February 2019

Carnegie Steel 0-4-0T Saddletank No. 14

Builder:H. K. Porter – Pittsburgh, Penn.
Built:April 1897
Serial Number:#1726
Wheel Arrangement:0-4-0T
Driver Diameter:31″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:12″ x 16″
Boiler Pressure:165 psi
Pulling Power:11,800 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:23.5 tons

This diminutive locomotive was constructed by Pittsburgh’s H.K. Porter Company in April 1897 as No. 14 for the Carnegie Steel plant in Cochran, Pennsylvania. It was later transferred to U.S. Steel in Duquesne as that mill’s No. 727. It is believed that its small tender was constructed and added to the 0-4-0T during its duties in Duquesne. When retired from active duty, this privately-owned 0-4-0T was displayed at the Station Square complex in downtown Pittsburgh. After an expansion project pushed it out of Station Square, Fred W. Okie, a retired executive with the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, donated this locomotive to the Borough of Sewickley, Pa. Nicknamed Tom Thumb, this tiny engine was enshrined outdoors in Riverfront Park along with its small locomotive tender and a 4-wheel bobber caboose.

Eventually the Borough grew concerned about the safety of children playing on and around the engine, and decide to find a new home for the little switcher. The Borough did not want this railroad rolling stock to be scrapped, and desired for it to be maintained for historical and cultural preservation. Potential buyers had to agree to purchase all of the railroad equipment, with a collateral promise that nothing would be used for scrap material. Several offers were received, and on November 15, 2013 the Age of Steam Roundhouse was announced as the winning bidder.

Only five days later, the 47,000-pound 0-4-0T was lifted from its display track and loaded onto a lowboy trailer, bound for Ohio. This little lokie has been needle-scaled, repainted and is displayed inside the Roundhouse.

Alabama, Tennessee & Northern 2-10-0 No. 401

Builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, Penn.
Serial Number:#60341
Wheel Arrangement:2-10-0 Decapod
Driver Diameter:56″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:24″ x 28″
Boiler Pressure:190 psi
Pulling Power:46,512 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:106 tons
Tender Weight:71 tons
Length:71′ 4″
Fuel: Coal
Capacity:Coal – 12 tons; Water – 7,000 gallons

The Alabama, Tennessee & Northern Railroad was a 220-mile long short line railroad in the state of Alabama. Through various mergers and expansions the railroad eventually reached the port of Mobile in 1928, but AT&N rails never got anywhere close to reaching Tennessee. During this same year the railroad ordered three light 2-10-0 or Decapod-type steam locomotives from Baldwin. Decapods were larger and more powerful than 2-8-0s and smaller 2-8-2s, but spread that increased locomotive weight over five driving axles instead of four. This reduced their axle loading to 19 tons, and allowed AT&N’s 2-10-0s to operate on the lighter rails used by most short lines. Numbered 401 through 403, the engines lugged freight trains for the AT&N under the railroad’s “Lindbergh” (in reference to the previous year’s feat of aviation) fast freight branding, and wore special plates on their headlights proclaiming the service.

Because of World War II’s enormous increase in the volume of rail traffic through the Port of Mobile, the War Production Board authorized the AT&N to purchase diesel locomotives. The AT&N retired all of its steam locomotives by 1946, being one of the first railroads of its size to do so. During that year, #401 was sold to the Georgia Car & Locomotive Company, a dealer in used railroad equipment. On May 13, 1948, the engine was sold to the Woodward Iron Company and renumbered as its No. 41. Woodward’s facilities covered 80,000 acres that were served by a 50-mile in-plant railroad. Number 41 was put to work pulling trains of coal and limestone from outlying company mines and quarries to WIC’s pig iron mills in Woodward, just outside Birmingham, Alabama. Woodward produced merchant pig iron, a material used for casting pipe, iron stoves, farm implements and machinery parts.

Number 41 was in operation at Woodward Iron Company until 1959 when the locomotive was retired from active duty. In 1964 Mid-Continent Railway Museum purchased it and shipped it t their museum in Wisconsin. Plans to rebuild and restore No. 41 never materialized, and the 2-10-0 sat outdoors slowly rusting. After determining that the engine was no longer needed, Mid-Continent put it up for auction in May 2015. Due to the railroad bridge connecting North Freedom to the outside rail network being out of service, moving No. 41 out of North Freedom was an expensive and challenging exercise. As a result there were just two bidders. Jerry Jacobson won the auction, and had No. 41 moved to his Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.

As expected, No. 41 had to be extracted from the property by highway truck. On December 2, 2015, it was hoisted by two mammoth cranes onto a special, articulated, 66-wheel highway trailer for a short (but expensive) move over local highways to a railroad siding some four miles distant. There, the same cranes lifted the 2-10-0 from the trailer and onto a railroad flatcar for shipment via rail to Ohio. Number 41 arrived on December 29, 2015 as our very large Christmas gift, and was safely unloaded. In 2018, this 2-10-0 was repainted, relettered and renumbered back to its original appearance as Alabama, Tennessee & Northern No. 401.

Compressed Air 0-4-0 No. 1

Builder:H.K. Porter – Pittsburgh, Penn.
Built:November 1915
Serial Number:#5731
Wheel Arrangement:0-4-0 3-tank Compressed Air (Pneumatic)
Driver Diameter:36″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:11″ x 18″ high pressure; 22″ x 18″ low pressure
Boiler Pressure:800 psi, reduced to 250 psi (HP cylinder) and 50 psi (LP Cylinder)
Pulling Power:10,000 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:30 tons
Engine Length:22 feet
Engine Length:22 feet
Class:(“Pneumatic – 3 storage tanks”)
Fuel:Compressed Air, pressurized from on-site storage tank

Pittsburgh’s H. K. Porter established a reputation as a builder of rugged, specialized locomotives for small industries and short line railroads. It could custom-build a steam locomotive quickly and efficiently through a system of interchangeable parts—pistons, wheels and boilers in various sizes—that could be combined to suit a customer’s specific requirements. Among Porter’s product offerings were compressed-air locomotives, having cylindrical tanks that stored pressurized air from an external source which was used instead of steam to move the engine. This allowed locomotive use inside enclosed areas without the fumes, heat and sparks associated with burning coal. Porter built more than 400 compressed air locomotives for use in mines, factories, textile mills, refineries, munitions plants, food handlers, sugar cane plantations and even the street railways of New Orleans.

A typical Porter compressed air engine had one storage tank containing 800 – 1200 pounds-per-square-inch air which would pass through reducing valve to depressurize the air down to about 150 psi at the cylinders. Larger air locomotives were “compound” with the high pressure air used to move one cylinder and then exhausted to the other side of the locomotive to move a lower pressure one. Such two-stage engines employed an air reheater between the two piston stages to warm the now cooled compressed air. The reheater was warmed by ambient air drawn through it by using the low pressure exhaust air in an ejector. 800 psi is significantly more pressure than used in typical steam boilers, which rarely exceeded 300 psi. For this reason, air locomotives were constructed with inch-thick steel tanks held together with large rivets, giving them a unique look. A compound loco operating on a sugar plantation could haul 13 carloads of cane seven miles on one charge of compressed air, and saved paying the wages of a fireman and $10 worth of coal during each day of operation.

In 1915, Porter built a large, three-tank, air locomotive for use on a sugar plantation in Camaguey Province in Cuba. It was designated as a class “B-PPP”—the “B” means that it has an 0-4-0 wheel arrangement, “P” stands for “pneumatic” and the three-P symbol “PPP” indicated that the locomotive had three tanks or cylinders containing the compressed air. This particular loco was ordered by Dibert, Bancroft & Ross, a large Louisiana iron foundry that manufactured, among other things, machinery for the processing of sugar from cane. With its first attempt at standardization, during 1915 the company designed, constructed and completely equipped four ingenios azucareros (sugar mills) in Cuba for the Palma Sugar Company, whose principal owner at that time was none other than General Mario G. Menocal, el presidente of Cuba. He nixed the use of old-fashioned, steam-powered machinery of any kind on the ingenio, and ordered that electric motors be used throughout the new sugar processing installation.

On November 6, 1915, No. 1 was placed onto a flatcar at the H.K. Porter shops in Pittsburgh, and went directly to New Orleans where it was loaded aboard a ferry for the sea voyage to Cuba. Delivered to the ingenio on December 16, this was the first compressed air locomotive of its type used anywhere in Cuba. A three-inch pipeline was laid along the seven miles of track out in the cane fields so that this lokie could be recharged whenever it needed a fresh supply of compressed air. For the first time fears of fires consuming contiguous fields of cane were unfounded, as the new compressed air locomotive performed flawlessly with no flying sparks because there was no fire.

This odd-looking machine was repatriated back to the United States sometime after 1921, and during 1935 was working for the New Orleans Sewage & Water Board where it switched freight cars. After being retired, No. 1 was placed on display in Mel Ott Park in Gretna, Louisiana. This compressed air locomotive was acquired by the Louisiana Steam Train Association before being sold to the Age of Steam Roundhouse. It arrived by highway truck at the roundhouse on November 10, 2015, and was plucked from its trailer by our 30-ton capacity shop crane (the heaviest object it has ever lifted) to be set back on the rails. Number 1 won’t be running anytime soon, as our air compressors do not generate enough pressure to make this critter crawl.

Several smaller compressed air locos survive from the mining industry, but No. 1 is believed to be the only standard-gauge compressed air locomotive surviving in the U.S. It is certainly the sole remaining Porter three-tank compressed air locomotive in the United States, if not the world, and is one of the most unique engines in the AoSR collection.

Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 No. 6325

Builder:American Locomotive Co. – Schenectady Works; Schenectady, N.Y.
Built: November 1942
Serial Number:#69631
Wheel Arrangement:4-8-4 Northern
Driver Diameter:73″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:26″ x 30″
Boiler Pressure:250 psi
Pulling Power:59,034 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:202 tons
Capacity:Coal – 16 tons; Water – 14,300 gallons

Constructed in 1942 by American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady Works, Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 No. 6325 hauled both wartime freight and passenger trains between Detroit and Chicago. The smallish Northern Types were well-suited for the GTW’s needs; they were powerful and quick and handled such trains as the Maple Leaf and the International Limited.

In September 1948 this locomotive was chosen to pull President Truman’s re-election campaign special. This assignment would lead to No. 6325’s eventual preservation; in 1959 it was put on outdoor display next to GTW’s depot in Battle Creek, Michigan.

While No. 6325 was set aside for display, some of its sister engines famously continued racking up miles until March 1960 when GTW officially dieselized its freight and passenger trains. One other U-3-b 4-8-4 was saved; No. 6323 is on display at the Illinois Railway Museum.

In Battle Creek, a group of local railroad enthusiasts started a project to rebuild No. 6325 for operation, but enthusiasm and funds waned and by 1992 the 4-8-4 faced possible scrapping. The following year Jerry Jacobson purchased the loco and moved it to Coshocton, Ohio, for safe storage until he had the time and place to begin its rebuilding. That time came six years later, when the Northern was pulled into the Ohio Central’s Morgan Run shops for a complete rebuild. After nearly three years of reconstruction, No. 6325 first steamed under its own power on July 31, 2001.

This 4-8-4 pulled numerous fantrips and photographers’ specials on Ohio Central rails, but in 2005 it was sidelined with a hot driving axle bearing and has not operated since. Number 6325 currently resides in the Age of Steam Roundhouse and is a favorite stop on the Roundhouse Tour.

Canadian National 4-6-0 No. 1551

Builder:Montreal Locomotive Works – Montreal, Quebec
Built:April 1912
Serial Number:#50778
Wheel Arrangement:4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler
Driver Diameter:63″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:22″ x 26″
Boiler Pressure:180 psi
Pulling Power:30,560 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:86.5 tons
Length:63′ 6″
Capacity:Coal – 10 tons; Water – 5,000 gallons

Constructed the same month as the sinking of the Titanic, 4-6-0 No. 1551 rolled out of the Montreal Locomotive Works as Canadian Northern Railway No. 1354 in April of 1912. In 1923, it became the property of the unified Canadian National Railway system after Canadian Northern and a number of other railroads were consolidated into the CN. Number 1354 and its sisters were lightweight locomotives designed to haul both passenger and freight trains, and No. 1354 spent years assigned to the Montreal commuter engine pool. In 1956 this 4-6-0 was renumbered 1551, and ran out its last miles on a branch line in Barrie, Ontario before being retired in 1958.

F. Nelson Blount acquired No. 1551 for his fledgling Steamtown U.S.A. Museum, and after his 1967 death the extensive collection of steamers was moved from Vermont to the museum’s new home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1986, Jerry Jacobson acquired No. 1551 in trade for his Jackson Iron & Steel 0-6-0 No. 3, which originally had been the shop switcher at the Baldwin Locomotive Works (it now operates at Steamtown in Scranton lettered and numbered as BLW No. 26).

Jerry and a small crew set to work on repairing the No. 1551 in Austintown, Ohio, and it first steamed in 1988. At nearly the same time, Jerry closed on the purchase of a 70-mile long, former N&W line between Harmon and Zanesville, which he renamed the Ohio Central Railroad. Almost immediately, Jerry began operating steam tourist passenger trains on the seven-mile trek between Sugar Creek and Baltic. Hundreds of thousands of visitors rode behind No. 1551, and the engine set the stage for Jerry’s steam collection to grow over the following years.

After logging many miles on the OC, No. 1551 was parked in 2003 in need of a number of repairs. Today the “engine that started it all” rests in the Age of Steam Roundhouse, awaiting a trip to the backshop for another overhaul and return to operation.

Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 No. 1293

Builder:Canadian Locomotive Company, Ltd. – Kingston, Ontario
Built:June 1948
Serial Number:#2450
Wheel Arrangement:4-6-2 Pacific
Driver Diameter:70″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:20″ x 28″
Boiler Pressure:250 psi
Pulling Power:34,000 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:117 tons
Length:76′ 4″
Capacity:Coal – 14 tons; Water – 8,000 gallons

The G-5 class of 4-6-2 Pacific type steam locomotives were constructed after World War II to pull passenger and freight trains on the Canadian Pacific Railway’s branch and secondary lines. The G-5’s basic dimensions were patterned after an earlier CP design, but these 102 upgraded 4-6-2s were equipped with the latest improvements, innovations and appliances then available.

Most significant was the use of a front-end throttle in the smokebox section of the boiler for more precise control of the high pressure steam passing into the cylinders. These 4-6-2s employed a slotted dry pipe, eliminating the need for a steam dome atop the boiler. The four-wheel lead truck was equipped with roller bearings, while the two-wheel trailing truck was of a unique design which allowed the axel to slide within the engine’s frame instead of a stand-alone trailing truck frame.

Due to the tough Canadian winters, the G-5’s were also equipped with enclosed “all-weather” cabs. (These were great for keeping crews warm in Winnipeg or Saskatoon, but climb into the cab on a typical Ohio July day and you will quickly feel the downside of these tight, poorly ventilated spaces.

The G-5’s were built by three different manufacturers into 1948, with G-5-d No. 1293 being constructed in June of that year by Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston, Ontario. However new and efficient these Pacifics were, all would be out of work within a decade as dieselization spread across the Dominion. Retired in 1959, No. 1293 was placed in storage with numerous other locomotives waiting their turns to be cut up for scrap metal.

In 1964, No. 1293 was purchased from the CP by F. Nelson Blount, and moved to his Steamtown USA museum in Bellows Falls, Vermont. The 16-year-old 4-6-2 needed only minor repairs to get it under steam again, and soon No. 1293 (relettered Green Mountain RR) was pulling short tourist trains at Steamtown. It also was used to pull the Vermont Bicentennial Train during 1976, and, temporarily renumbered “1881” to appear in the 1979 horror movie Terror Train. In 1984, The engine was moved to the new Steamtown site in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but never operated at that location.

Jerry Jacobson purchased No. 1293 from Steamtown in 1996, and Ohio Central crew rebuilt the engine. It debuted on OC rails in the fall of 1997. Easy to fire and good on coal and water, No. 1293 showed just why CP crewmen loved these little locos. A half-dozen of the G-5 Pacifics still exist, but No. 1293 is the only one which has recently operated. Number 1293 last operated in 2017 and is now due for its Federal Railroad Administration-mandated 15 year boiler inspection.