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Steam & Excursion > Vanishing Mexicano del Pacifico (California Western 21 related)

Date: 03/21/20 20:08
Vanishing Mexicano del Pacifico (California Western 21 related)
Author: JDLX

Martin mentioned in his thread featuring the California Western #21 from yesterday morning that the locomotive still exists in Mexico.  That got me wondering and investigating for the last little bit.  

As has been posted on this board and elsewhere in the past, the United Sugar Company in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, ran a trio of Baldwin steam locomotives on its three mile long Ferrocarril Mexicano del Pacifico into the early 1990s.  The three were 2-8-2 #4 (1922, built new for United Sugar); 2-6-2 #6 (built 1920 as California Western #21); and 2-6-2 #7 (Built 1920 for Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber #68, then worked for a number of Long Bell Lumber operations around the U.S., finally as Longview, Portland & Northern #681).  In addition to the operable power the company had its ancient 4-6-0 #2 displayed without its tender at the entrance to the sugar mill.

After being retired the #4/6/7 were stored in the mill until sometime between 1/17/2006 and 3/15/2010, when they were moved out to the edge of the mill property.  Several photographers got pictures of them stored there, and a Google streetview image captured around 2009 of them has been posted to Trainorders at least several times over the last decade or so.  Then, sometime between 12/30/2012 and 1/20/2014 the #7 (but not its tender) was removed from the mill property and placed on display on the medium between traffic lanes of a nearby street:


At around this same time the #4/#6, the #7's tender, and the large sugar cane tender were moved deeper into the old mill complex.  They remain visible in Google Earth up through imagery dated last summer.  On imagery dated 7/9/2019 the six pieces of equipment are there.  Fuzzier imagery dated two days later shows a couple trucks and cranes around the equipment, and what looks like the #6 appears to be gone by imagery dated 8/2/2019.  All six pieces of equipment are gone and the area where they had been is cleaned up by imagery dated 12/7/2019. 

This begs the question, where did they go? 

As for the #2, it had been on a nice display stand up until early September 2016, when crews moved it about a tenth of a mile away to temporary trackage set up in the footprint of what had been one of the large molasses tanks in the sugar mill.  I found a local news article on the move which stated no firm decisions had yet been made on its disposition, with the leading possibilities being either (1) selling it to raise funds for the former employees of the sugar mill, or (2) place it on display as a historical monument in the parking areas for the city theater and the Trapiche children's museum. The #2 is still in this temporary location as of the most recent Google imagery (12/7/2019).

Attached are three Google Earth captures showing the apparent progressive dissapearance of these locomotives last year.  They are towards the lower right corner of the frame, up against the outside fence of the mill.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/20 20:10 by JDLX.

Date: 03/21/20 20:29
Re: Vanishing Mexicano del Pacifico (California Western 21 relate
Author: stevef

I fondly remember riding behind one of them on a Let's Travel Tour put on by Ed and Mary Lee von Nordeck.  I remember that they had to light a fire underneath the tender to get the fuel liquefied first.  After the fuel was liquefied and they built up steam, we found a place to hang on the tender and rode the locomotive out to the end of the line. Sweet memories.  Only in Mexico.

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