February 2019

US Navy 0-6-0T No. 4

Builder:H. K. Porter – Pittsburgh, Penn.
Built:March 1919
Serial Number:#6369
Wheel Arrangement:0-6-0ST (Side Tank) Switcher
Driver Diameter:46″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:18″ x 24″
Boiler Pressure:180 psi
Pulling Power:25,865 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:64 tons
Weight on Drivers:29 feet
Fuel:Bunker-C Oil
Capacity:Oil – 500 gallons; Water – 1,800 gallons

After the Revolutionary War, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was established on the bank of the East River in New York City. At the yard’s peak during World War II, 75,000 workers helped to repair numerous Atlantic Fleet ships while building such famous battleships as the USS North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri.

Supporting the yard’s operations required immense shipments of raw materials and equipment, mostly by rail. A fleet of switch engines, including 0-6-0T No. 4, was employed move incoming and outgoing cars. A March 1919 product of Pittsburgh’s H.K. Porter Company, No. 4 spent three years with the Navy before being sold to the neighboring Brooklyn East District Terminal Railroad. For the following three decades, the BEDT’s diminutive steamers chuffed around the Brooklyn docks. In fact, the BEDT was 100% steam until Christmas Day, 1963 when the line finally retired its fleet of steam locomotives. Fortunately, all of the BEDT steamers in service at that time were saved and preserved elsewhere.

Following its retirement, No. 13 was sold to George Hart and moved to Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1977, the engine was transferred to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where it was displayed until being deemed surplus to the core collection in 2010. In October of 2011, the Age of Steam Roundhouse took ownership of No. 13 and two former Department of Defense flatcars which were also part of RMoPA’s collection. All three items were shipped to Sugarcreek on highway trucks, arriving on December 12, 2011.

This 0-6-0T locomotive has been repainted and relettered back to its original 1919 appearance as U.S. Navy No. 4 and this Navy veteran now sits proudly in the Roundhouse.

Buffalo Creek & Gauley 2-8-0 No. 13

Builder:American Locomotive Co. – Brooks Works; Dunkirk, N.Y.
Built:January 1920
Serial Number:#61579
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-0 Consolidation
Driver Diameter:56 inches
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:23″ x 28″
Boiler Pressure:185 psi
Pulling Power:43,500 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:99 tons
Weight on Drivers:85.5 tons
Length:71′ 10″


Engine No. 13 began life in 1920 at the Brooks Works of the American Locomotive Company as 2-8-0 No. 6 built for Kelly’s Creek & Northwestern Railroad, a remote lumber hauling line deep in the mountains of West Virginia (see header image). After an unremarkable KC&NW career, No. 6 was sold for scrap to Midwest Steel Corporation. Luckily, the nearby Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad needed additional power and still operated steam, so in 1954 it was purchased and renumbered No. 13. Thanks to this twist of fate, No. 13 embarked on a second career as most steam locomotives were being cut up for scrap. Number 13 and its fellow BC&G steamers pulled a million tons of coal for their owners on the 18.6 miles of track between Dundon and Widen, and each year legions of railfans ventured to West Virginia to see steam’s last gasp.

Finally retired by the BC&G in 1964, No. 13 went through multiple owners, operating infrequently on a few different tourist railroads. In 1993 it was purchased by Jerry Jacobson as back up for engine No. 1551 on Ohio Central Railroad steam trains.

Last steamed in the late 1990’s, No. 13 requires significant running gear work and a complete boiler inspection before operating again. In the meantime, the engine is a popular stop on Age of Steam Roundhouse tours.

Roundhouse Reports

Bob Brode - Age of Steam Builder - Passes

Bob Brode, the general contractor responsible for building the Age of Steam Roundhouse, passed away on January 26, 2019.

Robert Wallis Brode, was born April 18, 1948 in Coshocton, Ohio. He was a 1966 graduate of the Mercersburg Academy and attended The Ohio State University. Bob was an army veteran, and enjoyed playing golf, sport shooting with the guys, and will be remembered for his sharp wit and sense of humor. Bob took solace in visits to the family farm just outside of Newcomerstown. In addition to a daughter, two granddaughters and three sisters, he is survived by his wife of 45 years, Louise, who enjoyed volunteering her time with Bob at the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

Bob retired recently from The W. M. Brode Company in Newcomerstown where he engineered, built and repaired bridges across the United States. The company, founded by his great-grandfather in 1887, was co-owned by Bob and his cousin, George Brode. Bob was a founding director of the Pile Driving Contractors Association and was an active member of numerous professional organizations.

“Bob was a gracious, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and talented man, “ said Bill Strawn, president of the Age of Steam Roundhouse. “I first met him when he visited the Ohio Central Railroad System to help us understand various bridge issues on our railroads. As busy and successful as he was, Bob would always make time to stop in and help us with the myriad of engineering challenges that all railroads face. There is no doubt that his guidance expedited many of our projects, and Bob was highly thought of by all in the industry.” Getting to know Jerry Jacobson, CEO of the Ohio Central, “Bob was later instrumental in the successful construction of the Age of Steam Roundhouse, and remained our steadfast advisor, tour-giver, and beloved friend.”

Bob considered one of his last projects to be his greatest and most fun—building the Age of Steam Roundhouse for Jerry Jacobson in Sugarcreek. After construction was completed, Bob enjoyed giving group tours at the roundhouse and sharing the camaraderie of Age of Steam Roundhouse staff. He loved steam locomotives and shared that passion with other enthusiasts.

Bob was an integral and essential part of the Age of Steam Roundhouse project, during both its construction and during the ensuing years after construction was completed. Without Bob’s expertise, guidance and dedication, this wonderful place would not exist in its current form. Bob’s attention to details ensured everything was “just right,” culminating in a realistic shrine built for steam locomotives. Bob also continued close association with AoSRH with his daily visits to check on “his baby.”

Wanting to gather more information, Bob accompanied roundhouse tours, taking notes about the historic locomotives on display from the more experienced tour guides. He also gathered historic information from AoSRH handouts and other sources, and did his homework well. Louise prepared note cards for Bob’s evening tour guide rehearsals at home, and for his occasional referral during the Saturday roundhouse tours he began conducting. Bob certainly had fun whenever he led a tour, and it showed in his facial expressions and body language.

Bob was a man with traditional “old school” values who was much admired and whose company we greatly enjoyed. He had many friends at the Age of Steam Roundhouse and his presence will be missed by all.