Explore the Wonders of Wolf Tree Train! Discover the natural beauty and fascinating history of the Wolf Tree Turn with the Skunk Train!
The Friendly Train Called "Skunk"
While on the train passengers see some standing water, they also see some very large leafed plants sprouting out of the water. Believe it or not, these plants are known as “Skunk Cabbage”. While they do not normally smell, if disturbed; just like a skunk, they can produce a pungent odor. These plants love wet, moist areas, as do Redwoods and many other flora in the area. This forest is technically a temperate rainforest, with rainfall reaching around 70 inches some years.
Bridges & Trestles
On a couple of these curves, if you were headed West towards Fort Bragg, it would curve you 180 degrees around the side of the mountain until you end up facing the opposite direction you were trying to go!
The Skunk Train is now known to be the “crookedest railroad in the west” and possibly even the entire world now. Many other railroads claimed to be the crookedest, but they no longer exist, therefore it is very likely that the Skunk Train is in fact the crookedest railroad in the world!
Steam Locomotive #45
Steam locomotives are classified by their wheel arrangements in numbers of wheels, in this case 2-8-2. #45 has 2 pilot wheels, 8 driving wheels, then 2 more trailing wheels under the cab, therefore, the classification of 2-8-2.
2-8-2 is often referred to as “Mikado”. In 1897 the Baldwin Locomotive Works were commissioned to build many 2-8-2 locomotives for a Japanese Railway. In 19th Century Japan, the Emperor was often referred to as “Mikado” which is an old-fashioned name for “Emperor of Japan”. #45 was always designed to burn oil for fuel. Originally designed to burn “bunker c” oil, which is a thick slurry of oil that had to be pre-heated to thin it enough to be fired. Today, #45 burns recycled motor oil. #45 operates with a boiler pressure of 170psi, weighs 118 tons, & has a tractive effort of 30,000-foot-pounds.