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Ventura County Railway

Ventura County Number 2, commonly referred to as VC2 is a steam locomotive built in 1922.

The Ventura County Railway No. 2 is the Museum’s operating steam engine. During special events and select weekends throughout the year, you can ride a train behind the VC2 and experience the excitement of an operating steam locomotive.

Are you interested in operating a real steam engine? Take advantage of our Run-One Experience – book soon, as spaces fill up quickly.

The VC-2 is expected to be down for an extended rebuild after October 2021.

Learn About VC2 Second Century Overhaul

Updates and activities


Ventura County Railway 2 operated on December 14th and 15th, hauling trains to Santa’s Workshop, which was set up in Carbarn 4. The event was by all accounts very successful.

On the next work weekend, Brian Smith worked on installing a new radio in the locomotive, to replace the old one that had broken during the preceding operating season. Installing a new radio, though, proved to be a complicated task. Almost all modern radios are made so that they have their ground connections connected to the negative polarity terminal. However, the steam-powered turbogenerator on the VC 2 is grounded with positive polarity. Because of this, the radio cannot be directly connected to the locomotive’s power supply, and Brian is currently investigating ways around the grounding problem.


The Ventura County Ry. 2 was fired up again in January to run for the Museum’s Behind the Scenes event on January 18th and 19th. In addition to hauling the normal revenue runs of the mainline trains, the VC 2 did the honors of pulling the Mojave Northern 2 out of the spur where it had sat for many years. Not only was this the first time the MN 2’s wheels turned in two or three decades, but it was probably also the first time in the Museum’s history that a steam locomotive was moved under the power of another steam locomotive.

As mentioned previously, Jeff Lamb recently came into possession of the restoration notes made by past steam crew foreman Bill Garner, which cover the steam crew’s activities from 1976 to 1980. In December, Jeff went through the laborious process of scanning all of the individual sheets of paper into an electronic format. The restoration notes were typed up on a monthly basis starting in March, 1976, and so it seems appropriate to start sharing the restoration notes in the upcoming March issue of the Gazette.

The steam crew congratulates Jeff Lamb on renewing his FRA engineer’s certification, and Dan Parks on renewing his FRA engineer’s written exam, which had come due. The FRA engineer certification process is very thorough, and every three years engineers must renew a written test, an operating check ride, vision and hearing tests, and checks on their driving records. Thanks to Jeff Lamb, Bill Lamb, Brian Smith, Dave Wolven, Randy, Lee, and Dan Parks, Bob Thompson, Ian Bessemer, Justin Legg, Todd Mowrey, Jason Kobeilsky, and Nicolai and Ivan for helping with maintenance and operations in the past few months.

VC2 Photo Gallery