1899 Santa Fe Railroad Steam Locomotive
1899 Original Tank Appearance
Santa Fe 0-4-0 #5 Little Buttercup began life in 1899
as an 0-4-0T built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works as
Santa Fe Terminal #1, for operation on the Santa Fe trackage in San
Francisco’s China Basin.
Built to burn oil, the locomotive carried its water supply in a
large saddle tank which sat directly over the boiler
(hence the 0-4-0 “T” designation.)
After a few years it was renumbered into the Santa Fe system as
In later years it served as the shop switcher at Needles,California
and renumbered 9419 in 1945.
In 1948 the Santa Fe rebuilt the locomotive to an
“old timey” appearance for historical display at the
Chicago Railway Fair.
The saddle tank was removed and a tender was added.
To complete its new appearance, the locomotive received a
large smokestack, headlight, bell, and a colorful paint scheme.
It was named “Buttercup” after an early Santa Fe 4-4-0
steam locomotive from the 1880s.
Chicago Railway Fair - 1948
After the Chicago fair the Santa Fe kept the locomotive for
promotional purposes and occasional special events.
It last operated under steam in the mid 1950s.
Most of the time, it just remained in storage.
In 1986 the Santa Fe presented the locomotive as part of a large
historical collection to the California State Railroad Museum,
with the expectation that the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific
Railroads were about to merge.
In April 2008, CSRM placed the engine on permanent loan
to the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation for eventual
display and use as a demonstration exhibit at the proposed
San Jose Railroad Museum.
Little Buttercup is currently displayed within CTRC’s trolley barn
at the San Jose Historical Museum.
New home within the Trolley Barn