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Number of Images on this Page = 43
A motley collection of some images taken by me on a couple of stopovers enroute to the UK, together with some images sent to me by email correspondents. More recently, these have been augmented during a six week visit to Canada, visiting both the west and east coasts.
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Some comments on these images. On a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco, I chanced upon this small re-established logging line, with this then-derelict Climax waiting around in the yard for restoration. It was the middle of January, and there was no one around, so I wasn't able to get much in the way of detail for this loco.
Since publishing these on the web, four kind correspondents have written to me with information about the place. Here's what John Haskey (johnh@@cisco.com) said (13 Oct 1999):
The three photos (below) were taken outside the engine house of the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad in Felton, CA. Felton is about 75 miles south of San Francisco and about 7.5 miles north of Santa Cruz.
The railroad was founded in the late 1950's on property which had never been logged nor had a railroad. The company also owns the remains of the ex South Pacific Coast, ex Southern Pacific branch line from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz. This line (its remains) is now known as the Santa Cruz, Big Trees, & Pacific (standard gauge) and excursion trains are run during the summer.
The RCBTNGRR currently has three operational engines, a two-truck shay, a three-truck shay, and a two-truck heisler. In addition to the climax you photographed there is an 0-4-2T locomotive undergoing restoration and a two-truck shay waiting for restoration. They own three narrow gauge diesels (two are operational).
Since your photos were taken, the boiler was removed from the climax. It looks very sad today. There is a web site at www.roaringcamprr.com but it is very tourist related and doesn't really have any railfan info. I live in the area and have spent many happy hours there....
Most recently (20020408) Roy Blaine said that he lived about 10 minutes drive from Roaring Camp, and that "they are still there and a lot of fun"! Thanks for that update, Roy! (Roy is also a Hudson and Garratt fan, so I referred him to the R class Hudsons and 60 class Garratts ...)
Derick Cullen writes a postscript on these images, which, in my peevish way, I'll use as a foreword:
The H8 pictured here is at Mt. Clare B&O museum in Baltimore, Md. (was headquarters of B&O mechanical dept.from 1830s). C&O and B&O merged (together with others such as my favorite and lamented Wild Mary) to form CSX corp. Since then there have been a number of "foreign" C&O exhibits in Mt. Clare. This dilutes the B&O ambience IMHO, despite the capitol-like dome over the roundhouse, and the feeling of walking on hallowed ground (here worked Tom Cooper, John Davis, Ross Winans without precedent to create railways as we know them).
Good coverage of both C&O H8 and N&W Class A is in "The World's Greatest Mallets" by Eugene L. Huddleston (C&O Historical Society 1986) IBSN 0-939487-08-X. I bought mine in Washington so don't know about availability in Oz libraries etc. Might be available from C&O HS website shop.
Ol' 'Gene suggested C&O didn't use H8s properly (i.e. not suited for pooled drag service in the hills) and so did not realise full potential. Operational record of Class A seems a whole lot better than H8 despite most nominal specifications in favour of H8. Virginan operated H8 copies effectively. VGN usage parallel to N&W Class A over flat coastal division (Dismal Swamp division!) from Blue Ridge mountains to Newport in southern Va.
In early '86, I visited San Francisco, and heard about a group of people restoring a steam loco. I tracked them down, and visited a group of enthusiastic and very hospitable blokes working on 2472. You can read all about the outcome of their labours at Southern Pacific #2472 Class P-8 4-6-2 locomotive . Current restoration status is recorded at The Golden Gate Railroad Museum News Page . For now, check these "historic" photos!
Southern Pacific #2472 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1921. It is a 4-6-2 Pacific type, having 4 leading wheels, 6 drivers, and 2 trailing wheels. Pacifics such as the #2472 where designed primarily for high-speed passenger train service where sustained high speeds were just as important as pulling capability. Pacifics were used on railroads around the world and could be seen in the rosters of a great many American railroads. Southern Pacific classed the 2472 as a P-8, along with 14 sister engines built from the same Baldwin order. (From the web page )
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