• 14 Mystery Solved

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by BSOR Patarak
I have always wondered what the extra levers on the front of 14 were for.


Here is a photo of 14 after it arrived in Arcade. I'd always heard that 14 was used on the E&LS to melt switches prior to the A&A purchasing it. That stands to reason why it would have been in relatively good shape at the time they decided to buy it. I speculated that this extra rigging may have been a flanger, plow or other attachment for snow removal. 14 did arrive with the winter cab and canvases. Looking at the picture though, the connecting rod going up the engineer side doesn't look too heavy duty.

I finally found a good photo of 14 with the plow mounted on the front, so this is indeed what it was for!

E&LS 14 at Wells, Michigan 10/2/1956

You can also see that there is an extra steam line that runs out of the dome and down to the running board. I can not see from this photo where it then goes. This extra line out of the steam dome is where 14's 2nd whistle was hung while on the A&A. (There was another discussion some time ago about the various and multiple whistles used on her). There are some heavy duty chains holding the plow over the front pilot or cow catcher. It was pretty common for steam roads to place plows over the fronts in snowy conditions. I have shots of Erie trains doing this.

In fact, the A&A also did the same, however with out the extra rigging and ability to raise and lower it. Makes me wonder if the E&LS used this front plow like a flanger to clean between the rails also. In that case, you would have to raise it for switches and crossings.

A&A #6 at Arcade in 1945

  by Benjamin Maggi
Those are some great pictures of #14. Great detective work Pat!

If you look at the picture here from the E&LS RR website, you can see the tender coal bin has wooden extensions up to the top of the roof! It may have needed extra coal if it was being used over the road to melt switches.

ALso, the website states that the E&LS rebuilt #18 in 1935. That may amount to its good condition.
  by jgallaway81
That picture clearly shows the No.14 also had both leading axles being spoked. Today one is solid, one spoked. I wonder if one of 14's pony wheels ended up on 18?

If not, it sure is strange that she ended up with two different pony axles.
  by Benjamin Maggi
In the 2nd picture posted above, the first wheel is solid and the second wheel is spoked.
  by jgallaway81
Ben... your picture shows both spoked.
  by Benjamin Maggi
BSOR Patarak wrote:I finally found a good photo of 14 with the plow mounted on the front, so this is indeed what it was for!

E&LS 14 at Wells, Michigan 10/2/1956
Look at PAT's second picture posted. It clearly shows two different pilot wheels. Based on the caption beneath it, it was taken while still on E&LS RR property. I think the pilot wheel changed before we got it. (If I managed this correctly, I "quoted" the picture so it should be in my post too.)
  by jgallaway81
Roger, got what you are saying now.

But... it still begs the question: what happened to her other spoked wheel-set?
  by Benjamin Maggi
Excellent question. The second link I posted mentioned that #14 was rebuilt in 1935. If we could find pictures of her right before and after, it might show that the wheel was swapped during the rebuilding. If that were the case, perhaps it was due to thin flanges, or a cracked spoke, or some other damage.

I will need to check my photo archives of #14 later, but I wonder if both wheels on the engineer's side match or are different. They might not have swapped axles completely. They may have just pulled one wheel and replaced it with another.

Having never notived this detail before, I think that were I to build a model of #14 (and I plan to, someday) I will probably do one of each as well.
  by jgallaway81
Two things.
1) Yes, they are solid disc wheels on both sides. When they first pulled 14 out of the barn a few years back, and I got that shot that ended up on railpictures.net, I took a ton of pictures at the time, so I would have solid photographic material to finish my drawing of 14. That included a few pictures of the engineer's side. The lead axle has definitely been changed out.

2) The axle itself appears to be identical in diameter, but thats hard to ascertain for certain.

3) The replacement wheels are larger in diameter than the original. From the look of this one picture I took, I'd say that they difference is int eh 2.5-3.5 inch range. I base this on the guestimated diameter of the piston rod, which appears to be 80% of the difference