• No. 14: What happened?

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

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by Mountcastle
Does anybody know why A&A #14 was taken out of service?

What, exactly, went wrong with the engine that made them, one day, say, "Oh, dear...that's not good. That's it for 14, I'm afraid; we're going to have to use 18 from now on." And what was so apparently irreparable about what went wrong that it hasn't yet been repaired?

I often wondered why they didn't rotate the two locomotives more often than they did. In the 1970s and on through the mid 1980s, 14 was used almost exclusively. I recall seeing 18 used once during that time. It wasn't painted-up at all, there was no lettering on the tender and it looked like something out of the burning of Atlanta, but there it was, replacing 14 one season (don't ask me to remember which). Then 14 returned again. Then 14 was gone.

What happened and what will it take to bring 14 back from the dead?
  by BSOR Patarak
14 operated from late 1964 up through the 1978 season. It then operated again from 1982 to 1988.

18 has run the rest of the excursion schedule, except the 2002-2007 seasons. 18 began the excursion business in August 1962 and was also steamed along with 14 right up to 1970. I show both locomotives inspected and capable of service. Though I don't know for sure how often each ran from 1964 to 1970.

All told, 14 has 110 service months on the A&A while 18 has 126 to date.

It is also funny to note that in the magazine "The Short Line" #93 published in August 1988. It was a news note on the arrival of 112 from Colorado. It stated "Baldwin 4-6-0 #14 was under a small head of steam and was undergoing maintenance outside the engine house. Alco 2-8-0 #18, in the engine house, needs a new tender, and it is doubtful if it will ever run again." (page 6) Seems kind of funny now that it is the other way around...

Under todays steam rules, #14 will require the same extensive repairs that #18 went through. It would have to be taken down to just the boiler so that the whole structure can be ultrasounded and measured. It suffered from the same thin sheets that 18 had replaced. This is the area around the grates toward the flue sheet inside the fire box. This locomotive also had some pitting in the barrel just ahead of the fire box. In hind sight, it would have been nice if the A&A had started some of the repairs on her long ago. With that said, it is repairable and just requires large sums of money. 18 has over $250,000 into the repairs to this point. It is estimated that 14 could require double that or more.

Also, a new tender would have to be fabricated or acquired to run behind one of the locomotives. The tender in use does belong to 14 and was of larger capacity than 18's. In fact, the A&A rebuilt the coal chute to increase the water capacity in it. The remains of 18's tender still are at Arcade. Only a few minor parts will be saved and it serves as only a pattern now.
  by thebigham
I was looking for an appropriate thread for this.

#14 has been pulled out of the enginehouse!!!

It's still lettered for RI Cartwright.

#18 has taken the place of #14 in the left stall of the enginehouse.
  by BSOR Patarak
This is only temporary. There is a drop pit for removing axles located in that left most stall on the engine house. An axle needs to be removed from 18 for a cracked driver box that holds the suspension bearing. Once this is done, 14 should be returned to it's storage place.
  by thebigham
When was the last time #14 was out of the enginehouse?
  by Benjamin Maggi
Can someone PLEASE take as many pictures as possible of #14? For building models of it these pictures will be invaluable. If the engine is still out at the end of May I can take pictures, but I doubt that she will stay outside that long. Pat, any chance you could do some photo taking? :-)
  by Mountcastle
I hope it's still out when the season begins; I'd love to see it again.

It was out in the yard in the early 90s, I recall; in fact I have photos of it in my album. A pitiful sight though, deteriorated as it is.
  by BSOR Patarak
I will try to get some. The axle work on 18 is completed and the axle is back under the engine. It won't be long and she'll be moved back to the other track and 14 will be shoved back inside. (Keeping it out of the weather is the only way to preserve her there. Rain water and dampness will make it a static display and not possible for restoration. There has been talk about it being put on display...but for now, inside storage with a dream to fix her one day.) I'll also try to get some updated pictures of 14. Would be cool to photograph them both sitting outside in the sunlight!
  by Mountcastle
Keep the dream alive! I'd hate to see 14 as a permanent static display, with all hope abandoned for restoration. But the A&A has to do more than hope, they've got to employ some creative thinking and act. That locomotive is a treasure and if the right people or organizations were made aware of it, it could be back in service again.

Looking at bigham's pictures, I'm glad to see that 14 doesn't seem to have deteriorated any further than it had last time I saw it 14 years ago. All her classic Baldwin lines remain intact, despite her dereliction. A beauty, even in this condition.
  by Benjamin Maggi
I am a huge #14 fan but even I don't think restoring it is a good idea at this time. The railroad doesn't need the expenses associated with TWO working steam engines. Just keep her safe for now, and enjoy #18 while she is out. I would rather see the money for #14 put to something else useful, like new paint on the station or other freight traffic business-related costs.
  by jgallaway81
In addition, if 14 was to be restored, a brand new tender would have to be built.

As I understand it, when 14's tender was modified for use on 18, it wouldn't couple to 14 anymore.

What is needed now is to get the railroad finished in rebuild, and generate some new freight traffic.
  by Mountcastle
Yes, but...I'm talking about a special fundraising effort dedicated to this particular purpose. Surely there has to be somebody on the board of directors with social connections who'd be willing to spearhead an effort or who knows somebody who would be willing to.

Oh, nevermind. I know better than to imagine that.

Yes, just let it sit unseen in a shed forever. That's the best answer.
  by swbudnack
As of May 10, 2009 #14 is still outside, we looked at it today. #18 was also outside, we noticed that #18 has a new tire on it. I seen #18 yesterday fired up but it was really raining out so I didn't stop to see whats going on.
  by admiralwolf
Been a while since I've been on.

So my questions are:

1) What is the actual price tag estimate for rebuilding an engine like that (and getting a tender built along with it)
2) Where is something like that actually done. I know A&A has the shops to maintain it's equipment within reason, but I'm certain that this would be the type of thing an engine would need to go out for. Would a place like Steamtown or Strasburg be used for a rebuild of that nature?
3) Has anything happened recently to bring up the prospect of more freight business on the line? Last I heard it was just the feed mill, but that something might be in the works in another way.
4) If by some amazing act of the rail gods the necessary funding suddenly came about, would it be worth having two operating engines? I mean, it seems like it would probably be an OK idea if there were enough passenger cars to pull a couple trains each day.
5) Are there enough crew men left who could successfully operate two steam engines side by side.

I know, a lot of questions, but I guess I'm just curious in case, you know, I ever suddenly win the lottery or become some ridiculously successful business man that could leave motor yachts as tips for the pizza guy.