The Virginia & Truckee No. 21 (J.W. Bowker) is a 2-4-0 steam locomotive, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1875 for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad and named after Virginia & Truckee's master mechanic John William Bowker. However, in 1876, John Bowker was fired for drunken, disorderly conduct. Four months after the engine arrived, it was renamed "Mexico".

The locomotive was assigned as a switcher in Virginia City and around the Comstock Mines. In 1896, the engine was sold to the Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company in Truckee, California, and renumbered #3. In 1917, the locomotive was retired and stored in the Hobart Mills engine house for twenty years.

Having been let out, she was donated to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Inc. and was restored to her original identity as V&T #21.

Today, No. 21 is on static display at the California State Railroad Museum, and restored to her 1880's-1890's appearance.


  • It is the sole Baldwin 2-4-0 left in existence.
  • The locomotive was featured in many films such as "Union Pacific" (1939), "Rock Island Trail" (1950), and "Wild Wild West" (1999) as the Jupiter.
  • Between 1939 and 1940, the engine was present at the New York's World's Fair.
  • It last operated in 1953, when the J. W. Bowker has been on display at the museum since 1976.

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