#21 J. W. Bowker/Mexico (2-4-0)

J. W. Bowker as delivered.

Drawing by Michael Ames.

 (Right click and select open in
new window for a larger image.)



February 1875


Baldwin Locomotive Works

Serial No

Empty weight 65,000
Weight on drivers 48,000
Tractive effort 9,900
Boiler pressure 130


14x22" / 48 1/4" / 33 tons




California State Railroad Museum


J. W. Bowker at the 1939
 New York World's Fair.

Behind is a Cumberland
Valley RR passenger car.

Photo courtesy of the
J. A. Weyraugh Collection.



February 1875 Built at Baldwin Locomotive Works. Named J. W. Bowker.
1876 Renamed "Mexico"
1896 Sold to Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company, Truckee, California. Renumbered #3.
1917 Retired and stored in the Hobart Mills engine house.
1932 Transferred to Hobart Southern Railroad Co.
July 1937 Presented to Railway and Locomotive Historic Society Inc. for preservation.
April 1939 Acted in the Paramount Pictures movie "Union Pacific", starring Joel McCrea and Barbara Stanwyck.
4 of the V&T locomotives was in this movie, #11, #18, "21 & #22.
1969 The California State Railroad Museum is started.


Builder's Specification
Baldwin Locomotive Works
page 141 of Vol 7.

Specification for One Engines, Class 6/22 C      Nos. 1
For Virginia City and Truckee R. R.                 12/19/1874                                               Drawing No. 1
Gauge of Road, 4 Ft. 8 In.          Play  3/4 In. Pumps, Kind, 2, Brass       Position. R. and L.
Fuel, Wood     Top Chamber, Brass           Bottom Chamber. Brass
Boiler Material,   Iron    chipped & chalked inside & outside            Feed Cook, Two                 Feed Pipes. Iron
    Diam,   40 1/4"      Check,  Brass Case   Check Pipe. Copper
    Plan,  Straight - covered with felt Injectors, Kind, None    Size. ---             Position.  ---
    Domes, No. One, 28"               Position.  Over F, B.     Steam Pipes, ---        Feed Pipes. ---  Overflow.  ---
    Dome Casing, Brass                    Beads.      Iron     Check, ---        Position. ---       Pipe.  ---
    Mud Drum, None    
    Jacket, Russia iron    Bands. Brass    
Safety Valves, 2 B. L. W. Lock, 1 with relief lever    
    Gauge Cocks, No. 3                    Position. Back Sand Box, Size, Round,   27 " Bell on top (from 8/28 D 19)
    Glass Gauge,  With     Body, Iron     Beads.  Iron     Pipe.  Iron
    Surface Cock, None Cab, Ash, painted
    Blow Off Cock,  B. L. W.                Position. Front Pilot, Iron, round bars
    Fire Door,  Round                          "       For Wood     Bumpers, Wood
    Cleaning Plugs,  Brass                            "       Corners    Bu,ping Blocks,  Size. ---     Apart. ---     Hgt. above Rail. ---
Rigid wheel base 6' 6"     Pulling Castings, ---             Cen. above Rail. ---
Total       "     " 13' 8 "     Pushing Shoes, none          Steps. none
Furnace Material, Steel    
    Length, 60"              Width. 34 "            Depth. 38 "    
    Chamber, None Truck, Plan, 2 Whl, Swing bolster & rad. bar
    Hollow Stays, None     Wheels, Kind, Plate, b. t.     Diam.  24"    Taylor's
    Crown Bars,   Regular      Bolts, 7/8"  Taper head     Journals, Diam., 4"             Length. 6"
    Fire Brick, None     Wheels Covers, None
    Stay bolts 4" cen. to cen.    
Tubes, Material, Iron Copper rings, f. b. end    
    Number, 122         Diam.  1 3/4"           Length.  96 1/4" Tender Plan, 8 whl.    Drawing No. None
Steam Dry Pipes, Wrt iron     Frame, Wood
Grates, Plain bars     Bumping Blocks,  Size. ---     Apart. ---     Hgt. above Rail. ---
Ash Pan, Double dampers    Trucks,  Sgr. iron
        Wheels, Kind, Plate b. t.     Diam. 26" Taylor's
        Journals, Diam., 3 "             Length. 6"
Cylinders, Diam., 14"      Stroke  22"     Safety Chains, Single           Beam. ---
    Steam Ports, 13" Long.            1 1/8" Wide.        1" Bridge.     Brakes, Double   - Wood Brass
    Exhaust    ", 13" Long.            2 1/2" Wide.            Tool Boxes, Top                
5" Travel.           5/8" Lap.     1/10" Lead.
    Tank Capacity, 1200 Gallons
    Ecc. Throw, 4"    
    Exhaust, Double    
    Oilers, In Cab    
    Casing, Iron Painted    Covers.    Iron finished Run Board, Wood     Nosing. Brass
    Stm. Chst. Casing, Iron Painted     Beads,    Iron     Lamp Shelf, Wood     Nosing. Brass
    Piston Packing, Spring     Head Light,  23" reflector, to burn Kerosene         Corner ???
        Flag Fixtures, None                                                adams & Co.
    Steam Gauge, Brass     Stand, Brass                        Chicago
Guides, Steel,  two bars               figure Clock, None
Crossheads, Cast iron Bell  Stand, Large, iron   on Sand box
Rock Shafts, Wrt iron Hand Rail, Brass
Engine Frame, Solid      Braces. Bolted in Oil Cups, Rod. B. L. W.     Guides. B. L. W.
Drivers, diam., 48 1/4"   Centre Diam.  43 1/4" Number, 21
    Journals,      8" Long.         Diam. 5 " Name, Brass Plate Letters in Cab Panel J. W. Bowker
    Tires, Flanged, Position. all          Kind. Steel           Size. 2 " x 5 "    
        "     Plain,      "      ---              "      ---                "    --- Mark V. & T. R. R.
    Wrist Pins,  Steel               tires 3/16" taper                                      Lake & Gold (seems to be removed)
    Stub Brasses, Capped Painting, Wine Color, Style 1 (wine color might be striked over)
    Spring Staples, Cast Iron on boiler {a first class 6" Hooker steam fire pump - 2 sections of     (the pump put in was a Knowles No. 6)
    Wheel Covers, Brass pipe 50' each suction hose- 500'  of 2 " carbolized
    Brake, {see extra ord. 275  None hose, with couplings & nozles - iron reel}
    Throttle, Kind,     Balance                Position.   Dome General Finish, K4
         "      as I. E. James, 14 C 3 page 94, second book back
Smk. Stack, Kind, Bonnet                  Diam. Inside Pipe.  14"    
     Hight from Rail,                              Netting.    For wood     





#21 J. W. Bowker was originally named after Virginia & Truckee's master mechanic. When the railroad decided not to name the locomotives after employees or shareholders #21 was renamed Mexico.

#21 J. W. Bowker worked as a switcher in Virginia City and around the Comstock's mines.

The locomotive had a water pump on top of the boiler to be used if there was a fire.

21 has the old style with the handrail stanchions mounted vertically on horizontal supports which extend out from the boiler jacket.

The wheelbase was only 6 feet.

As built:
The cylinder covers were finished iron.
It originally had a "Bonnet" stack with wire nettings all over the top.
The check pipes were copper.
There were no pilot flag holders.
The two pilot-smokebox braces were painted white.
The steam dome collar around the whistle and two safety valves was fluted brass.
The suspension for the pilot truck did not protrude through the pilot deck.
The headlight was specified Crerar, Adams & Co. of Chicago.
The tender wheels were 26-inch diameter.
The lead truck wheels were 24-inch diameters.

Source of information: V&T Locomotives by Stephen Drew, Koenig, Charlie Siebenthal, Dale Darney, Maria Weyraugh.