My name if Kyle Wyatt. I’ve been involved in railroad history and preservation for over 40 years.
I retired as Curator of History & Technology, and Historian, for the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento in early 2018. I am also a past Curator of History for the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.
I am still a consultant in railroad history, preservation, and museums, as I have been for many years. I have worked on a number of national, even international railroad preservation and museum related projects over the years. It has long been my vocation, but also my avocation.
University of California, Davis, Calif.: post-graduate work; 1986-1990, Ph C (ABD);
Major field – United States History;
California and Western American History, Ecological History, History of Technology, Railroad History, Business and Economic History, Agricultural History;
Second field – Latin American History.
University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.: 1970-1974, BA; 1979-1984, MA.
1977-present: Independent history, restoration, industrial archeology, museum and archive consultant.
May 1999-March 2018: Historian, Curator of History & Technology, Curator of Railroad Operations; California State Railroad Museum and Railtown 1897 SHP, Capital District, California Department of Parks & Recreation, Sacramento and Jamestown, California.
Nov. 1990-April 1999: Curator of History, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Nevada Division of Museums, Carson City, Nevada.
June 1977-Oct. 1981; Feb. 1987-Nov. 1990: Restoration Historian and Interpretive Specialist, California State Railroad Museum, California Department of Parks & Recreation.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Inspection of Railroad Car Nahcotta, co-authored with Glenn Guerra; prepared for the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Ilwaco, Washington, November 2015
Thoughts on Preservation and Restoration of Railroad Equipment, a presentation at the International Railway Preservation Conference, Museo Nacional del Ferrocarril, Puebla, Mexico, November 10-11, 2015
Historical Car Assessment for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, four 19th century passenger cars, co-authored with Peter Hansen and Randy Hees, Weatherfield Consulting, LLC; prepared for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission, July 2013
Book review of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, by Richard White, in Railroad History, the publication of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Spring-Summer 2011 (No. 204), pp 84-86.
Keynote speaker at the 141st anniversary “Driving of the Last Spike” celebration of the first Transcontinental Railroad, Golden Spike National Historic Site, Promontory, Utah, May 10, 2010.
“Development of the California State Railroad Museum and its Final Phase: The Railroad Technology Museum at the Historic Southern Pacific Shops”, a paper co-presented with Stephen E. Drew and Catherine A. Taylor at the joint international conference Slow Train Coming: Heritage Railways in the 21st Century organized by the Institute of Railway Studies (University of York and the National Railway Museum) and the Heritage Railway Association at the National Railway Museum, York, England, during September 20 – 23, 2001.
Proceedings published for the Institute of Railway Studies and the Heritage Railway Association by the Vintage Carriage Trust, The Railway Station, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK, 2001.
Reprinted in Japan Railway & Transportation Review, June 2002 (No. 31), pp 4-14.
“Surviving Hot Metal Industry: Knight Foundry; Resurrection of a Surviving Historic American Industrial Process (SHARPs)”, a presentation co-presented with Andy Fahrenwald and Lora Change at the SHARPs in Motion Workshop on Surviving Historic American Industrial Processes organized by The Institute for the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology, of West Virginia University, during April 13-15, 1999.
“Pennsylvania Railroad Practices on the Pacific Coast: Influence and Parallels on the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads in the 19th Century”, a paper presented at the Pennsylvania Railroad Sesquicentennial Symposium, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Pennsylvania, October 12, 1996.
“Early Locomotive Construction on the Pacific Coast, 1859-1872”, a paper presented at the 6th annual Kalmbach Memorial Library Symposium on Railroad History, National Model Railroad Association Convention, Long Beach, California, July 17, 1996.
“Archaic Design, Innovative Design: Pacific Coast Locomotive Construction in the Central Pacific Sacramento Shops Under A. J. Stevens, 1872-1888”, a paper presented at the 25th Annual Society for Industrial Archeology Conference, Sacramento, California, June 1, 1996.
“The Very Image of the Past: Old Photographs and the Restoration of Historic Railroad Equipment”, Journal of the West, April 1994 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 2), pp 42-51.
“British-American and Hispanic-American Merchants and Landowners in Monterey County, California: 1870-1900”, a paper presented at the 31st Annual Conference of the Western History Association, Austin, Texas, October 17, 1991.
Sierra Railway Jamestown Depot Reconstruction Report, jointly produced with Larry Jensen by the Jensen/Wyatt Company. Jamestown, California: Railtown 1897 Docent Association, February 1991.
“Review of the Spring 1988 All-University of California Economic History Conference at Santa Cruz”, The Cliometric Society Newsletter, Fall 1988.
- Heritage Rail Alliance (Association of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums). Member of Board of Directors
- Association of Railway Museums. Past member of Board of Directors
- Tourist Railroad Association. Past member of Board of Directors
- Society for Industrial Archeology. Samuel Knight Chapter
- Knight Foundry Corp. (non-profit preserving a 19th century water powered foundry). Past member of Board of Directors, Past Chairman of Board.
- Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. Pacific Coast Chapter
- Lexington Group in Transportation History
- Bay Area Electric Railway Association (Western Railway Museum)
- Feather River Rail Society (Western Pacific Historical Society)
- Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum
- Northwestern Pacific Historical Society
- Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society
- Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Society. Past editor of Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Society Journal
I have been trying to finish my book entitled, “Ocean Shore Railway; “The line that couldn’t Make Ends Meet” I remember corresponding with you back in the pre-Grammarly days. Ted Wurm, Vernon Sappers, Will Whittaker, Jeff Moreau, and a few others, including the great Railroad resource, Kyle Wyatt, could instantly recall the correct answer regarding anything about railroading in the West. I have enjoyed my years of research. I am still giddy over receiving the revealing photos and documents from the OSRR Salt Lake Garfield and Western correspondence. Congratulations on your selfless devotion to saving large chunks of railroad history. I am I am happy that I found your email. I don’t want to tie you up with questions at this time. I would love to talk with you in the future, especially about the few years I spent in Tuolumne County. Warm wishes, John Schmale