Monday, January 4, 2010

Mike's Going Home!

Coos Bay Oregon, July 1977. My wife and I had been in California on a business trip, and had decided to take the scenic route up the US 101 back to Vancouver, when we found these wrecks. I did not realize at the time what I had bagged!

These narrow gauge locomotives, loaded on flat cars, looked to me like they had one foot in the wrecking yard. But instead of being shipped to the razor blade factory, they were headed home!

Turns out they are on their way home to their original owner, the Sumpter Valley Railroad in Eastern Oregon! They were built for the Sumpter Valley by ALCo Schenectady in 1920.

When the Sumpter hit hard times, the US Army bought them and shipped them to Skagway to the Pacific and Arctic Railway & Navigation Company - The White Pass & Yukon - in 1942.

There they worked the "Bulkhead" line until they were finally retired and sold back to the Sumpter Valley Restoration group in 1977. When I caught them on flats in Coos Bay in 1977, they were in transit back to eastern Oregon.

An obscure part of this historic reunion is how their tenders ended up in Guatemala, and eventually returned to the States!

Take another look at Number 80 above, then click the YouTube logo. Now you can begin to appreciate what, with time, money and elbow grease, restoration groups can accomplish! There are a number of nifty Sumpter Valley videos on the "Tube" including a cab ride!

Railroad Stuff: Sumpter Valley #100, 2-8-2 36" gauge, ALCo Schenectady May, 1920, boiler number 61981. Renumbered SV #19. Sold to White Pass & Yukon and re-numbered WP&Y 80 in 1942. Sold to Sumpter Valley Restoration in 1977 and renumbered original number SV 19. Restored to running condition.

Sumpter Valley #101, 2-8-2 36" gauge, ALCo Schenectady May, 1920, boiler number 61980. Renumbered SV #20. Sold to White Pass & Yukon and re-numbered WP&Y 81 in 1942. Sold to Sumpter Valley Restoration in 1977 and renumbered original number SV 20. Restored as static display.

3 Comments - Click here:

Eric said...

Hi Robert, thought you might like to know that your free calendar is a hit at my workplace in faraway Ontario. Several co-workers are using them, although I'm sure none appreciates the friendly face of NP 5403D as much as I do. Thanks for making this Oil-Electric calendar available.
Eric

Oil-Electric said...

Thanks, Eric. Be sure to tell them the calendar is a "First Edition" and may be of some value on eBay - some day!

Anonymous said...

Hey Robert, those are quite the wrecks you caught in transit there. I would have expected them to be on their way out as well. What a nice turn of events though. It seems like a great deal of U.S. history is actually industrial history. It's nice when we make efforts to preserve it and appreciate it.

-Leland

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