Steam “Dummy” Locomotives

After a lifetime career as an accountant I freely admit I am not really au fait with all aspects of old time logging. So, I was NOT surprised that I hadn’t a clue what a Steam “Dummy” loco was.

First here’s the pic that set this blog in motion:

Steam "Dummy" Loco

Steam “Dummy” Loco

The entirety of what I know is in the text that accompanied this pic on Martin Hansen’s Facebook page, “Steam in the Woods.”

“This great photo has so much history and tells such a story!

The location for this photo is Dee, Oregon, just off the Mt Hood Railroad. This old Steam Dummy is #10 for the Mt. Hood Railway. In the photo she is pulling a steam donkey nearly twice her size for the Oregon Lumber Co.

In the early days of Western railroad logging, many outfits picked up used steam “Dummy” locomotives like this one from street railways for use in the woods. Their small size made them easy on the temporary track of the loggers and they could operate easily in either direction without the need of being turned. Also, they were cheap to buy!

The history of this little locomotive is intertwined with the railroads she served.

This little locomotive was built by Baldwin inn 1889 for the Ogden City Railway of Ogden, Utah. This was one of the ventures of David Eccles, who was also the founder of the Mt. Hood RR and The Oregon Lumber Co. She went on to serve 2 other street railroads in Utah before being sold to the Central Railroad Of Oregon out of Union, Oregon. In 1913, she made her way back into Eccles hands in the form of Mt. Hood Railroad #10 as we see here.

This little, but powerful engine would not be retired until 1919. In the mean time, she was quite a sight to see in the woods!”

Thanks Martin.

If anyone has anything to add please let me know.

Skookum – The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad Recently restored Steam Locomotive

Skookum is the world’s only operating 2-4-4-2. Skookum returned to operating service this year after a 15-year overhaul at the Oregon railroad on the former Southern Pacific Tillamook Branch. The 1909 locomotive has an amazing story that starts with its rejection by a Tennessee logging railroad, its acceptance in the Pacific Northwest, and its tragic derailment that left it abandoned in the woods. Enthusiasts saved the locomotive and over more than 60 years moved it to safety and eventual restoration.  Here is a photo of the “Skookum” unloading logs at a mill pond in 1953.

Skookum a 2-4-4-2 Loco

Skookum a 2-4-4-2 Loco

These two pictures which were posted in a Facebook page entitled Logging Railroads of the Pacific Northwest. The first shows her when she was wrecked and the second after her restoration.

The wreck of the Skookum

The wreck of the Skookum

The Skookum after resroration

The Skookum after restoration

On my bucket list? You betcha!

 

Recollections of a trip in 1910 from San Francisco to Willits (by the NWP) to Duffy (by stagecoach) and on to Fort Bragg by the Skunk Train

I have no idea where I got the page that the following text and pics came from. It is the only description of a journey from San Francisco to Willits to Duffy and then to Fort Bragg that I know of.

The picture of the Duffy Mill is new to me. In our website in the section that describes all the places along the Skunk Train Route it says:

Mile 18.1 (from Fort Bragg)– Alpine or Alpine Junction – When Alpine was a thriving community it was the end of the line. Alpine was 12 miles north of Comptche. Stagecoaches came here from Willits via a ridge route to transport passengers. It had a population of 1,200 was said to have been larger than Fort Bragg. The town included a tavern, a school and a post office. A fire in 1919 destroyed the buildings and the town was never rebuilt.

Near Alpine there was a mill with a railroad called the Duffy Lumber Co. Duffey was located 2.25 miles east of Gracy. It was connected by a branch line to the CWR and had a mill. A post office operated at Duffey from 1904 to 1912.”

And the loco? I think it is the Willits “Express”. This 4-4-0 had 57″ drivers, was built in 1883 and weighed 115,000 pounds.

I’ve chopped the page up to make it easier to read:

Intro to page

Intro to page

Text of Letter

Text of Letter

The Willits Express

The Willits Express

Duffey Mill in 1910

Duffey Mill in 1910

Loading Lumber ifrom the banks of the Noyo River (Fort Bragg) in 1910

Loading Lumber ifrom the banks of the Noyo River (Fort Bragg) in 1910

 

The Whyte Classification System for Locomotives

This post is to answer oft asked questions from visitors to our layout (The Mendocino Coast Railroad & Navigation Co.) – how are locomotives classified and who invented the system. Last question first:

The Whyte notation for classifying steam locomotives by wheel arrangement was devised by Frederick Methvan Whyte, and came into use in the early twentieth century following a December 1900 editorial in American Engineer and Railroad Journal.

A related question that I received a while back was, “Is the Whyte system used worldwide?” I hadn’t a clue as to the answer until last week when an old club member, John Skinner, kindly donated a bunch of very useful historical materials into my eager mitts. Amongst the materials was this chart which shows how the classification system works and that not only is there an American system but also a French and German.

Whyte Classification System for Locomotives

Whyte Classification System for Locomotives

Every day something new learned.

The Flying Scotsman is back running

Many moons ago (2012) I wrote a blog, “The Flying Scotsman, The Fastest Train in the World, Heroine of the First Ever British Movie and Me.” In it I said, “The loco still lives. Bought for the nation (England) in April 2004 by the National Railway Museum in York,  she is now part of the National Collection. It was at York when visiting the Museum that I made peace with the Flying Scotsman. When I was visiting she was undergoing a very extensive maintenance and refit. “Undressed” as she was she was still a rare beauty.” I followed this up with another piece in August 2015 in which I broadcast the news that the restoration was nearing completion.

The good news is that she is strutting her stuff anew. Flying Scotsman was very recently running on the East Lancashire Railway. Thousands of spectators lined the route of the East Lancashire Railway to watch the world’s most famous locomotive, Flying Scotsman, under steam. Huge crowds turned out to both ride on and watch the Scotsman which was pulling carriages between Heywood, Bury and Rowenstall stations throughout Saturday and Sunday. Tickets to ride and stand on the staion platforms were completely sold out.

All aboard!!!!!

All aboard!!!!!

Ready to roll

Ready to roll

And for those who like movies ………

Just wish I’d been there. I’ve put a ride on my LIST though.