More on the Snug Harbor 2-6-2, before it reached Oregon

In November of 2001 I received several photos by email, in response to my on-line inquiry about the Snug Harbor Railroad equipment from Charleston (Coos Bay) Oregon, which went to the Alton & Pacific in Humboldt County, CA, and subsequently went to Healdsburg, where it possibly still sits.

Here are several of them, from Jim Smith of Seattle, WA (and London, England), with whom I have lost contact. Along with the photos, he gave me permission to use them.

Here are some of his comments, and those of his uncle, Jim James. Perhaps they will be helpful to someone...


"My great grandfather, Oscar Coffman and his son-in-law, my grandfather, Rodell James, built that train. The two of them built a number of steam locomotives, all by hand in the 30's and 40's.

"The main photo I have of the train refered to as the Snug Harbor Railroad has the following text on the back of the photo:

Bore 3 3/4' Stroke 6'
Pressure to 175#
Drivers 16'
Type 2-6-2
Level Start - approx 11 tons
Tender Cap 200 Gal Oil & Water

Coffman Minature Locomotive Works
Designers and Builders of Pony locomotives
7120 1/2 Canby St
Reseda California

"My grandfather operated this train as a summer amusement ride in the Malibu, CA hills."

Reseda, CA - Shearcut Tool Company (and Coffman Miniature Locomotive works??)

(above) "In the Malibu hills, Summer of 1957. Rody worked me like a slave every weekend" - Jim James, Son of Rodell James

"The Shearcut (Tool?) Co, I believe, was in the complex of buildings where my grandpa, Oscar, had his shop.  I would guess all those old guys were a resource for each other in those days.  All that took place in the Reseda, Sunland and Tujunga area of the San Fernando Valley.

"My dad "made" me work for him, running the train in the Malibu hills at a place called Lake Enchanto in the summer of 1957.  My remembrance is that the layout was a circle/oval, probably less than 100 yards total in circumfrence, next to a somewhat swampy "lake" with rowboats to rent.

"My dad ran the train only on Saturdays and Sundays, from about 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  We got up early (for a 13 year old, 6 a.m. was early), drove from Redondo Beach [pictured below] to the site, and fired up the loco.  I remember he used a tank type vacuum cleaner (all metal in those days) that he had cut in half to make smaller and used the fan to blow air into the firebox to get steam faster."



"[The two photos above] are from Sebald Avenue in Redondo Beach, in the post-war period. My grandparents lived there for at least twenty years. Every so often Grandpa would lay out thirty feet of track and run it out to the end of the driveway! I lived in that house as a toddler and later ended up owning a home a few blocks away as an adult.

"The name Sunland Limited came from the Sunland area of the San Fernando Valley where the train was set up earlier in the 1950s, maybe even the late '40s.  The colors used on the locomotive and tender were orange, yellow, and black, similar to the Southern Pacific colors."

And, according to Jim's mother, Margaret: "My memories are limited, [but].. I believe the train was run at a park named Sunland and it could have been in the Tujunga area before it ran at the park in Malibu. I don't remember the name of the park in Malibu."

My Alton & Pacific Page

The Snug Harbor Equipment at Healdsburg

Any questions - or answers?? Please email me.