotive Ride!


The link below takes you to Chapman University’s collection of Huel Howser’s videos. This one is from his classic series “California’s Gold” which has inspired many of us to visit the wonderful places in California.

Following the coastal “Redwood Route” as it has since 1885, the Skunk Train takes Huell on an inspiring ride through ageless redwoods and over spectacular mountains. It began as a logging train taking valuable lumber to the Mendocino Coast, and now provides passengers a glimpse of history and scenic beauty.