The article "Train Spotting" by Sherry Stern (Weekend Escape, March 23) was excellent coverage of Old Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum. Pictured in the article was ATSF locomotive No. 1010, which has a very interesting history. This locomotive was one of 19 used in the speed record run of the "Coyote Special" from Los Angeles to Chicago on July 9, 1905.
Walter "Death Valley Scotty" Scott had chartered the train, and it turned out to be one of his greatest publicity stunts. The entire nation followed the travel of the "Coyote Special." As the train sped along the 2,265-mile journey, bulletins were flashed from the railroad to the news media. Cheering crowds lined the tracks.
When the train arrived at Chicago's Dearborn Station at 11:45 a.m. July 11, it had covered the entire distance in 44 hours and 54 minutes, breaking the old record by nearly eight hours. The speed record stood, unmatched, for more than 30 years until the advent of diesel locomotives.
This information was extracted from the 1972 book "Death Valley Scotty" by Hank Johnston.