Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 No. 33

Builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, Penn.
Built:February 1916
Serial Number:#43108
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-0 Consolidation
Driver Diameter:50″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:26″ x 30″
Boiler Pressure:200 psi
Pulling Power:60,484 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:140 tons
Status:Undergoing firebox work

Built in 1916 as Munising, Marquette & Southeastern Railway No. 44, this massive 2-8-0 was specially designed for service on heavy iron ore trains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. These ore trains were operated from the Marquette Iron Range to docks on Lake Superior for shipment by lake boats to lower Great Lakes steel mills. Three identical locomotives were sold to the neighboring Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad, into which the MM&S was eventually merged in 1924. As part of the merger, the engine was relettered and renumbered as LS&I No. 33.

Developing a whopping 72,309 pounds of tractive effort with its rare tender steam booster engine cut-in, this engine and tender had more low-speed pulling power than many larger locomotives. In fact, No. 33 and its sister engines were designed to exacting dimensions to fit within the railroads tight clearances and existing turntables. In other words, Baldwin squeezed in as much locomotive as possible!

After being retired in 1962, No. 33 was purchased in 1968 by Jerry Ballard for use on Ohio’s Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Rebuilt to operating condition by a flock of volunteers (who removed the tender booster and its complicated piping), No. 33 ran on the tourist railroad for many years before finally being parked in need of heavy repairs. In 2003 No. 33 was traded to Jerry Joe Jacobson and moved to the Ohio Central Railroad shop for repairs. The locomotive made its inaugural run on the OC in 2005, and operated occasionally until the railroad was sold in 2008. During the time when the Age of Steam Roundhouse facilities were being constructed, there was no opportunity to repair or operate any of Jerry’s steamers. Repairs to No. 33’s firebox resumed, and this 2-8-0 was returned to steam on November 11, 2018.