The “Caroline,” a replica 1880s prairie-style steam engine, returned to the Santa Margarita Ranch this week just in time for the Sunset Savor the Central Coast Main Event this weekend. The engine has spent the last two years getting a major overhaul by the same people who maintain Disney’s railroad equipment.
The “Caroline” is named for owner Rob Rossi’s granddaughter and is the favorite engine for the ranch’s Pacific Coast Railroad that runs along a 2-mile narrow-gauge loop on the property.
The engine was built in 1968 for the AstroWorld theme park in Houston. Rossi purchased it in 2006 and brought it to the ranch.
Organizers hope to have the train up and running in time to give rides at this weekend’s Savor festivities. Here, Jeff Tolan installs the pilot (also called the “cow catcher”) on the front of the engine Thursday at the Santa Margarita Ranch.