Southern Pacific #18 in Laws
Southern Pacific #18, also known as the “Slim Princess”, is an oil-fired 4-6-0 “Ten-Wheeler” narrow gauge locomotive built by Baldwin in 1911. In 2017, the SP 18 was restored to operating condition and has traveled to several railroads and museums. In the spring of 2023, the SP 18 was moved to Laws Railroad Museum in CA for maintenance and public events.
The Laws Railroad Museum Historic Site features several a number of structures including a depot, water tower, turntable, and other buildings. Many of the buildings are authentic Southern Pacific narrow gauge buildings. Sister locomotive 4-6-0 SP #9 is also on display in the yard.
On March 23-24, Lerro Photography sponsored a two-day photo charter with the Southern Pacific 18. During the photo shoot, the SP 18 posed and performed short runbys throughout the museum property. We used a mix of different freight cars as well as a combine coach. In addition to the train, we had a number of reenactors, two different Ford Model A’s as well as a real working cowgirl who brought her two horses. As an added bonus, the crew and museum staff worked very hard and were able to move sister engine SP #9 on the siding on Thursday and then next to the water tower on Friday.
The weather really cooperated for us during the photo shoot. With near-perfect sunshine each day, we were able to get great pictures of the Slim Princess all over the yard in great lighting. Even though the temperature dropped into the low 30s a night, we were able to set up several different scenes each night.
The museum plans to put nearly a mile of track back into service in the next year or so. Once the track is back in service, we’ll set up another photo shoot at the Laws museum.