• Steam Engines on the A&A

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

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by BSOR Patarak
I have an interesting bit of trivia on the A&A's steamers 14 and 18.

Before I answer, I thought I'd ask for speculation. Just a conversation starter.

Anyone have a guess as to which of the two locomotives have more actual time of service on the A&A? Now, without specific train schedules, milage travelled, special excursions and etc, I'm just talking about amount of time in service. My figures are by the month, as each engine needed a 30 day inspection to be in service and do not include time sitting for maintenance or winter months.

Any guesses?

BTW, After the 2005 season, they will be without steam for 20 operating months. Work has begun welding stays in place, once this is done, flues will be reinstalled. Still no estimate on return to service though.

I'd also like to hear peoples favorite steam stories from the A&A. Mine would have to be a special train that was operated for Conroy Motors 75th anniversary at Java Center. I was perhaps 13 or 14 years old. They used old #14 and pulled a couple of coaches for trips to and from the dealership. They'd head to North Java to run around the train for one trip and then Curriers to do it again. After, the train was dead headed back to Arcade. Having known a few of the crew members on the train, my father, brother and myself were allowed to ride back to Arcade as the only passengers at the end of the day. We like to call it our own personal excursion.

Pat Connors
  by BSOR Patarak
Here is a picture of 14 at North Java respotting a feed car for Reisdorf Mill. It had been shoved out of the way for the Conroy Excursions. After looking back, it seems it was Conroy's 70th anniversary. Not sure of the exact dates though.


Pat Connors
Last edited by BSOR Patarak on Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:31 am, edited 4 times in total.

  by Benjamin Maggi
I would estimate that #14 has been through more work than #18, even though it hasn't been used since 1988. My favorite story...hum. I would say my favorite experiece was when my mother was riding the train in the mid-ninties and a bee came in and she swatted it and her glasses fell off and out of the train. They stopped the train to look for them but they were never located. But, I can at least say our family was "important" enough to hold up the train. In all fairness, I could have jumped off, looked, and jogged to catch up again it was so slow. Anyways, I love the old engines and cannot wait until #18 (and hopefully someday #14) will be back!
  by jr
I was very fortunate to get a cab ride on the 14, on Emmett King's last day as engineer. It was a great experience; one that I'll never forget. He had me whistle at all of the crossings (as well as a lot of places that weren't crossings). At the time, I probably weighed all of 80 lbs, so it took some effort to get the whistle valve to open. On that same ride, I had the pleasure of watching my Dad fire the 14. It was more fun than words can adequately describe.

  by BSOR Patarak
These totals were figured from paperwork filed on 30 day boiler inspections for the two A&A locomotives. There is a small period in 1969 that I am unsure of for #18. During the winter of 1968 the jacket and lagging was removed from 18 for inspection. This may indicate that the flues were also removed or at least partially replaced, so it is assumed that there was no service in 1969 as it was being repaired.

Also, these figures do not count actual trips, only monthly in service time.

It is interesting to note that #14 has 110 months of service time on the A&A. It has been stored since October of 1988. It shows out of service on the Escanaba & Lake Superior from April 1953 to December 1953 and the all of 1954 until 1963 when it was shipped to Arcade. It was kept as stand by power by the E&LS and is believed to have been used for snow melting. The last flue and lagging removal date on the E&LS was 2/6/1953. Thus it didn't have much run time when the A&A acquired her. She ran pretty much steady until 1978.

#18 has 119 months and has been out since October 2001.

I have started to compile a list of schedules for all of the years to try and get a more accurate idea of trips run. This will be a bit tougher as I can only go by old brochures for the schedule. There were many days in the early years that extra trips were run due to high volumes of people. Also, school and special trips aren't listed in such schedules.


  by Benjamin Maggi
Sounds ambitious, but also very informative and just plain cool!

  by nessman
This came across the LAL_Rail Yahoo Groups list:

I'm speculating that if this rumor holds any truth, that maybe the A&A is looking for something that's up to new Federal standards and serviceable, and not have to incur the cost of fixing 18.

I was on the A&A last weekend, and noticed that new boiler tubes for #18 have been sitting outside the enginehouse on a small flat car for what looks like quite a while (the tarp that was covering them is pretty much shot). The cab for #18 hasn't moved since they took it out of service.
From Buster Thomas <[email protected]>
Sent Friday, October 21, 2005 11:03 am
To [email protected]
Subject [LAL_RAIL] Steam on the Southernteir LIne?

A buddy of mine up in PA says somebody from Western NY is looking to
lease or perhaps buy the Chinese engine run last on the Knox Kane. Has
anyone else heard anything of the sort or should we dismiss it at the
ramblings of a goofy old fart? He has his ear pretty close to what
goes on at both the Gettysburg and the K and K. It would be great for
someone to make use of what is esentially a new locomotive.

  by WNYP431
Yes, you are purely speculating. Speculating nicely, though.

  by nessman
WNYP431 wrote:Yes, you are purely speculating. Speculating nicely, though.
Why? What do you know? Spill!

  by WNYP431

This wouldn't even drip..........yet.

Get some sleep!

  by nessman
WNYP431 wrote:Spill?

This wouldn't even drip..........yet.

Get some sleep!
Too early to talk? No prob... but the return of steam to WNY would be most excellent indeed!

  by Benjamin Maggi
It IS speculating, because there is no way an engine that big would fit on the A&A. If an S2 would have troubles, one of the giant Chinese steamers would be overkill. It would be odd, though, to think about.

The 44 Tonner saved the line in 1941.
A Chinese steamer saves the line in 2006!
  by Matt Langworthy
Speaking of Knox & Kane, a better idea might be A&A to acquire #38, a Consolidation which spent a decade or so on LAL. Now there's a steam loco that could handle the rough track conditions on A&A! Coincidently, K&K just ended passenger operations so #38 might be up for sale soon...

  by nessman
scoobster28 wrote:It IS speculating, because there is no way an engine that big would fit on the A&A. If an S2 would have troubles, one of the giant Chinese steamers would be overkill. It would be odd, though, to think about.
Does anyone know the weight of #18 and the weight of the K&K steamer?

As for the 220,000 lb limit on the A&A, that is for the trestle over Beaver Meadow Road. If the limit applies for only that trestle, then the A&A in theory could run heavier power for the excursions as they only go up to Curriers.

  by WNYP431
Now that's a ? for Pat. 18's weight, that is.

As far as the 220,000 # restriction on Beaver Meadow bridge, check your math....