Three California Western Diesels Wrecked ……. In 1970

The only diesel locomotives that operated along the Redwood Coast belonged to the California Western Railroad (CWR). At the time the diesel roster in the Western Railroader in August 1965 was compiled the CWR had three diesel locomotives – see below.

CWR Diesel roster in August 1965

CWR Diesel roster in August 1965

In 1952 CWR acquired a Baldwin S-12 which was numbered #54.

Website visitor Isaac Kuster wrote and asked if I had any information about a wreck involving CWR diesels #’s 51, 52 and 54. With the aid of club member Chuck Whitlock we were able to offer some modest help to Isaac who managed to dig up the whole story and took some new photographs of what is left of the wreck.

Isaac dug up from the files of the Ukiah Daily Journal the report on the wreck – see below.

CWR Train Wreck 1970-1 as reported in the Ukiah Daily Journal

Train Wreck 1970-1 as reported in the Ukiah Daily Journal

It gets better. Chuck, who as well as being a club member, is an engineer on the Skunk Line told me/Isaac that pieces of #53 and #54 were still lying beside the line where the wreck occurred. According to Chuck they fell off when the NorthWestern Pacific steam crane to salvage the diesels and clear the line. Isaac clambered up the Skunk Line from the Willits side to near the Summit and sure enough the pieces were still there – see his pictures below.

Cab of CWR Diesel Number 53 wrecked in January 1970

Cab of CWR Diesel Number 53 wrecked in January 1970

Cab of CWR Diesel Number 54 wrecked in January 1970

Cab of CWR Diesel Number 54 wrecked in January 1970

Piece of Cab of CWR Diesel Number 53 wrecked in January 1970

Piece of Cab of CWR Diesel Number 53 wrecked in January 1970

Piece of Cab of CWR Diesel Number 54 wrecked in January 1970

Piece of Cab of CWR Diesel Number 54 wrecked in January 1970

Piece of CWR Diesel Number 54 wrecked in January 1970

Piece of CWR Diesel Number 54 wrecked in January 1970

Thank you Isaac – your efforts are much appreciated.