The Poway Midland Railroad


This railfan’s delight began as a private railroad built by Col. John Porter in the 1960’s. After his passing, the land and railroad were acquired by the City of Poway and is now the main attraction at Old Poway Park. It is operated by the Poway-Midland Railroad Volunteers, Inc.

The steam locomotive was built by Baldwin in 1907 and runs on 42” gauge track. In its first life it was an industrial locomotive working a cement company quarry near Cowell, CA. The loco put in 45 years there before being auctioned in 1952. It was purchased by a man in Vista, CA and rebuilt. In rebuilding, the locomotive was made to look as if it were built in the 1870’s. It was even given fake builder’s plates and serial number, and a false history was created for it.

In 1966 the locomotive was sold to what eventually became the Poway Midland Railroad. In addition to the steam locomotive and wooden coach, the railroad also has an 1894 Los Angeles trolley car, a 1907 San Francisco cable car, a 1950 Fairmount speeder, some 1883 gondolas, and several other pieces of equipment.


I have many detail shots of the locomotive, which I hope will be useful for modelers. These include photos of the cab interior and backhead details, valves and running gear, steam and sand domes, tender details, and the tender’s archbar trucks.

I also have some interior and exterior shots of the passenger coach. And I recently added photos of the three-way stub switch leading to the engine house.

Updated November 5, 2013



Here’s a link to the railroad’s official website:

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