Pacific Railroad
Preservation Assoc.

Auxiliary Tender

Auxiliary Tender

Photo by Terry Thompson

Back in the days of steam, railroads placed water and fueling towers along their lines to replenish their locomotives, spaced according to the demands of their trains. We're now well into the third generation of the diesel age, however, and nearly all of these structures have long since been removed. This means that steam locomotives operating out over the country's mainlines have to receive their water and fuel from sources never meant to supply the quantities needed, and it can take many hours for a large locomotive like the 700 to be topped up. To extend the 700's range and help alleviate this problem, the PRPA has acquired and is currently refurbishing an auxiliary tender to carry a supplemental supply of water.


The "aux" tender is of a "Vanderbilt" design with a cylindrical tank for water and a characteristic angled tank for oil. Specifications:

Weight of tender loaded: 326,900 lbs.
Water capacity: 17,000 gallons
Oil capacity: 5,800 gallons (originally, now a storage area)


The tender's service and restoration history is as follows: