Coal fired steam locomotives are not outright banned in California

Updated: 3/14/2023


It is claimed by a select few sources that coal fired steam locomotives are banned in California. It was claimed on Union Pacific 4466's wiki page which I have since revised


While there may be truth to that claim the true restrictions are more complex. There has never been an outright ban on coal or solid fuel fired steam locomotive tourist operations in California. Emissions regulations are applicable if a locomotive is to be used commercially, but historic railroads get a low use exemption.

Thanks to the California Air Resources Board for clearing up the misunderstanding.

It is notable that as of 3-14-2024 Emma Nevada is being restored to operation at the Southern California Railroad Museum and will be fired using coal.

Ⓒ 2022-2024 The Steampunk Savant