Smaller Transformers for Flat Car Loads

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford


The transformers we've been talking about were pretty massive, even for 1937. I've attached some photos of much smaller transformers that were used at the Pacific Gas & Electric powerhouse in Folsom, California. These would make great freight loads for 40-ton flat cars.

This powerhouse opened in 1895, and was one end of the first successful long distance AC transmission. The other end was 22 miles away in downtown Sacramento. The Folsom powerhouse closed in the second half of the 1950s, no longer needed after the massive Folsom Dam and powerhouse went online. In 1958 the old powerhouse was donated to the California State Parks system. It is not being staffed at this time due to the plague, but IIRC was open several days a week, mostly in summer, subject to staff availability. It is a fascinating survivor of late 19th century technology and well worth a visit if you are in the Sacramento Area.

Here's the Park Service web page with some additional photos, including interior shots: .

Wikipedia also has a page on the powerhouse: .

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

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