No. 6
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.
Baldwin 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”

Cynthia Franco
DeGolyer Library
Southern Methodist University
P.O. Box 750396
Dallas, TX 75275-0396
214-768-3605 <>
In a November 30, 1918 Letter from Fred D. Browne, Engineer in Charge at Nenana to 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 Valley line.
to quote from the letter:
SWITCH ENGINE S.G. #5 14" X 22" 4 Wheel Saddle Tank Type 040T76 Shop Number 56428
ENGINE DINKY N.G #6 Baldwin 1910 #34982
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 (American 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 RAILROAD by Bernadine Prince on page 187 it states " 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 River. This 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 on July 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. The 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 by 12 horses on February 17, 1921. This locomotive was built by Baldwin in 1910 . Considering 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.
The letter was written after the sale of the Tanana Valley Railroad to the Alaska Engineering Commission on December 31, 1917. Only Dinky #1 ever appeared on a 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 Tanana by river boat 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 following:
Eng. 4 - boiler is at North Nenana. Has been used in connection with a water tank.
Eng. 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 Anchorage and out of RR service being outfitted as an air compressor.