Named for an 1800's opera star, the "Emma Nevada" was the pride of Ward and Betty Kimball's backyard Grizzly Flats Railroad.
Locomotive No. 2 was purchased by Ward and Betty Kimball for their Grizzly Flats Railroad in 1938. It arrived in serviceable, but very tired condition. Working in their backyard, the Kimballs and friends transformed the No. 2 into the beautiful “Emma Nevada” you see today. Ward painted the locomotive to resemble the gaily decorated locomotives of the 1870’s (including the paintings on the cab and headlight). The name “Emma Nevada” came from a famous opera star of the late 1800’s. The restored locomotive was fired up in 1942 and was regularly operated by the Kimballs throughout the 1940’s. The Emma was last steamed-up in 1951, when it was side-lined with mechanical issues.
No. 2 was built in 1881 for the Nevada Central Railway, a 94-mile line which ran from Battle Mountain, Nevada (where it connected with the Central Pacific) to Austin, Nevada, the center of the Reese River Mining District. The locomotive was used to haul both freight and passenger trains. In 1881 the Union Pacific purchased control of the Nevada Central and Locomotive No. 2 was named Sidney Dillon after the president of the UP. It was retired in 1938.
Donated by Ward and Betty Kimball