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″
Fuel: Coal
Class: G-7s
Status: Non-Operational

 

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.