W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad => Topic started by: Matthew Gustafson on November 04, 2008, 11:30:19 PM

Title: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on November 04, 2008, 11:30:19 PM
Why? :( :-\
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on November 04, 2008, 11:32:31 PM
Like Sandy River #24 a 2-6-2 built By Baldwin in 1935!
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on November 04, 2008, 11:33:55 PM
Sorry I Ment the 2-6-2's Not 2-8-2's! Sorry for the Mix Up? :-[ :D ;)
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: o anderson on November 05, 2008, 01:00:19 AM
Hello Matt,
You ask a very good question.  I too wish that one or more of the larger engines from Maine were preserved.  In fact, one was, for a short period of time.  This was Sandy River #24, which was purchased by a local doctor.  At the time this was the Great Depression, a period in the 1930s, after the "Roaring 20's" when there was a lot of stock market speculation and then, in 1929, a great collapse of the market.  After that, companies which were operating in a hand-to-mouth kind of manner began to starve for income from diminished freight and passenger traffic.  All of the railroads in America were effected, and small shortlines, many little trolley lines, and the Maine two footers were destined to failure.  You see, when you start to research why where no 2-6-2s preserved, you will find out a lot more about American history.

Well, the guy who bought old #24 was probably affected by the depression like everyone else.  His family might have been very angry at him, having to scrape by to survive while he bought this big old piece of iron and put it in their yard.  The engine was later scrapped.  Its too bad, but at least he tried.

You know, I think we are all lucky that some bigger 2' gauge engines have survived anywhere.  There are a couple engines that were in Africa, some of them have moved up to England.  There are also several still in Brazil, and one or two in Mexico.  It is my hope we can rebuild one of the larger Baldwin engines, from parts, and have it in Maine once again.

Here is some more info on #24:
http://www.roundhouse-eng.com/srrl24/

Best regards,
O. Anderson
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: James Patten on November 05, 2008, 08:20:53 AM
If you want big impressive 2-foot gauge engines that operate, you'll have to go to Wales and ride behind some of the Beyer-Garratt's on the rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon).  Or behind some of the Double Fairlie engines on the Ffestiniog (smaller, but no less impressive).
Title: Re: Why Werent The 2-6-2's Preseved?
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on November 05, 2008, 09:43:40 AM
I think that at some point a new 2-6-2 will be built by one of the Maine Two Foot museums.  It would be a large expensive project but it's not out of the question.  SR&RL 24 would be real nice at Phillips, especially if they get across the river to the original station. 

I vote for WW&F #6.  That was a beautiful engine. 
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: Steve Klare on November 05, 2008, 12:38:20 PM
I think none of the tender engines were preserved because of where they were used. Only two of the lines used tender engines. WW&F #6 was a burned out hulk at the time that line went under and had almost zero chance of being chosen for preservation (#9 was at least repairable, and #8 was derailed and vandalized). All the rest were on the SR&RL, but 1936 was quite a few years before Linwood Moody came prospecting for Edaville, so the years that #24 needed to be discovered and preserved were years too many.

Ellis Atwood and Edaville are the key to preservation of the Maine Two Foot relics, there would be very,  very little left if he didn't gather it together, and the couple of pieces of equipment he didn’t preserve have been better off because if all else failed they’d fit in with the rest of his collection. The thing is he didn't start gathering until the 1940s so Engines from lines scrapped before then had a lot of Depression era years when the price of scrap iron was attractive to stay in one piece.

The B&H and the Monson survived the depression, neither had Prairies (or needed them), but both lines had their engines preserved, even if it took Linwood Moody tracking the Monson Engines all the way to Rochester, New York. Had either had a Prairie, it would probably be with us today.

I often imagine had SR&RL #24 made it to Edaville, she would probably have spent a lot of time in the shed. She was a lot of engine to haul short passenger trains on pretty level track. Eliis Atwood would have certainly preserved her, but maybe beyond the peaks and certainly on Railfan Day she would have had a pretty leisurely life.
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on November 05, 2008, 01:14:13 PM
I Like The Idea On Rebuilding a Working replica of #24! Is There any surving Blueprints of #24 so we can rebuild it?  :)
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: Eric Bolton on November 05, 2008, 03:38:49 PM
I do not know about the 24 but I do know that a full set of drawings survive for the big SR&RL #23.
Title: Re: Why Wernt The 2-8-2's Wenrt Preseved?
Post by: Paul Horky on November 22, 2008, 06:30:19 AM
The reason why the #24 was scraped I heard was that the town or county tried to impose some kind of tax on the good dr.. Never have heard why? Maybe someone can shed more light on this.
Title: Re: No 24's brief reprieve...
Post by: Stephen Hussar on November 22, 2008, 01:01:47 PM
Here is another frame (actually 2 frames woven together) taken by Gus Pratt in 16mm, showing the shed which briefly housed No 24. The story I've heard most often is that the town decided to tax this structure...and thus the locomotive was sold for scrap and the shed demolished.

(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-8/342468/24_shed_panoramasm.jpg)
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Mike Fox on November 22, 2008, 07:49:45 PM
And during the time the good Dr. had the loco, the U.S. was going through the great depression. I am sure that had something to do with it, as well as the tax they were trying to impose (btw, that's the first I've heard of it). Too bad though, that would make an awesome addition to the Sandy Rivers collection.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Steve Klare on November 29, 2008, 10:03:38 PM
That shed seems proportioned too short to house #24, never mind with with her tender too. (would have to be like 20 feet tall!)

Love that 16mm, Stephen!
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Mike Fox on November 30, 2008, 03:50:05 PM
I think the angle is throwing the length off. It has the right width. Possible the tender was kept in the lean to style building behind the new one.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on December 01, 2008, 06:53:36 PM
Man if only we had a time machine we would have stop him from scraping #24 and to keep holding on to her so someone but the scrap dealers to buy the engine.   :( :( :'(
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Steve Klare on December 01, 2008, 10:33:08 PM
It's true: all it would have taken was $250 a pop to save every one of the SR&RL Baldwins (an O-scale brass model of one cost more than that 50 years later...), but it's a sign of how tight money was that Linwood Moody (maybe the greatest Maine Narrow Gauge fan ever to live..) had to stand by and watch it happen without saving even one.

You have to think of it this way: Let's say you're a running-around kind of guy who gets a chance to buy SR&RL #24. OK, first you need the equivalent of many thousands of 2008 dollars even to start. Excellent! Now you own this machine that's over 40 feet long (including tender) and weighs over 50,000 Lbs. If you live anywhere but Phillips, you need to truck this immense thing to where you need it. OK, now you have your 50,000+ pound locomotive in your driveway, you have to park the DeSoto in the street because the tender is against the garage door and the pilot is hanging over the sidewalk, your neighbors are really cheezed at you...now what? You still have no railroad to run it on, and even if you do where are your shop facilities and undercover storage. Of course it would be nice to have some cars.

-no wonder there were no takers! (Imagine running this one past the wife?!!)

The best bet for saving any of these engines pre-Edaville were the other two foot gauge lines, but at the time the B&H and Monson were both strapped for cash and if anything needed lighter, more economical engines and not bigger ones.

Still: would have been nice if one of the Sandy River towns had bought one for a park engine, but then again the municipal governments were hurting for money too and worried about things like keeping the roads and buildings in shape on less money. Besides: steam and narrow gauge were still common and not so special yet.


Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on December 03, 2008, 03:54:16 PM
Steve makes good points.  The key to why things happened as they did is the era of the Great Depression.  It had a drastic affect on people and businesses in the 1930's.   Many were out of work and banks and businesses failed.  My parents never got over what they went through during the Depression, it affected their financial decisions well into this century. 

It may help to study the Depression or watch re-runs of the Waltons TV show but it will never take the place of talking to those who lived through it.  The 1930's were especially hard on shortline and narrow gauge railroads.  The down turn in the  economy plus improvements in roads and motor trucks had an impact on the railroads ability to earn a living.  People invest money in railroads to get dividends back from the operation of the line.   When the railroad stops earning enough money to pay for it's operation it has to borrow money or stop running.  When it stops running the owners then ask for the railroad to be sold to get all or some of their money back.   Selling things to a scrap man is usually the best way to get money back.  Narrow gauge equipment had less of a market than standard gauge equipment so in some ways we are lucky to have 5 original Maine two foot locomotives.  Of course the B&SR and Monson ran into the 1940's but there were scrap drives during World War II. Thank goodness Mr Atwood purchased (directly or eventually) Monson 3 and 4 and B&H 7 and 8 and Miss Alice protected our engine 9 in CT for nearly 60 years.  These are unique cases.

It would have been great to have SR&RL 24 survive the Great Depression and WW II but only a wealthy person could have pulled it off.  Folks who had extra folding money between the two big wars were few and far between.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Steve Klare on December 03, 2008, 10:58:03 PM
I think if somebody wanted to build a hobby railroad around the time the SR&RL and the others were scrapped, they would be much more likely to go for a nice little Porter 0-4-0T or a Plymouth Switcher than the engines from the Maine Roads. For the gauge of track, these were big trains: they needed pretty heavy duty track and large radius curves. They were designed for hauling heavy trains for long distances at pretty decent speeds: way overkill for somebody wanting to have 2 or 300 feet of track out back.

-Fortunately Ellis Atwood was the exception to the rule in this case. 10 years later it could just have easily have been Walt Disney, but by then it was too late.

I don't think it was such a big deal that they were from the Maine Two Footers back before the scrappings either. The two footers became much more famous because of Edaville and that's why their stories were written down in the fifties and the sixties. Back in the day they were more a bunch of odd shortline railroads off in the woods. When Moody went looking for them, he heard about them by word of mouth: there was very little information available.

There was Federal Writers Project during the Depression where each State got it's own motor travel guide. If you look in the Maine guide under Redington, it says something like this: "At Redington we cross an old narrow gauge railroad, no longer in use. The railroad was used for hauling lumber, the small engine being capable of hauling 20 cars".  In our time: the famous Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes, back then, not even important enough to have a name. 


Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Wayne Laepple on December 03, 2008, 11:28:21 PM
I believe it was economist and rail historian George W. Hilton who once remarked that "interest in railroads is inversely proportional to their importance." He could certainly have been speaking of the Maine two-footers.

Please note, too, that in the midst of the Great Depression, when old no. 24 was purchased from the scrapper for $250, many people were out of work and had no income at all. And many of those who were working were earning less than $10 a day. My father-in-law started working as a track laborer for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1938 at 68.5 cents per hour! He would have had to work for nine weeks to earn enough to buy no. 24, providing he didn't spend a cent on anything else.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Steve Klare on December 04, 2008, 11:15:01 AM
The pain of it all is that given the choice of making a couple of dollars in taxes on that shed or forcing Dr. Bell to scrap what was as far as they knew the last SR&RL locomotive they insisted on the tax, and as a result lost #24 and the tax....Suffice it to say there was no Phillips Historical Society in 1937.

Once again, back at the time the two footers weren't the big deal they were to us today, neither was any steam railroad. Probably if you asked most people about having steam engines vs. diesels in town, all they'd say is they hated the soot when they hung laundry outside.  Just as the same as people today romanticize having horse drawn wagons around, yet nobody thinks about the poop!
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on December 20, 2008, 02:35:50 AM
Does anyone have any photos of #24's state when it was purchase from the SR&RL from the railfan who purchase it? ??? ::) :D ;D
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Steve Klare on December 20, 2008, 09:09:25 AM
She was actually in pretty decent appearance when she was sold. She'd gotten a repaint in 1933 when the line came back from a couple of months of dormancy to take one last shot at it.

Mechanically? Probably the best possible given the circumstances....

I have her in brass in O-scale painted as delivered. She's such a beautiful engine I just couldn't have her painted weathered. I just pretended she'd been recently shopped.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on December 20, 2008, 03:11:11 PM
If only the blueprints surived to we could have then tryed to replicate WW&F 2-6-2 #6 which is similar to SR&RL 2-6-2 #23 & #24!  :(
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Zak LaRoza on October 26, 2010, 04:23:31 PM
If I had a time machine, I'd go back in time and buy #18, #17, and #9.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: James Patten on October 26, 2010, 07:38:54 PM
I think if we had a time machine we'd all go back and preserve everything we could.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Wayne Laepple on October 26, 2010, 08:21:40 PM
The average annual salary in 1935 was $1,500. That's $30 a week. Not gonna buy too many locomotives at that rate, even those that sold for $350 for scrap! Unless we can figure out how to take 2010 cash back in the time machine.....
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Zak LaRoza on October 27, 2010, 09:42:09 AM
I think if we had a time machine we'd all go back and preserve everything we could.

I said #18, #17, and #9 because if I had a time machine, I probably wouldn't be able to buy everything. Besides, those three would be really practical for a tourist railroad, (As great as #10 and #23 were, they're just too heavy for a upstart tourist line). Believe me, I'd love to buy all of them if I could.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on October 27, 2010, 09:54:05 AM
Not to put too much of a damper on this thread...
But I'm not sure time machine travel has too much relevancy to the forum.

Besides, we all know that Sierra #3/Back to the Future locomotive was standard gauge.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: James Patten on October 27, 2010, 10:25:06 AM
Besides, we all know that Sierra #3/Back to the Future locomotive was standard gauge.

No problem - the Rockland Branch isn't too far away!   ;D
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Zak LaRoza on November 17, 2010, 11:49:54 AM
I do think that there are blueprints for Sandy River #9, and I think there's a technical drawing (Not sure if it's a blueprint) of #24 in Maine Two-footers.
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on February 28, 2011, 02:55:32 PM
Several large scale live steam models of the SR&RL 24 exist in various places around the world. I've seen videos of one in England which is about 2-1/2""=1' scale. It's extremely well done and if no people are in the scene, you'd think you're looking at the real deal! It runs on 7-1/4" gauge track which normally is used for 1-1/2" scale trains. So building one in any scale is possible, all it takes is money!
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Philip Marshall on May 17, 2013, 02:05:54 AM
I'm coming late to this thread, but the Brecon Mountain Railway in Wales has a pair of two-foot gauge Baldwin six-coupled engines (a 2-6-2 and a 4-6-2), built for export in the 1930s, that look for all the world like the SR&RL 2-6-2s. Here is a picture of their #2:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Baldwin_Pacific_on_Brecon_Mountain_Railway.jpg

If you squint your eyes and ignore the European couplers (Norwegian hook type?), the extra sand dome, and the four-wheel pony truck, you might think you were looking at SR&RL #24.

Rumor has it they are preparing to build replicas of additional Baldwins (SR&RL #s 10 and 24 I've read?), but it appears they already have a replica of one of the SR&RL 556-558 series cabooses!
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Dylan Lambert on May 17, 2013, 07:20:03 AM
You're indeed correct Phil, Brecon Mountain is indeed building replicas of the SR&RL #10 and #23. I haven't heard much on the projects, but it is my understanding the project began back in 2005...
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on June 09, 2013, 05:17:59 PM
Are there plans to ship them oversea's for a short term lease once they are finished? :)
Title: Re: Why weren't the 2-6-2's preseved?
Post by: Phil Raynes on September 30, 2013, 12:07:45 AM
For those interested, the Brecon Mtn Rwy has a website that has some photos of their Sandy River #23 under construction. Go to this website page:
http://www.breconmountainrailway.co.uk/no-3-locomotive
Then click on the link to see photographs, & scroll down the gallery page to the section called "Workshop". In that section there are a couple of photos of the tender under construction, and also their #3 (SR #23). Also there are stacks of parts for other locos under construction (including another "Baldwin") and other rolling stock.
Please note that there are also other photos of the Pacific elsewhere on the gallery page.
As you will see, this is a very serious operation, with every intention of building/rebuilding several Baldwin locomotives, and they have numerous stockpiles of the needed parts to do just that! They are primarily interested in the bigger Baldwin locomotives because only they are big enough to pull trains up the grade of the new section of track they have rebuilt. They cannot operate reliably on that section until they have two of the bigger locomotives. The Pacific is the first. Besides, I understand that the owner is a fan of the SR&RL!