Additional steam locomotive information

John Combs asked Pat Durand if A.E.C. steam locomotive #22 was ever on the Alaska Railroad's roster. Below is his answer and an additional letter of interest.

Pat Durand: No there was no 22 on the Alaska Railroad roster as best I can find. There definately was a #22 on the AEC roster as per the photo you reference. Also notice the track, hand hewen spruce ties at 3 foot gauge. In a letter of August 12, 1924 from R. H. Hale Superintendant of Motive Power & Equipment, Anchorage Alaska addressed to Mr. Noel W. Smith, Special Assistant to Secretary of the Interior, I quote:

"Following is a general description of Narrow gauge equipment on the Alaska Railroad:"

He describes 31 various cars that are equipped with automatic couplers. Servicable locomotives with automatic couplers are 51, 151 and 152.

He describes 12 other cars with link and pin couplers.

The following loco descriptions are quoted directly:

"Eng. 1- Purchased from coal road near Dawson in 1904 by the Tanana Valley Railroad. It is a small dinkey and unfit for service.

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 used as a compressor for snowshed work.

Engs. 21 and 22 - Purchased from Contractors in Washington by the Alaska Engineering commisssion in 1916, and used on Seward Division by Contractors. They have been leased to the coal contractors on the Moose Creek branch and are being used there now. They are in Fair condition.

Eng. 830 - In fair condition. It is out of service on a side track in Fairbanks Yard.

Engs. 50 and 51 - Purchased from White Pass Railroad by Tanana Valley in 1905. They are both condemned and are on a side track in Fairbanks.

Eng. 52 - Purchased by the Alaska Engineering Commission in 1907 from the D& RG.R.R. in fair conditon now and used in extra service.

Eng 151- Purchased by Alaska Engineering Commisssion in 1917 from a logging road in Seattle. It is being used in work train service when needed. Needs a general overhauling.

Eng. 152 - Purchased from the Baldwing Locomotive Company in 1920 and assembled at Nenana. This is the only first class narrow gauge engine
we have. ..... It pulls the regular tri-weekly Chatanika Branch train and is doing good work."

You may want to post this information as an addendum to the Alaska Railroad Roster. If you look in Cliffords books you may find some of these pictured. It is a convoluted web. They were still trying to sell of some of this narrow gauge stuff as of 1924.

Here in we have a clear statement that #21 and #22 were leased to theMoose Creek narrow gauge operators, and #6 had been stripped of its boiler. So which one is setting at the Palmer Depot?

In a later e-mail, Pat continues:

Mr. R. H. Hale also wrote to Mr. Noel W. Smith on Sept 8-1924

"Following Narrow Gauge Equipment on the Moose Creek Spur:

2 Box cars - Nos 64 and 66

2 Flat Cars - Nos 54 and 407

26 Dump Cars - Nos 40, 41, 42, 45, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 57, 59, 61, 64, 66, 69, 105, 107, 117, 123, 129, 130, 132, 140, 168, 171, 175."

The box and flat cars were presumably former Tanana Valley equipment. The dump cars were four wheel Western Wheel Scraper Cars of steel with wood boxes. These narrow gauge cars had been used during construction by the AEC contractors. On Moose Creek they ran from the mines down to the tipple that fed into the standard gauge cars.

Page created 12/31/04 and last updated 12/31/04