Alaska Railroad photo from the Jack Klingbeil collection
AEC Narrow Gauge #6 Historical research by Pat Durand.
Alaska Engineering Commission
#6 was Baldwin #34982 built in July 1910 as United States Government #6. It
was an 0-4-0T with 9"X14" Cylinders with 28" stroke
for 3' gauge. In this photo she is on the ice at Nenana Alaska where this AEC
narrow gauge locomotive and others from the Tanana Valley RR roster moved freight
across the frozen Tanana River to complete the link to Fairbanks. When the Bridge
over the Tanana was completed in 1923, this service was no longer needed.
Builders records in the DeGolyer Library at SMU confirm the construction history
of the locomotive.
34982 was built in July 1910 for the United States Government #6. It was an
0-4-0T 9x14-28 3’0”
Southern Methodist University
P.O. Box 750396
Dallas, TX 75275-0396
a November 30, 1918 Letter from Fred D. Browne, Engineer in Charge at Nenana
Mr. Wm Gerig Engineer in Charge at Anchorage
In summary this letter is an inventory
of both AEC standard gauge (S.G.) and narrow gauge (N.G.) equipment in Nenana
and narrow gauge (N.G.) of the Tanana
to quote from the letter:
EQUIPMENT - ALASKA ENGINEERING COMMISSION - NENANA
SWITCH ENGINE S.G. #5 14" X 22" 4 Wheel Saddle Tank Type 040T76 Shop
ENGINE DINKY N.G #6 Baldwin 1910 #34982
EQUIPMENT - ALASKA ENGINEERING COMMISSION - TANANA VALLEY RAILROAD, FAIRBANKS
Engine Dinky #1 Saddle Tank 8 ton H.K Porter
Engine Dinky #4 Baldwin 1910 #34957
This letter provides a lot of information for interpretation.
A. We know that
standard gauge #5 was purchased new by the AEC and sent to Nenana. The description
and shop number 56428 verifies that this is an ALCO
Locomotive Company) locomotive. We have a builders photo and two photos of
it believed taken in the Anchorage storage line in the 1930's. In THE ALASKA
by Bernadine Prince on page 187 it states " ...one standard gauge locomotive
and five lat cars arrived June 25, 1917..." This would have been #5 on
board a barge delivered to Nenana by river steamer up the Yukon and Tanana
is not the Narrow Gauge #5 Baldwin in Palmer.
B. Engine Dinky Narrow gauge #6
was photographed on the ice at Nenana.
C. Engine Dinky #1 Saddle Tank, 8
ton built by H.K. Porter company carried builders # 1972 and has a well documented
history after arriving in Fairbanks
4th 1904. #1 has been restored and is in seasonal operation at Pioneer
Park in Fairbanks.
D. Engine Dinky #4 built by Baldwin shop # 34957 in 1910
and was delivered to the Alaska Engineering Commission along with Dinky #6
Baldwin Shop #34982.
only photos known were taken when the locomotive was moved south from
Nenana overland to Riley Creek South of the mouth of the Nenana River Canyon.
This is a dramatic photo with the little locomotive on a skid being drawn
on February 17, 1921. This locomotive was built by Baldwin in 1910 .
the shop numbers of #4 and #6 are only 25 digits apart it can be surmised
they may have been identical locomotives and appear so in photos.
letter was written after the sale of the Tanana Valley Railroad to the Alaska
Engineering Commission on December 31, 1917. Only Dinky #1
TVRR roster so we can conclude that the other three locomotives arrived
up river in 1917 and in the spring of 1918 coming up the Yukon and
and barge along with rail and other equipment for off loading in Nenana
and at Chena.
In letter of August 12, 1924 to Noel W. Smith in Anchorage,
Mr. R. H. Hale Sup't of Motive Power for the Alaska Railroad relates the
Eng. 4 - boiler
is at North Nenana. Has been used in connection with a water tank.
6 - Boiler is in Anchorage shops having a pump and reservoir put on to be
uses as a compressor for snow shed work.
So now that the railroad was complete
these Narrow Gauge locomotives have been put to other use. He confirms that
Engine #6 was in
out of RR
being outfitted as an air compressor.