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Steam & Excursion > Many Folks Forget About This Phase Of This Famous Engine's Life!

Date: 01/09/20 03:54
Many Folks Forget About This Phase Of This Famous Engine's Life!
Author: LoggerHogger

There are certain steam locomotives that are famous for certain phases of their history.  In the case of West Side Lumber Co. Heisler #3, she is quite famous for 2 of the 3 parts of her 120-year long operating career.  She did have a 3rd part to her history that most folks overlook.

While countless photos of #3 were captured in the last few years of the West Side  Lumber Co. operation in Tuolumne, California, this was after #3 had been converted to standard gauge in 1947.  Railfans traveling to Tuolumne to photograph the last years of the narrow gauge West Side logging railroad could not help but shoot some rolls of #3 as she switched the mill yard near the Sierra RR depot in Tuolumne.

#3's next and final life was as motive power for the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge RR in Felton, California where she still pulls tourist trains up the steep grades of that railroad through the redwood trees.  Needless to say, even more photo of her have bee taken her in the 57 years since she arrived in Felton and was reconverted to 3' gauge.

However, we cannot forget the first phase of this famous locomotive's career.  This was when she was still just a logging locomotive built the Stearns Manufacturing Co. for the West Side Flume & Lumber Co. to pull log trains on the 3' gauge logging railroad.  It is in this original configuration that we see her as she sits outside the West Side enginehouse between runs to the woods in 1939.

Photos from this phase in the career of this famous locomotive are the most rare but still tell the rest of her story.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/20 04:14 by LoggerHogger.

Date: 01/09/20 09:25
Re: Many Folks Forget About This Phase Of This Famous Engine's Li
Author: sagehen

I wonder what her duties were at this time.  The medium-sized Shays were coming onto the property about then.  Would 2, 3 and 4 still be useful on the short, very temporary logging spurs way out in the woods?

Stan Praisewater

Date: 01/09/20 18:38
Re: Many Folks Forget About This Phase Of This Famous Engine's Li
Author: sixbit

By 1939 the Westside had shays #5, #7, #8, #9 & #10 on the roster. The #5 was a two-truck but was much stronger than the #3. The #7 was smaller than the 8, 9 & 10, but those three were the heaviest shays the Westside owned. I'd suspect that the #3 would have been a woods switcher assembling cars from various spurs into a single consist for one of the big shays to haul back to town. I'd have to look up where the active camps were in 1939, but off hand that's my hunch.

John Mills

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