A detailed picture of Heisler #1’s front coupled drivers. Only one set of the wheels on each truck are powered by the central drive shaft, the others are powered by the distinctive coupling bar along the outside of the drivers (much like non-geared locomotives)
Built in 1914 this is a much more refined version of the Heisler locomotive. Much like Roaring Camp Railroads #2 this locomotive also has a v-twin cylinder design that powers a centrally driven shaft and 8 coupled wheels. This locomotive however has a much more conventional boiler compared to the shorter wagon-top type on #2 and a much longer all weather cab.
Raymond Piledriver built 1940 and then later converted into a crane. This crane was donated by the Golden Gate Railroad Museum.
Business end of the Atkinson Steam Shovel.
The larger and not commonly photographed SP AC-14. Note the extended firebox and 8 wheel leading truck on this magnificent locomotive.
(happy fools day)
Weighing in at 75 tons this steam shovel saw 25 years of use building roadbeds in Northern California and was eventually preserved in San Francisco, California. When eventually donated to the Roots of Motive Power in 1992 it took 4 trucks to make the 100 mile journey to Willits, California.
The last Bucyrus-Erie Model 50-B steam shovel produced in 1932 for the Guy Atkinson Company. This steam shovel has managed to survive the scrappers for over half a century, and has been restored by the Roots of Motive Power. More on this shovel to come.
Not much is know about this compressed air locomotive, other than its preservation at the Roots of Motive Power in Willits, California.
Locomotives like this served all over the country in places where it was deemed dangerous to have an open ignition fuel burning locomotives (diesel and steam powered units), in particular ammunition plants and mines. Mines found them useful because these externally charged locomotives could be more compact than their steam powered cousins, and did not release the normal exhaust associated with internal combustion (Air exhaust in some cases helped stir the stagnant air) Ammunition plants however were usually known to have much larger and more complex locomotives because these smaller locomotives are a bit small for the task of moving shells.
I know that Jagneta had doubts about his model General Electric 44 ton Switcher, but this locomotive has such an interesting history I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it.
This locomotive was part of General Electrics popular line of Switching Locomotives below 45 tons. The 45 ton limit in place because in 1937 there was a law making firemen a requirement on a locomotive above 45 tons. While this was entirely true for the more maintenance heavy steam locomotive, small switching operations didn’t need the extra manpower. General Electric wisely capitalized on the gap in the market.
Made for the New York, Ontario, and Western Railway in 1945, The Arcata and Mad River RR purchased this locomotive used in 1954. It served the company until the line was shut down in 1985.
The steam Locomotive Crane mentioned previously was designed to handle the weight of a locomotive, but smaller railroad cranes did exist. For example this Burro Model 40 was built in 1972, and was designed to be a maintenance-of-way vehicle. Not shown in the photos I took while at the Roots Open house was the shovel fitted to the boom instead of a hook on this model. This shovel crane would have worked in conjunction with a speeder in track inspections and other railroad maintenance activities. The history of this model can be found on the Roots’ website.