Santa Fe 3751 Deconstructed

Santa Fe 3751 graced Southern California with a round trip from Los Angeles to San Bernardino recently.  The Frog photographed her in San Dimas, and then went on a mission to San Bernardino.  Once there, a photo study of the 3751 began.

Steam engines are a fascinating machine to behold – an assemblage of iron, steel, copper, brass, rods, levers, bolts and pins.  It’s one thing to look at everything as being one – a living, breathing machine born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May of 1927.  It’s another to take that machine apart, and look at all of the pieces and fittings, manufacturers and gauges, forged pieces and castings, and wisps of steam and drips of grease.  It takes on a completely different aura when one does that in black and white images – which is what the Frog did.

The 3751 is what is called a Northern – she’s got 8 axles in what is called a 4-8-4 arrangement.  The front two axles are connected by what’s called a “truck”, and they support the front on the locomotive.  The work is done by the next four axles – the big wheels called the “drivers”.  Finally, the last four wheels are on two axles on the trailing truck, which supports the back of the locomotive.

If you’ve never seen, smelled, or heard a steam engine up close, here’s the next best thing to being there – at least visually.  We hope you enjoy your visit.  Here’s the direct link to the gallery:

For more about Santa Fe 3751, check out the people that keep her living and breathing – the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society – at

And, also check out the sponsor of the annual Railroad Days at the San Bernardino station – the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum at  They’ve got a great museum of a different time, and it’s well worth the time to see what was…