The Southern Pacific Railroad Locomotive 2718 is a steam powered locomotive that was built by Baldwin Consolidated in 1904. It was donated to Modoc County in 1956. This locomotive can be viewed 24 hours a day, since it is parked outside of the Modoc County Historical Museum.
This particular locomotive was utilized on the Alturas, California to Reno, Nevada route. The railroad was chartered as N.C.O. (Nevada, California, Oregon) in 1884. It was first established in Alturas in 1908 reaching Lakeview by 1912. The railroad and Alturas have an extensive symbiotic relationship from its inception to the day that Alturas was terminated as a home terminal on January 17, 1972, which was a devastating blow to the city as a large percentage of the population was forced to relocate to Klamath Falls, Oregon. Every business in town interacted with the railroad, whether by the influx of tourists or business travelers when the Southern Pacific offered a passenger service from 1927 to 1938. Even railroad workers who made their home base in Alturas, or stayed in one of the hotels made on impact on the town. The third floor of the Niles Hotel offered dorm style living for the railroad workers for decades. Before and during the time of passenger rails, the Southern Pacific and N.C.O. offered livestock shipment from 1908 to 1972, which provided most of its revenue. This was an option for the ranchers throughout the region to get their livestock to markets and sustained a way of life followed since the pioneers first arrived to this region.
Locomotive 2718 is one of the few locomotives that was returned to its original location of usage in Alturas. There are family members of conductors who often come to see the steam engine and the collaborating exhibits located at the Modoc County Historical Museum.