Central Pacific #1 "Governor Stanford"

Richard Norris & Son, 1862 

Central Pacific's first locomotive, the "Governor Stanford," was rather typical of Norris 4-4-0s of the early 1860s.  The rendition of the "Gov Stanford" on this site is a reconstruction of the locomotive as-built, and shows a machine very different from what the locomotive would become over the course of thirty years of service.

As built, the most noticeable structural difference of the "Governor Stanford" was its extended wagon top boiler.  This boiler type had the steam dome much further forward from the cab than the typical wagon-top boilers more commonly used on 4-4-0s, and the "Gov. Stanford" when re-boilered in the 1870s received a more typical wagon-top boiler which it retained until retirement.  The extended wagon top appears to have been favored by Norris during the early 1860s and appears on several Norris locomotives built at that time for the US Military Railroads.  The "Governor Stanford" did not have a headlight when first put in service, and had cast-iron scrollwork headlight and bell brackets.

The model:

Main references for the 3d model were an 1863 photograph of the "Governor Stanford" shortly after entering service, photographs of the "Governor Stanford" later in its career, and photos of the locomotive as displayed at the California State Railroad Museum.  The 1863 Hart photograph is the most useful of the photos of the Stanford itself, since it is a clear 3/4 front view of the entire locomotive and tender.  It is also the only photo from a useful angle of the locomotive with its original extended-wagon top boiler.  The only issue with the photo is the bright, low light of the setting sun, which washes out details of the engine's paint and finish.  

Also, photographs of several near-identical Norris 4-4-0s of the US Military Railroads were used to fill in a number of details.  These engines were the USMRR's "Col. Beckwith," "Governor Nye," and "Firefly."  Also, Southern Pacific diagrams of the "Gov. Stanford" were used for dimensions, as well as drawings of the locomotive by Ulrich B. Graff from the January 1962 issue of "Railroad Model Craftsman."

The paint scheme (information from Jim Wilke):

Aside from the discovery of green paint on the frame of the "Gov. Stanford" during its restoration at CSRM, no concrete data exists for the colors of the locomotive as built.  Records at CSRM indicate that Central Pacific ordered some quantity of green paint and gold leaf after it was assembled in Sacramento.  Whether this indicates the locomotive was repainted or simply touched up after shipment is unknown.

The colors used on this reconstruction are based on documented Norris factory finishes of the mid to late 1850s, at which time Norris painted engines in red and green.  Norris issued lithographs from the mid-1850s all show variations of a basic theme where locomotives are opulently decorated with sections of the locomotive alternating between red and green.  While the 1863 Hart photograph of the "Gov. Stanford" seems to show an engine less highly decorated than these lithograph engines, the same basic alternating red and green principle is utilized in this reconstruction.  Markings clearly visible in the 1863 photograph are the name on the cab, "CPRR" tender lettering, and stripes on the tender tank.  On the cab panel the name is offset to the lower left corner, perhaps indicating drop shadows extending to the upper right.  The tender in the photograph shows the striping as recreated on the 3d model, along with the CPRR lettering.  The rest of the paint scheme on this reconstruction is an attempt to follow Norris' use of alternating red and green sections, which is shown well on the pilot staves and the tender.  1850s Norris lithographs do not show tenders, so the pattern of red and green on the tender is based on a Pennsylvania Railroad Norris described by 19th Century rail fan CH Caruthers.  This PRR engine, Ten-Wheeler number 153, had a red tender frame and flange with a green tank and trucks.

The finished metal portions of this reconstruction (brass, polished iron, and Russia Iron) are carefully based on what can be determined from the 1863 Hart photograph of the "Gov. Stanford,"  as well as excellent photographs of the USMRR Norris locomotives "Governor Nye" and "Col. Beckwith."  An interesting feature in this regard is the steam dome cover, which is of a profile and style apparently used only by Norris.  The dome cover is in five sections, consisting of (from bottom to top) a brass cornice, Russia Iron center section, another brass cornice (identical to the lower one), Russia Iron for the upper hemisphere, and a brass upper bowl.  The "Gov. Stanford" retains this unique Norris steam dome cover (with a few modifications) to this day.  


This photograph shows the "Gov. Stanford" as it appears today at the California State Railroad Museum at Sacramento, CA.  The locomotive is beautifully restored to its 1890s appearance.  The many changes made to the locomotive over its long career with the Central Pacific include the change to a standard profile wagon top boiler, a new sandbox, new driving wheels, cab, headlight, stack, bell and headlight brackets, smokebox front, cowcatcher, and a tender from a Rogers 4-4-0.


Specifications for "Governor Stanford"

Builder: Richard Norris & Son

C/N: 1040

Date:  1862

Driver diameter:  57 inches

Cylinders: 15x22 inches

Boiler pressure:  100 lbs

Tractive Effort: 7790 lbs

Empty weight:  50,000 lbs

Weight on drivers:  32,000 lbs

Gauge:  56.5 inches (originally built to 5 ft gauge, converted by Norris before delivery to Central Pacific)