Learn all about Dunsmuir’s beloved and recently restored Locomotive No. 1727

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
Railroad enthusiasts and citizens of Dunsmuir came to the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the Dunsmuir 1727 Locomotive on Saturday morning, kicking off the start of Dunsmuir Railroad Days.

Dunsmuir's crown jewel, Locomotive No. 1727 has been completely refurbished and it's ready for train buffs and curious onlookers alike to admire.

The steam locomotive – which was donated to Dunsmuir in 1957 – sits next to Interstate 5 and was dedicated Saturday to restorer and railroad buff Bruce Petty, who died in September of 2019. 

In 1981, Petty and his friend David Perata restored the No. 1727 engine but then it sat unattended until now – 40 years later. 

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An informal committee led by Petty's wife, Cheryl Petty, and a group called Friends of Locomotive No.1727,  raised funds and "train appliances" to again upgrade the locomotive. New fencing around the engine was installed, lighting for night time was added and parts that have disappeared off the engine through the years were replaced. 

43 years of locomotive lore in Dunsmuir

Ron McCloud, local historian and train buff, said a lot of people from out of the area as far away as Southern California, Oregon and Arizona got involved. 

“Back in the day, the Southern Pacific Railroad was very supportive. They brought marching bands, dignitaries, and specialty trains for people to tour during our Railroad days. Over 20,000 people came to see the parade in those days,” McCloud said. 

Council member Juliana Lucchesi and Mayor Matthew Bryan stand alongside Cheryl Petty at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Locomotive #1727 at the Dunsmuir Park.   The engine was dedicated to Petty's husband Bruce Petty who restored the historic monument 40 years ago.

City councilor Juliana Lucchesi said, “1727 was in disrepair and no longer attractive. But now, it is a big image for the local railroad culture and Dunsmuir's heritage.” 

“Dunsmuir was founded by the railroad,” said Mayor Matthew Bryan.

Bruce Petty was a rail fan and "a train god." He wrote books and collected train parts during his travels to train yards. He was also a modeler and created prototypes for toy companies. He worked in the aerospace industry and for NASA. He, along with Ron McCloud, founded the Dunsmuir and Cedar Flats Model Railroad Club. Their model train exhibit can be seen at the Dunsmuir City Council building. 

The continued "gifts" from railroad enthusiasts, Dunsmuir citizens and assistance from Union Pacific Railroad will help provide upgrades to the locomotive, landscaping the area and adding improvements like a working semaphore signal and removing surrounding power poles. 

Cheryl Petty said, “15,000 people pass by here each day bringing us prosperity. It is unbelievable how some men are into helping rebuild this site. We will endure just like this engine. My husband would be so happy today."

Railroad enthusiasts and citizens of Dunsmuir came to the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the Dunsmuir 1727 Locomotive on Saturday morning, kicking off the start of Dunsmuir Railroad Days.