FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno may be losing a historical piece of railroad history soon. The Fresno City Council voted on Thursday September 29 to donate Southern Pacific Engine 1238 to the Kingsburg Railroad Dept.
The train engine has been in Roeding Park since 1956 when it was donated by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Over the years it has been fenced off to protect it from vandalism and damage. In their resolution, the City of Fresno says that they have encountered difficulty protecting the engine at its current location.
The Friends of the Historic Kingsburg Depot have requested that Fresno donate Engine 1238 to the Kingsburg Depot, which is an educational facility that benefits visitors from around the San Joaquin Valley. They will be arranging the transportation of the engine to the Kingsburg Depot at no cost to the City of Fresno, and plan on restoring the engine.
The City says that moving the engine will allow more flexibility to use the park space at Roeding Park space for other uses and will relieve the City of a costly maintenance obligation and liability.
One interesting note about Engine 1238 moving to Kingsburg is that they say that the last engineer of that train was from Kingsburg.