• Arrival of 18 and 14

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

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by Mountcastle
Is anyone aware of any images that exist of the arrival of locomotives 18 and 14? Did they arrive in A&A colors or in the paint jobs of their previous lines?
  by BSOR Patarak
Both 18 and 14 arrived wearing the paint of their previous owners. I have a couple of shots of 14 still wearing the Escanaba & Lake Superior on the tender. The engine looks weathered gray with white letters. As for 18, I've only seen pictures of her in Boyne City B&W, taken while still out west. Jeff Mason, Arcade Town Historian put out a book on Arcade that updated a previous history book with updated chapters. One included the A&A and there was a picture of 18 in front of the Arcade shop with Boyne City still on the tender. I hadn't seen that one until I opened the book. Pretty cool. It is available through the Arcade Historical Society, called "Two Hundred Years in Arcade, NY; An Illustrated History"

  by Mountcastle
Now, that's an image I'd like to see. I quickly flipped through that book last time I rode the train in October (it was offered at the gift store across the street from the depot) but I obviously missed the photo of 18 just arrived in Arcade. I'll check it out next time I visit Arcade...which won't be until next Memorial Day Weekend or later (I'm just not a Santa train kind of guy, I'm afraid).

Any insight with regard to what happened at 18's arrival? I imagine there must have been some sort of celebration or 'welcome back steam' party. I just have this image of everyone gathered in the yard; the younger employees all wanting to take a crack at driving her, while veterans, smiling, say to Richard Cartwright, "told you not to scrap all of 'em, Dick. Now look: you done gone and had to buy one from outta state when we coulda just kept No. 6 and had one of our own!" And he might have responded, "shut up, Bud, and drink your beer before it gets warm. Next year I'm buying another one and I'm telling you now so you don't get your panties in a twist over it then."

"But orange and black, Dick? For real? Yikes. I think you need to go on that 'Queer Eye For the Train Guy' show."

"Bud, you're about to star on the 'Black Eye For the Pain-in-the-Ass Guy' show. I didn't hear you kvetching about the orange and black when we painted the 44 tonners, Mary, so what's your gripe now? Drink your beer."
  by jr
My late father took several photos of the 14, when it was parked (cold) on the interchange track at Olean. It had evidently travelled east on the EL, and was about to go north on the PRR. There are about a half-dozen kids climbing all over the engine - unimagimable in today's world. As described by Pat, the paint in these images is rather weathered, and there's no evidence of A&A lettering.

Dad also related a story about one of the "new" steam engines - not sure whether it was about 14 or 18, but I tend to think it was the 14. It seems that the A&A sent Emmett King out to get the engine inspected and ready to ship to Arcade. There may have been others on the road trip as well. They had a great deal of trouble getting the brakes to work prior to shipment. After a lot of trial and error, they had to break down most of the piping, and eventually found a blind washer (effectively a steel plug) inside one of the pipe unions. This was done deliberately by someone who wanted to disable the brakes. The thinking at the time, was that the culprit was aware of the pending sale of the loco, and wanted to either delay or perhaps even kill the sale.

  by Mountcastle
Wow, that's the type of thing that ought to be included in a book, really. I'm hoping that someone around here is writing one and will include juicy, esoteric details like that one.

Ed Lewis's book was great but it was also very dry and not at all in depth. With Lewis, you get the bare-bones facts:

In 1962 President Cartwright and the Board of Directors purchased a steam locomotive to pull passenger excursions, and then they bought another one.

I want a book that says:

In 1962 President R. I. Cartwright informed the Board of Directors that he had been shopping for a steam locomotive in order to begin excursions to supplement the railroad's freight business. He nearly came to blows with one of the directors, S. I. Shoemaker, who was livid at the prospect of the Arcade & Attica turning back the clock, thinking it would make the railroad look foolish to acquire steam locomotives in 1962.

Cartwright pulled the dissenting director aside (into the room that is today the gift shop), backhanded him across the mouth and threatened to ruin his reputation if he refused to lend his support.

"Do you remember that night I caught you riding the new conductor's caboose in the engine house?" Cartwright asked with a determined ferocity in his eyes, "Well, if I don't get your support, everyone on the board and your wife Lorna Mae are going to find out about it today!"

The Board finally came to unanimous agreement (seems Shoemaker wasn't the only director to ride the new conductor's caboose, that night) and Cartwright, engineer Emmett King and the new conductor all travelled to Boyne City to collect the B.C.R.R.'s 1920 Alco Consolidation No. 18.

King and Cartwright fired old number 18 up and put her in forward throttle. As they approached the grade crossing and a stopping school bus, King applied the brakes...to no avail! The brakes were out and the locomotive was on a collision course for a school bus loaded with children and nuns. As King laid on the whistle, the school bus finally pulled ahead, just in time to avoid catastrophe. Unfortunately, the Alfa Romeo in the opposite lane didn't fare as well.

"Somebody sabotaged our engine," declared King.

"Where's that damn conductor?" demanded Cartwright. But the conductor had vanished like a thief in the night, never to be seen or heard from again.

"Don't gimme that look, Bud. Just drink your beer. Now...how do we stop this damn thing?"