Kevin’s Komments 07/31/2021

Yard Switchers

One topic that interests me but I haven’t covered yet is the small industrial steam switchers. We’ve looked at gas switchers like the Plymouths (Dupps #1). And we’ve occasionally shown some shop switchers, and a few yard switchers. But, what about the small industrial switchers?… One thing I found in this search is that a lot of these old industrial switchers have been restored for park and scenic RR use. They tend to look like toys right out of the box. Even the static displays have a toy like appearance. And if they’re not on display, they’re rust heaps.

This could be straight out of a 1970’s Tyco box! This Alco 0-4-0T was originally sold to the US Navy in 1918, USN #3. It’s now obviously a static display painted for the Harley Express.

This is a Porter 0-4-0F – the F standing for fireless. In earlier collections, we’ve shown versions of these switchers where you’d fill the boiler with steam and hot water, and they’d run for a few hours off of the steam pressure. These were great in areas where a live flame may be an issue. This one was again owned by the US Navy and switched at the Great Lakes Carbon Corp. It’s listed as H.K. Porter #7319, built in 1941.

…Another Porter 0-4-0F, built for The Texas Company (Texaco) in 1937, listed as #7240.

The Potomac Electric Company owns this Porter 0-4-0F.

Illinois Railway Museum personnel are using their former C&WI crane to unload Union Electric Company #4, an 0-4-0F, onto museum property, 1982.

This is Apache Powder Co. #3, built by Porter (# 6829) in 1923. Again, it’s an 0-4-0F.

Here’s a classic 0-4-0T at the Ohio RR Museum in Worthington. It was built by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1924, #3431. It was sold to Marble Cliff Quarries – significant to us because Marble Cliff bought and operated the Lewisburg quarry. However, best that I can tell, Marble Cliff #1 was never stationed in Lewisburg – it seemed to spend most of its time at the Worthington quarry.

At one point, Vulcan #3431 was being displayed in Columbus. I’m not sure if it’s currently in Columbus or Worthington.

Here’s another loco that looks like it came out of a ‘70s Tyco box.  This Raritan River 0-4-0 once operated at the International Toy Train Museum in Orlando pulling a short tourist train around the grounds.  (So maybe it did come out of toy box!)  The museum is now gone. Number 3 is currently at the Agrirama in Tifton, GA, a Georgia state park showing agricultural history in South Georgia.  But proof that it was not a toy – #3 was built by Porter (Porter #6932) in 1925 for the Raritan River Sand Co.

Solvay Process Works #57 was built by Alco (#64991) in 1923. The 0-4-0T is now at the Old Thresher’s Show in NE and is restored and operational. A short track is in place for exhibiting the engine, with plans for additional track to be laid as funding permits. The engine is used for demonstration purposes during the NEMO Old Thresher’s fair, held the 2nd weekend in September each year.

Fiesta Texas RR #502 was built by Henschel & Sohn (in Germany – # 24086) in 1938. It was brought to the US after WWII and owned by the Midwest Central RR. It was converted to diesel hydraulic and now operates at Six Flags.

Indian Valley #16 was built by Davenport Locomotive Works in 1910 (# 961). It’s now operational at the Erie Canal Town in Rome NY.

This 0-4-0ST was built by the Vulcan Locomotive Works in 1923.  The ST stands for saddle-tank.  (Not sure why a few 0-4-0’s are designated ST when a lot of the 0-4-0Ts appear to be saddle-tankers.)

0-4-0T Santa Cruz Portland Cement #2, built by Porter in 1909, returned to California after a 90 year absence in 2014. The Monterey peninsula can be seen across the bay.

One of San Diego County’s best kept railroad secrets is this little 1907 vintage Baldwin steamer that runs around old Poway Park in Poway, CA the 1st and 3rd weekends of each month.  The train is 42 inch gauge and runs on a half mile long loop of track.

Antelope Western 1, built in 1889, leads the last train of the day back towards the train shed. The crew decided to have some fun and run a double header for their final run of Labor Day weekend. The Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources restored this section of track originally built by the Southern Pacific Coast Railroad in the late 1800s. This narrow gauge railroad once stretched from Alameda to Santa Cruz.

Finally an old industrial switcher that looks the role! Standard Oil #1 on display at the Colorado RR Museum in Golden, 2004.

Geez – Is that the old “Tea Kettle” model from the ‘70s & ‘80s?  The Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad 0-4-0 #3 was built by the H.K. Porter Co. in Pittsburgh, PA in 1927 and used to haul lead and zinc ore in mines at Avalos, Zacetacus, Mexico.

Going from the west to the east – December 7th, 2019 marked the official opening of the Gray Granite Railroad, a small private line located on the Cavanna Family’s farm in central Connecticut. The event, attended by several dozen people, featured cab rides on Jeddo Coal #85. The newly built line is currently several hundred feet long, with additional expansion to come within the next year.

Finally a dated photo! – Same loco, Jeddo Coal #85, passes a farmer on his old Farmall tractor in a ‘50s scene.  The Vulcan Locomotive Works loco looks the same as it does in 2019 above! – Wait a minute, this is a staged photo taken in 2018!

I think I remember seeing this loco near French Lick, IN – Mobile & Gulf RR #11 at the Indiana RR Museum, pic dtd 2004.

This unique 0-4-0 is one of only two self-firing locomotives built in the US – built by Baldwin in 1934.  This 2006 photo is taken in Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts right before the loco is to be restored.

Ten-year-old Andy Glischinski poses in the cab of Iron Horse Central 0-4-0 No. 4 during a night photo session at the Iron Horse Central Railroad Museum, Chisago City, Minnesota, 2007. The engine once worked in Wisconsin for Dresser Trap Rock.

Here’s a better look at #4 pulling a train. #4 is a converted tank engine – that’s a Duluth & Northeastern 2-6-0 tender that is now servicing #4.

This 1934 Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0 was built in Germany for use in a cement company. Imported to the US after WWII it wound up at the Loon Mountain ski area. It is normally only in operation during the winter and is actually used for transportation, taking skiers between the gondola and the quad lift chair. It is seen here during a rare non-winter run.

Restored Carroll Park and Western #117 narrow gauge 0-4-0 rests at the Pine Creek Railroad’s main yard at Allaire State Park, NJ, 2007.

…And, a working shot of a PRR Class A-5S #3895, 1948. It was built by PRR’s Juanita shops in 1924, and retired in 1950. It was probably a yard switcher and not an industrial switcher – but I had to find at least one true working loco pic!

One more working…yard switcher…in lieu of industrial switcher. Pittsburgh Locomotive & Car Works (which later merged into Alco) built this 0-4-0 switcher originally for the CV&T. Sometime after, the Baltimore & Ohio acquired it. B&O #37 was caught by R.D. Patton as it sat in the Wilmington, DE, yard, 1940.

We’ll finish up with this pic of a Doubleheader! American Viscose Company 0-4-0 #6, visiting from nearby Dunkirk, NY, teamed up with Arcade & Attica 2-8-0 #18 on a photographer’s special. The special has just passed through downtown Arcade and crosses the fast-moving Cattaraugus Creek on the way north to Curriers, 2009.

It’s difficult to find pics of the industrial switchers in their work environment.  But there’s a whole lot of modern pics of restored switchers doing scenic railway or museum duty!  The little workhorse engines must be relatively easy to restore and keep running – seems like every park and museum has one…usually in working condition.  …And there’s a whole lot of modern pics of these switchers that I didn’t even get a chance to look at!

Thx,

Kevin

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