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Steam & Excursion > This Locomotive Was Part Of A Huge Order For This Manufacturer!


Date: 11/08/19 03:30
This Locomotive Was Part Of A Huge Order For This Manufacturer!
Author: LoggerHogger

By 1927, the orders for any kind of geared logging locomotive were only a fraction of what they had been 10 years earlier.  An order for 5 engines all at once, as this locomotive was part of was huge news for any builder of geared engines.

By the late 1920's most remaining logging railroad had been extended many miles more into the woods and farther from their respective saw mills due to the cutting of near-by timber that had exhausted the resource close to the mills.  This left the operators of such logging shows in need for locomotives that could cover the distance from stump to dump faster than most geared locomotives could handle.  As a result, most order for new logging lokies were for faster rod-type engines rather than the slower geared engines that were once the favorite of logging railroad operators.

An exception to this rule was the placement by Clearwater Timber of Clearwater, Idaho of an order with the Whitney Engineering Company of Tacoma, Washington for 5 large 3-truck West Coast Special Heisler to be built in the Heisler factory in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Needless to say this was a very welcome order for Heisler's west coast sales representative, Whitney Engineering to receive on the very eve of what would soon be the Great Depression.

Heisler's new West Coast Special design was a direct competitor with Lima's Pacific Coast Shay.  Both offered piston valves and superheating among other upgrades to make them more enticing to the logging railroad operators.  However, Heisler had one distinct advantage over the improved Shay, namely speed.  The Heisler boasted a top speed of 30-mph while even the Pacific Coast Shay was still limited to a top speed of about 15-mph depending on how it was geared.  This advantage alone may have been enough to land Heisler with the 5-engine order from Clearwater Timber who had miles of track to cross with steep grades between their cutting areas and their sawmill.

#92 seen her was the last of the 5 engines built for Clearwater Timber in that huge 1927 order.  She was #91 for Clearwater, but was renumbered to #92 when she was purchased by St. Regis Timber of Mineral, Washington.  We see #92 some 13 miles away from Mineral picking up her log train from the reload in this fine photo taken in August 1953.

While #92 was a West Coast Special built by Heisler, she was the early version of that locomotive.  The later version would have all weather cabs and inside valve admission rather than outside valve admission that we see here on the #92.

#92 would contnue in service for St. Regis out of Mineral through the 1955 logging season before she was retired for good.  Even by 1953 she was still a handsome engine with a proud history.

Martin



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/19 03:57 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 11/08/19 16:50
Re: This Locomotive Was Part Of A Huge Order For This Manufacture
Author: Earlk

 "...........While #92 was a West Coast Special built by Heisler, she was the early version of that locomotive.  The later version would have all weather cabs and inside valve admission rather than outside valve admission that we see here on the #92....."

Out of couriosity, what are the tell-tale signs that his engine is "outside admission" piston valves?



Date: 11/09/19 04:14
Re: This Locomotive Was Part Of A Huge Order For This Manufacture
Author: LoggerHogger

Earl,

Here is a later version of the West Coast Special Heisler with the inside admission valves.  You can readily see the difference from the earlier version.

Martin




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