About the Pacific Coast Chapter

Formed in 1937 as the third Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, the Chapter’s founders immediately began gathering historical locomotives and cars for their ultimate goal of a museum celebrating railroading in the West. The first acquisition, that year, was the Virginia & Truckee Railroad’s locomotive No. 21, J.W. Bowker.

Over the years, the Chapter collected more than 40 rare locomotives and cars, both passenger and freight. Beginning in 1969, these were donated to the State of California, Department of Parks & Recreation, to form the core collection for the California State Railroad Museum, located in Sacramento, California.

The Chapter had also acquired an extensive collection of San Francisco cable cars. In 1965, the Chapter began working with the City to develop a museum in the venerable cable car powerhouse, where The San Francisco Cable Car Museum of cars and artifacts are housed today.

The Chapter maintains an extensive archival collection of photographs, negatives, and other railroad memorabilia.

Our mission is to preserve and disseminate railroad history to members and the public. We do this through public railroad history programs and our publication, The Western Railroader.


© 2006 Pacific Coast Chapter | Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.