McCloud River 2-8-2 No. 19

Builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, Penn.
Built:April 1915
Serial Number:#42000
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-2 Mikado
Driver Diameter:48″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke:20″ x 28″
Boiler Pressure:180 psi
Pulling Power:36,680 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight:90 tons (engine) 55 tons (tender)
Length:57′ 3″ (wheelbase only)
Fuel:Oil (converted from coal)
Status:In shop being rebuilt for operation

A 1915 product of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, this superheated 2-8-2 was constructed as No. 4 for the Caddo & Choctaw logging railroad in Arkansas. It was the 42,000th locomotive built by Baldwin, and was rolled out of the shop on April 9th wearing a coat of olive green paint on its wheels, tender, domes, pilot and cab. This handsome 90-ton Mikado also had a planished iron boiler jacket, black smoke box and firebox, and was decorated with gold lettering and striping. Its cab sides carried the name R.L. Rowan for Rufus Lee Rowan, an engineer on the Caddo & Choctaw.

The C&C sold No. 4 to the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company, where it operated in Pachuca, Mexico. a silver mining region northeast of Mexico City. The R.L. Rowan was repainted black and re-lettered for the Cia de Real del Monte y Pachuca as its No. 105. Around the time that the engine was sent to Mexico, it was apparently converted to burn oil instead of coal, with this conversion possibly even happening prior to leaving Arkansas. After a four-year career in Mexico, the No. 105 was again sold to the McCloud River Railroad in northern California, which renumbered it to No. 19. The engine worked in regular service at McCloud until purchased by the Yreka Western three decades later. While owned by YW, No. 19 was leased for summertime excursion service in Oregon. During a hiatus in Oregon, it famously appeared in the 1972 feature film The Emperor of the North and the 1986 movie Stand By Me.

After returning to Yreka in 1988, the No. 19 was again overhauled and ran in intermittent excursion service on YW until operations dwindled and ceased altogether in 2008. As a valuable financial asset, the 2-8-2 was caught-up in a series of lawsuits, and stored at Yreka until a 2016 sheriff’s sale. That legal action permitted No. 19’s title to be cleared, creditors paid and a sale to Jerry Jacobson. No. 19 was shipped across the country via railroad flatcar, and arrived at AoSR in 2017. Crews are currently replacing portions of the engine’s firebox in preparation for a return to operation.