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Steam & Excursion > Not All Used Steam Locomotive Dealers Found Buyers For Engines!

Date: 06/15/19 01:36
Not All Used Steam Locomotive Dealers Found Buyers For Engines!
Author: LoggerHogger

The job of a used steam locomotive dealer in the early 1950's was a risky one.  While there were plenty of opportunities to pick up entire railroads for scrap, the chance that new buyers could be found for the used steam locomotives that came with those abandoned railroads was risky to say the least.  New buyers for these used lokies were few and far between.

In these view we see the yard of Zidell Machinery & Supply Company, a used equipment dealer in Portland, Oregon in the early 1950's.  After the war, Zidell had become the largest shipbreaking company in the U.S..  They decided to also venture into the used logging equipment market about the same time.  This led them to scrap a number of abandoned steam-powered logging railroads in the Pacific Northwest. 

One of the logging railroads they scrapped was the Willamette Valley Lumber Co. of Black Rock, Oregon.  This job netted them a pair of perfectly good ALCO 2-8-2T's that we see here in the form of WVL #4 and #5.  With plenty of life left in these big tank-Mikes, Zidell brought the pair to their yard in Portland while the sales team looked for buyers for them.  The pair was parked in the back of Zidell's yard along with former Booth-Kelly 3-truck Willamette #7.  The Willamette had been acquired back in 1945 when Zidell tor up the Booth-Kelly logging railroad out of Wendling, Oregon.

Try as they might for many years, no buyers came forward for any of these 3 logging lokies.  After many years of advertising and keeping them stored in Portland, Zidell was finally faced with the only way to cut it's losses was to cut up these 3 perfectly good locomotives and sell them for scrap. 

Thus was the life and time of a used locomotive dealer in the 1950's.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/19 01:51 by LoggerHogger.

Date: 06/15/19 01:56
Re: Not All Used Steam Locomotive Dealers Found Buyers For Engine
Author: TCnR

Recognized those buildings in the background and did a quick search, interesting Portland history and explains a number of questions I've had through the years about that large area along the river.

There's a number of interesting refeences at the bottom of the Wiki article:

Date: 06/15/19 10:18
Re: Not All Used Steam Locomotive Dealers Found Buyers For Engine
Author: asheldrake

scrapping a Willamette brings tears to my eyes......hopefully we learn from our past mistakes........thanks for your sad posting Martin.    Arlen

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