In May of 1927, the Santa Fe Railway took delivery of Engine 3751 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia (with the builder's number 60004). This was Santa Fe's first 4-8-4 engine (this meant that the locomotive had 4 small pilot or leading wheels followed by 8 large driving wheels and then 4 more small trailing wheels). Engine 3751 is the oldest surviving locomotive of its type in the world.
Engine 3751 was initially designed as a coal burner and in 1936 it was converted to oil at the San Bernardino Shops of Santa Fe. The highest recorded speed of this locomotive was 103 miles per hour.
It pulled the last steam powered passenger train in 1953 and was officially retired four years later when it was donated to the City of San Bernardino. The City then put it on static display at Viaduct Park, located at 2nd Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue.
Engine 3751 at Viaduct Park, March 25,1959
(Lloyd Neal Collection)
In the mid 1980's, Engine 3751 was sold to the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) for one dollar with the understanding that the engine be restored and operated.
In 1991, Engine 3751 returned to operation as a steam locomotive, pulling a freight train from San Bernardino to Los Angeles.
In 1995, Engine 3751 became the last locomotive that was serviced at Santa Fe's San Bernardino Yards before Santa Fe moved its operation to Kansas.
Over the years, Engine 3751 has been stored in several locations and has participated in several events throughout the country.
On June 12, 2004, Engine 3751 pulled a series of passenger cars from its current storage location in Los Angeles to San Bernardino to participate in the rededication of the fully restored 1918 Santa Fe Depot.