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Steam & Excursion > This Locomotive, While It Looked Like The Shows Over, It Wasn't!

Date: 08/01/20 01:56
This Locomotive, While It Looked Like The Shows Over, It Wasn't!
Author: LoggerHogger

On a cold and damp afternoon in December, 1957 in the rail yard at Keasey, Oregon in the Oregon Coast Range, Long-Bell Lumber 2-6-2 #105 is working a clean-up train at the end of operations of this steam-powered logging line.  The show is over here.  With the timber cut out, there will be no more trains of disconnect trucks loaded with logs bound from the woods to the mill in Vernonia.  The show is really over.

However dark it looked on this winter day, things would soon brighten up for #105 and her sister 2-6-2T #104.  In a few months after #105's boiler had grown cold for what looked like the last time, a former lumber company employee would buy both #105 and #104 to save her from being scrapped along with the rest of the former Oregon-American Lumber Co. logging equipment.  In just a couple of years #105 would be freshened up and put back into service out on the SP&S line between Banks, Oregon and Vernonia.  This would be the beginning of the Vernonia, South Park & Sunset Steam Railroad.

When that operation shut down in the late 1960's, #104 would stay in Banks for a number of years while #105 went on display on the Oregon Pacific & Eastern in Cottage Grove, Oregon.  In the late 1980's both would be purchased by Fred Kepner, who now has them stored in Merrill, Oregon with the rest of his collection.

The show is still not over for #105.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/20 02:10 by LoggerHogger.

Date: 08/01/20 02:49
Re: This Locomotive, While It Looked Like The Shows Over, It Wasn
Author: Jim700

LoggerHogger Wrote:
> The show is still not over for #105.

I sure hope you're right, Martin.  The O-A #105 was the first steamer I ever fired and ran.  What an incredible joy it would be to have the opportunity to do it again.  While running and firing the McCloud #25 last Sunday was a pretty close match (a very similar engine, just not a Baldwin; built 8 months after the 105) it's still not like "your first love".  My years spent on #105 were absolutely the best part of my railroad career.

In about 1971 I drove 4 hours NE of Portland, OR to Roslyn, WA (or maybe 2 miles farther to Ronald, WA - I can't remember which) which is just 3 miles NW of Cle Elum on the old NP, to inquire about purchasing the 105's older sister engine, O-A 2-6-2T #104 (which was still located at the old VSP&SSRR yard in Banks, OR), from the fellow to whom Malarkey Wall had sold it, I think, around the time #105 went to Cottage Grove, OR.  Malarkey had bought both the 104 and 105 early on from Weaver Clark (a retirement-age Hillsboro, OR shopkeeper) who sacrificed much to save them from the scrapper.  I had no luck in my steamer pursuit as the owner was not interested in selling it at the time.  I assume that he's the one who sold it to the current owner, Fred Kepner.

As I recall, the 104's boiler was a straight-top rather than a wagon-top like the 105 had.  It was also a hard-luck lokie, having been involved in a run-away in the woods on June 3, 1948 resulting in the deaths of the engineer, the fireman, and a company timekeeper who was bumming a ride.  See Martin's posting at https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?10,4255896,4257325#msg-4257325.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/20 20:11 by Jim700.

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