O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

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O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby wigwagfan » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:32 pm

Sad news out of Tigard - Oregon & Northwestern #2, a Baldwin AS-616, is in the process of being scrapped rather than finding a new home at a museum.

The locomotive was sitting in Tigard on a spur off of Hunsiker Road for many years, seemingly ignored. A city dog park installed a few years ago put the locomotive in the spotlight of dog owners, and vandals - as it and a few passenger cars also stored on the spur were sprayed with grafitti, broken into, torched - you name in. Two of the cars, a former Great Northern coach and a Southern Pacific Pullman car were moved to unknown destinations about a year ago, but another coach and the locomotive remained.

Recently, P&W moved in a string of spine cars, and for some reason moved them in behind the AS-616 and the coach. This might have been a glimmer of hope for them to be moved out soon - but instead it was simply to make it easier for the scrappers.

This evening, most of the access doors were removed; the cab saw the light of day for the first time in a long time, and the handrails were strewn about the ballast. Judging from the TV show "boneyard", within a few days this locomotive will be nothing but scrap loaded into a gondola or dump truck and probably taken to be melted down in McMinnville at the steel mill, turned into rebar.

The locomotive was originally purchased by the Pacific Northwest Chapter NHRS, and in the final years of the O&NW was a parts source for the other three AS-616s. Fortunately, the other three locomotives are in museums - in California (two at Portola, one in San Diego). The PNWC ended up selling/donating the unit to the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis, but that museum never transported the locomotive. It's unclear why/how, but shortly all that'll be left of the locomotive are photographs and memories.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photograph as it was taken with a cell phone camera about 5:00 PM this evening.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby AgentSkelly » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:52 pm

My previous employer had their office around the corner from that locomotive. I was wondering about its history along with the passenger coaches that are there.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby westr » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:08 pm

That is sad. I had been holding out hope that it would survive long enough for Portland to get a railroad museum where it could be at least cosmetically restored for static display. The former SP unit would have been a great exhibit. I wonder if any effort was made to find it a new home. It probably could have joined the Portland Terminal Alco at Antique Powerland. At least I made the effort to track it down and get pictures a couple years ago.

AgentSkelly wrote:My previous employer had their office around the corner from that locomotive. I was wondering about its history along with the passenger coaches that are there.


Here is a site with a lot of info on the Oregon & Northwestern. I wondered about the cars myself. I think the coach in GN colors was a GN car, and the red coach was an NP car, but could never find anything on the SPMW Pullman, or who now owned any of them. Will the remaining car be scrapped too?
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby wigwagfan » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:25 pm

I got some more pictures today:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiv ... x?id=50969

The scrapping process is down to the prime mover and frame, and the crew on site said they'd probably wrap the job up tomorrow. A truck was loaded up with carbody parts, radiator and other pieces. Fuel tank was already removed.

It would have been a neat addition to the Powerland stable, but the Pacific Northwest Chapter's old website even stated that its group had little interest in restoring the locomotives (two Alco S-2s and the AS-616). I'm surprised they decided to do a cosmetic restoration of one of the S-2s and move their snow equipment down there...I wonder if they'll get around and move their Davenport switcher and their UP caboose as well.

It seems the restoration/historical groups in Portland have no interest unless it's a big steam locomotive. There's only one truly restored SD-9, the iconic locomotive that defined western Oregon railroading from the mid-1950s until the mid-1990s - and it's restored by a private owner.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby westr » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:31 pm

I emailed Molly Butterworth at the Musuem of Transportation and received a detailed explanation of the situation. In summary: When the Museum of Transportation purchased the locomotive from the PNWC in the mid 90s, Southern Pacific had agreed to move it free of charge on its friction-bearing trucks to St. Louis. It was inspected and was ready to move when UP took over SP and stopped the move due to the friction-bearing trucks. The museum arranged movement on other railroads, and it was again inspected and the move started, but it again fell through. The museum couldn't raise the $30,000-$50,000 to load it onto a flat car and move it that way. The Museum of Transportation offered it to other musuems, and two west coast museums were interested, but couldn't afford to move it. The PNWC almost had a local site for a museum where it could be displayed, but that fell through as well.

I got some pictures of it on Monday:
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/Northwest%20Short%20Lines%20and%20Museums/ONW%202-4.JPG
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/Northwest%20Short%20Lines%20and%20Museums/ONW%202-5.JPG
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/Northwest%20Short%20Lines%20and%20Museums/ONW%202-6.JPG

And, for the record, here it was in 2007:
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/Northwest%20Short%20Lines%20and%20Museums/ONW%202-1.JPG
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/Northwest%20Short%20Lines%20and%20Museums/ONW%202-2.JPG
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/Northwest%20Short%20Lines%20and%20Museums/ONW%202-3.JPG

I wouldn't feel so bad about this if it wasn't such a rare locomotive. It was one of only 7 known AS616s left in America, and was the oldest of them. This Baldwin was only 9 years younger than 4449. Historic diesels certainly aren't as appreciated as steam engines but this isn't just the fault of preservation groups. The general public doesn't appreciate diesels as much as steam, probably because they can't tell the diffecence between a historical diesel and a new diesel, so steam gets the focus because it brings out the people. I suspect that the PNWC's S2 and snowfighting equipment didn't get much effort before because there was nothing to do with them; there was no where to run them or publicly display them, they can't carry passengers, and if restored, they would have been stored on a remote siding where they might have been vandalized and have to be restored again. Now that they are safely on display at Powerland, there's reason to put effort into them.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby jjsatorm » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:46 pm

Not one, but two, museum/quasi railroad historical groups, screwed this up. As a guy who spends lots of time covered with grease from various rare museum locomotives, I am completely outraged by this. It is an affront to the entire railroad preservation community. I spoke with the St Louis guys several years ago about this unit, and got nothing but the same old tired defeatest "we can't do it" attitude that is way too prevalent in many museums. If you're sure you can't do it, then you never will.

Of course, I also cannot fathom how the local NRHS outfit couldn't handle this, for the short distance required, until I consider that it is an NRHS outfit. This answers everything in their regard.

Truly pathetic, and a black day in railroad presevation.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby GN 599 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:54 pm

I dont know how but I forgot this locomotive was parked up there. I saw the two that are in Portola last summer and they arent in much better shape. They arent vandalized but they need help. The stacks are covered and they are stable for now but need paint and tlc. This is why I am not a member of their organization. It doesnt surprise me that this chapter of the NHRS would let this happen. As a locomotive engineer there is nothing that makes me madder than a bunch of arm-chair railroaders that bite off more than they can chew and then say we cant do it. These are the real foamers. Just my 2 cents.
What a long strange trip its been.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby wigwagfan » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:35 pm

My understanding is that the pair at Portola are operational, or at least only need some minor work. The #2 was actually a parts source for the three remaining units when the O&NW was in its final years of operation, so various parts and pieces were missing even before 1984.

IF I were in charge, I would have gutted the inside of its for its parts and donated them to the groups who own the #1, #3 and #4, and cosmetically restored the locomotive and put it on display either at Antique Powerland, or back home in Burns. But that's just me, and frankly I probably am in the "armchair foamer" category. I'm not a member of any of the groups here in Portland but the reasons for that are outside the scope of this particular forum.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby krobar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:13 pm

Where is SMS when you need them. Maybe they could have put her to good use, or at least as a parts source for they're Baldwins.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby Allen Hazen » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:29 am

Krobar--
The picture Wigwagfan posted above shows this locomotive as having friction bearings, so it couldn't have been taken from Oregon to New Jersey on its own wheels (I think most big railroads refuse to handle non-roller-bearing rolling stock). So, supposing SMS ***did*** want to use it as a source for spare parts to keep its fleet of healthier Baldwins going: they might have found that the best way to do this was to have it scrapped and the re-usable parts shipped to them!

(I have no idea of whether this was actually done or not, but it seems reasonable to suppose that a locomotive scrapper would save and re-sell any parts they thought there was still a market for.)
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby wigwagfan » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:36 am

Allen Hazen wrote:The picture Wigwagfan posted above shows this locomotive as having friction bearings, so it couldn't have been taken from Oregon to New Jersey on its own wheels


It would need to be shipped on a heavy-duty flatcar. I don't know if any parts were saved - when I saw the scrappers it appeared they pretty much hauled it all off in little bite sized pieces; no apparent effort to save engine or generator parts. Besides, this particular locomotive had already been sidelined by the O&NW in the late '70s and used as a parts source for #1, #3 and #4 (all of which are still operating for museums in California) so there were probably quite a few valuable parts missing.

I'm surprised that the two museums (Portola, San Diego) didn't send folks up to part out the locomotive for usable parts...but my guess is that there wasn't much usable.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby Mr.S » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:49 am

What a shame about this O & NW RR locomotive.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby krobar » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:47 pm

Hi Allen, Yes the friction bearing trucks would have been a problem. I think SMS moved the AS616s they have by swaping the trucks around to move them to NJ. Of course the other option was move it by HD flatcar. Maybe they had looked at it and figured it wasn't worth the effort. Just wondering if they did that's all.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby GN 599 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:10 pm

wigwagfan wrote:My understanding is that the pair at Portola are operational, or at least only need some minor work. The #2 was actually a parts source for the three remaining units when the O&NW was in its final years of operation, so various parts and pieces were missing even before 1984.

IF I were in charge, I would have gutted the inside of its for its parts and donated them to the groups who own the #1, #3 and #4, and cosmetically restored the locomotive and put it on display either at Antique Powerland, or back home in Burns. But that's just me, and frankly I probably am in the "armchair foamer" category. I'm not a member of any of the groups here in Portland but the reasons for that are outside the scope of this particular forum.


I think that would have been a superb idea. I am a locomotive engineer but an armchair foamer myself as I dont belong to any groups myself either since I am in K Falls. Which raises the next point. The two in Portola are captive there now as they both have friction bearing trucks. They are in need of a cosmetic rest but mechanically they are complete and ran when parked. Those guys seem to know whats going on as they took the right measures when putting them in long term storage. I wish I had some time to give. Same story here in K Falls. We have a DSS4-750 (Weyerhaeuser 101) parked on a track that no longer has a connection to the UPRR. It too was running when stored, stacks are capped and was drained etc. They even spot welded the doors on the long hood shut. It too is a great candidate but not only is stranded has....you guessed it friction bearing trucks.
What a long strange trip its been.
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Re: O&NW 2 (Baldwin AS-616) being scrapped

Postby wigwagfan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:55 pm

GN 599 wrote:Same story here in K Falls. We have a DSS4-750 (Weyerhaeuser 101) parked on a track that no longer has a connection to the UPRR.


Wouldn't it be nice if there was even a very short stretch of the OC&E line still intact to run that locomotive on?!!

If the locomotive is off live rail, you're going to have to truck it no matter what, friction or roller bearing trucks. So it's not really as much of an issue (other than needing the truck a lot longer of a distance, depending on where it's new home will be.) Unfortunately in K Falls there isn't many places to run a locomotive, and you'll need a pretty good draw to attract visitors from a greater distance as you have a pretty small population base there. Something like the Sumpter Valley Railroad in Baker City that has two live, narrow gauge steam locomotives and its proximity to the Sumpter gold mining district.

Hopefully there could be a group to preserve that Weyerhaeuser locomotive...do you know who owns it?
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