Artwork on wheels. With morning servicing complete, the Central Pacific Jupiter replica gives me not only a dark, smoky plume, but a boiler blow-down as well, as she heads down the east leg of the Promontory wye in preparation for a re-enactment of the Last Spike Ceremony.
Both the Jupiter and her companion, the UP 119 are nothing short of rolling works of art, literally and figuratively. With no extant plans or drawings from either the Schenectady Locomotive Works (in the case of Jupiter) or the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works (in the case of 119), these replicas had to be lovingly re-engineered from historic photos, taken at Promontory and elsewhere. Personnel from O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, CA, literally had to scale each and every part off of enlarged copies of photos, using whatever elements they could as references as to size. They also had access to general locomotive design handbooks from the period, which most certainly helped them confirm what they saw in the photos. In the end, they believe that everything is within 1/4 inch of the size of the originals. Since these locomotives were not designed to run on regulated track, they could include details that would not be appropriate for a tourist railroad, such as oil lamp lighting inside and out, and link & pin couplers. The locomotives also have working crosshead pumps on both sides. A few compromises were made in the name of safety. The locomotives have welded steel boilers instead of riveted, wrought iron. They also have Westinghouse Air Brakes, water glasses (in addition to tri-cocks) and one injector on the fireman's side....primarily because crosshead pumps require the engine to be in motion to put water in the boiler. Obviously, since these engines sit stationary for long periods, they need a means to add water under those conditions.
Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges that the O'Connor Team faced was figuring out what colors to paint the locomotives. Remember, all of the photos of the original engines are black and white. For that task, they turned to Disney Animator (and legendary railfan) Ward Kimball. Kimball not only researched eye-witness descriptions of the locomotives, he also re-created some of the paintings that adorned the tenders and domes. The colors on the Jupiter, pictured here, have actually been changed once, back in 1994, when a written description of her livery at roll-out was found. She was once predominantly red, and as you can see, she's really blue now.
If you happen to visit the Golden Spike National Historical Park.....yes, it is now a Park (vs. a Site), take a few minutes to visit the engine shop when the locomotives are in quarters. The shop is generally closed when the engines are out and about, but once back inside, the crew does generally allow visits.