Society News

March 9, 2021

Election of Directors

Posted by: Webmaster

As we enter this new year we are preparing for our next SPNGHS election. In 2021 we will have three Board of Director positions open to members who may wish to fill one of these positions. Our Society is governed by six Director who oversee the daily activities of the Society, as well as the duties of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

All Directors of the Society are voted in by the membership and serve a two-year term, and have voting rights regarding issues of the Society. Some other duties of a Director are to further the goals and future of the Society, to develop and institute educational programs that promote the railroads of our interest, open up communications with other persons and organizations with interests compatible with ours. Directors also update our BYLAWS and other rules of the organization, participate in our annual history conference, assist with the publication the Journal, and attend to other matters relating to the future of our Society, and history and preservation of the railroads of our interest.

You do not need to be a California resident to be on the Board, and as well, you do not even have to be a resident of the United States. Because our Board of Directors and Officers are dispersed over many areas, our main way of communication is through the internet, and through an in-person
Board meeting during our annual conference. In the next issue of the Journal we explain in more detail how you can have your name, or other
person’s names, placed on the ballot for a Director position. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding the election process or the duties of a Director of our Society please feel free contact us.

April 5, 2017

The Slim Princess Reunion

Posted by: Webmaster

Just announced!

The Carson & Colorado Railway and the Laws Railroad Museum are excited to announce the return of Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Locomotive #18 to the only remaining SP narrow gauge track for the “Slim Princess Reunion” September 22-24, 2017 at the Laws Railroad Museum in Bishop Ca.

#18 will operate numerous trips over the track she once called home. Passengers will also have the opportunity to ride behind #18 in caboose #401. The weekend operations will also include Death Valley Rail Car #5.

In addition to regular operations, there will be an exclusive night photo shoot including side by side photos with sister locomotive #9.

There will be a ticket charge for the ride in caboose #401.

Ticket price and additional information will be posted here as soon as it is available.

October 20, 2016


Posted by: Webmaster

Saturday October 15th was a great day for fans of Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge. After six years of hard work by the volunteers of the Carson & Colorado Railway, #18 moved on her own for the first time in 62 years!

The Carson & Colorado Railway group has posted a pair of video of the locomotive under steam on Instagram.

Southern Pacific #18 Under Steam Video 1.

Southern Pacific #18 Under Steam Video 2.

Southern Pacific #18 Full Steam.

Trains Magazine: Southern Pacific No. 18 Steams Again.

#18 has been moved from the previous display location along Highway 395, to a new location on the grounds of the Eastern California Museum in Lone Pine where a display building will be constructed. On special occasions it will be operated there utilizing 1200 feet of track to be built in the future.

June 19, 2014

#9 gets a fresh coat of paint

Posted by: Webmaster

The folks over at the Laws Railroad Museum recently gave #9 a fresh coat of paint. SPNGHS Board member Mike Barlow was on hand to photograph the scene.

Detail Painting

Detail painting.

Fresh Paint

Freshly painted.

Repainted Cab

Repainted Cab Windows



Bishop Historical Society Volunteer Paul Thompson paints lettering on the tender.

Bishop Historical Society Volunteer Paul Thompson paints lettering on the tender.

#9 with Paul Thompson

Another shot of Paul Thompson painting lettering on the tender.

June 6, 2014

2014 Conference – A Great Success!

Posted by: Webmaster

Society Members at MockOur 2014 conference went off without a hitch. Thursday afternoon society members met up at the Pizza Factory in Lone Pine for the meet and greet. Later that evening we reconvened at the Lone Pine Film History Museum for our first round of presentations. Randy Babcock gave a fantastic talk on the progress on locomotive #18 sharing many slides and answering questions about the restoration project. Afterward we were treated to a DVD created by Ed Flemming showing more images and video of the restoration progress.

On Friday, the society met early in the morning for our first field trip to Tinemaha cut and a hike along the grade. The weather made for a nice warm day along the reservoir. After Tinemaha we continued north to Zurich where we drove along the grade south to Beneme, location of the northern end of the post-1928 reservoir realignment. Located here was a wye and a siding up to the site of a mine and quarry in later years. We returned to Zurich for lunch before heading south to Mock. At Mock we explored the remains of the quarry before returning to Lone Pine for the evening programs.

Saturday morning society members met up at the Lone Pine Film History museum before continuing on to Cerro Gordo. Our hosts treated us to a tour of the site and lunch was had in the historic American Hotel. Our society donated $500 to the Friends of Cerro Gordo, along with much welcomed a supply of water and household paper products. Later in the evening we held our annual meeting to attend to society business. Among business of the meeting was the auction of signed watercolor print by John Coker of locomotive #18 at Kearsrage in a custom frame made of siding salvaged from Perlite Car #73. By close, the piece sold for $700 with the proceeds going to fund future society projects. We were also pleased to  announce the winners of our recent election: President: John Friend; Vice President: Dennis Burke; Director at Large: Ellen Grau.

Society Members at Lone Pine Depot

Sunday morning the group met at the Lone Pine depot for a tour by its current owner. Nature was less than cooperative however, and strong winds were in force. After Lone Pine some members took a trip along the ROW of the Jawbone branch to explore the site of Black Rock City from the film Bad Day at Black Rock. From here the conference officially ended.

Look for a more detailed article on the conference in the next issue of the Journal.

December 4, 2013

Announcement: 2014 SPNG Historical Society Conference

Posted by: Webmaster

The 2014 SPNG Historical Society Conference, titled “THE LOWER KEELER BRANCH”, has been scheduled for May 8th to the 11th and will be based in LONE PINE Ca. Mark your calendars!

Just as the title of the conference states, we will be concentrating mainly on the Carson & Colorado/ SPNG railroad and mining activities in the lower part of INYO COUNTY.

We will be doing some things a little different this year.

Rather than evening (as previous years), the meet and greet will be held at 1:PM on Thursday the first day of the conference in Lone Pine. This will give some attendees some personal time in the afternoon and evening to explore Lone Pine and the many attractions in the area such as the Alabama Hills.

For those that do not arrive in time for the meet and greet, SPNGHS staff will be available throughout the afternoon and evening for information and guidance.

Registration will begin on December 14th. Registration forms will be available from the office by contacting us by phone or email.

Once your registration forms are received, you will be mailed out a conformation with current schedule and other information.


First of all SPNGHS members Ellen and Ron Grau will be leading us to some of the locations along the ROW that we have not visited during the past conferences such as Beneme. Very interesting location to visit as you can still observe and walk the wye.

It is confirmed that we will take a day trip to the mines and community of CERRO GORDO. We will have our own personal tour guide and have a box lunch at the location. I was also told they will a open the Hoist House for us.

On another day we will visit the Standard Gauge Depot in Lone Pine and other locations of the standard gauge Jawbone Branch.


Cecile Vargo, Historian and Author of 2 books on Cerro Gordo along with her husband Roger, will give a presentation on the History and current status of Cerro Gordo. Cecile will also have her books for purchase and signing.

Chris Langely, Inyo County Film Commissioner as well as Executive Director of the Lone Pine Film Museum will be conducting a presentation on the “SPNG in the Movies” as well as other movies filmed in Inyo County.
By the way, Chris and his staff are allowing us to use the “Movie Theater” in the museum for our presentations. Talk about class.

We are also honored to have Phil Serpico give us a presentation on the “JAWBONE BRANCH”.
Phil is the Author of several books including “Roads to Riches, the Randsburg Railway and Mining District”, “Jawbone, Sunset on the Lone Pine”, as well as his latest publication, “Tonopah and Tidewater / The Nevada Shortline.”
Phil will have books for sale and signing as well.

Carson & Colorado Railway Vice-President Randy Babcock will also bring us up to date on the progress of the #18 rebuild along with a wonderful power point program.

We will also be having a fund raising raffle. Famed artist John Coker has already donated one of his fantastic SPNG prints that I will be framing in roof lumber from box car #73.

Stay tuned for more information, coming soon!