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Steam & Excursion > Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California


Date: 12/13/20 21:06
Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: Harlock

Here are some pictures of a recently restored 2ft gauge Davenport 2-6-2 trench locomotive operating on a private railway on California's Central Coast.   The locomotive was completed by Davenport and sold to the Army, but never shipped to Europe.  Some time later it wound up at the Bryon railroad, where it ran with a traction engine boiler and made to look like a scale US mainline locomotive.  Despite that, the chassis was very little used with all matching serial numbers on the brasses, rods, axles, etc.  when it was acquired by the present owner.  The crew at the Norgrove Railway Shops restored it to original specifications using a lot of research and drawings where available.   The only 'modern' concession is the Winton steam air compressor for air brakes.

We had a nice run day a week ago on Sunday on the unfinished railroad and it ran like a champ up the steep gradients.   Lots of power to spare and very square forward and reverse.   A big success for the crew.  Here are some highlight photos, a full gallery is available at http://gallery.mikemassee.com/-/galleries/steam-railroading/norgrove-railway-2-6-2-davenport-trench-engine

 

Mike Massee
Tehachapi, CA
Photography, Railroading and more..








Date: 12/13/20 21:10
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: Harlock

A few more highlights.

Mike Massee
Tehachapi, CA
Photography, Railroading and more..








Date: 12/13/20 21:13
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: kcmbha

So, what does that loco weigh?



Date: 12/13/20 21:27
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: Harlock

kcmbha Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, what does that loco weigh?

18 tons.

Mike Massee
Tehachapi, CA
Photography, Railroading and more..



Date: 12/13/20 23:15
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: webmaster

Mike,

These vineyard railroads are so impressive.  How many of these private ranch railroads are there in California? 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 12/14/20 05:07
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: PlyWoody

Since it was built in America was it built with 2' gauge or with 60 CM gauge which is 3/8" tighter?  Nice photos and post.  The link answered the weight question to be 18 tons.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/20 05:48 by PlyWoody.



Date: 12/14/20 08:22
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: Harlock

PlyWoody Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since it was built in America was it built with 2'
> gauge or with 60 CM gauge which is 3/8" tighter? 
> Nice photos and post.  The link answered the
> weight question to be 18 tons.

It's to 60cm. :)

Mike Massee
Tehachapi, CA
Photography, Railroading and more..



Date: 12/14/20 08:24
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: Harlock

webmaster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mike,
>
> These vineyard railroads are so impressive.  How
> many of these private ranch railroads are there in
> California? 

My friend Karl did a count in his head as he is well connected to many of them in the area, there are at least 15 private railroads in San Luis Obispo county alone ranging from 7.5" gauge on up.

Best,

-Mike

Mike Massee
Tehachapi, CA
Photography, Railroading and more..



Date: 12/14/20 08:53
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: wp1801

That's a backyard railroad!



Date: 12/14/20 09:30
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: King_Coal

Good looking locomotive. Looks very well cared for.



Date: 12/14/20 10:25
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: callum_out

Another inexpensive hobby, never mind the station, at least this owner looks to share his toys, very nice!

Out 



Date: 12/14/20 15:31
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: PHall

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good looking locomotive. Looks very well cared
> for.

I would hope so, it's only been out of the shop for a couple of months.



Date: 12/14/20 21:22
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: MojaveBill

Mike: Was that for WW1 or WW2? were used extensively in WW1...

Bill Deaver
Tehachapi, CA



Date: 12/15/20 05:24
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: SR-RL_Nr_10

From Mr. Richard Dunn’s book, “Narrow Gauge to No Man’s Land” which is the only readily available resource about the WWI Light Railways, he has this to say about what to call the 60 cm narrow gauge railways (page 28):

The little military railways, built to the European gauge of 60 centimeters, had various name in different countries.  The French called them “votes de soixantes.”  Soon this was shortened to “une soixnae” (singular) or “les soixnaes” (plural).  The Germans called their 60 cm military railways, “Feldbahnnen” (field roads). The British and Americans usually called their 60 cm gauge lines, “Light railways,” although the American Handbook of Military Railways designated them “combat railways.”  As noted in the Foreword, in this book I have used the terms “60 cm railways” and “light railways” interchangeably.

Back in the early 1970s, I was well on my way to a BS in History, subspecialty Military History, and I had never heard of the “light railways” of WWI.  But they were a very significant part of fighting the stationary war characteristic of WWI.  They fulfilled the same function as the better known “Red Ball Express of WWII” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Ball_Express ), moving supplies from the rail heads to the front.  In the period between March 29, 1918 and February 1, 1919, Mr Dunn reports (quote from page 81 and 82):

The Historical Report of the Chief Engineer (1919) gives a figure of 860,600 tons, and further reports that it represents a ton-milage of 8,106,700  including empty trains.  In October, 1918, these light railways were handling 8100 tons of materials per day.

The Historical Report of the Chief Engineer (1919) sates that American light railways hauled freight farther than e British and French light railways did.  In some cases, the Americans even extended their freight runs to distances previously considered impractical for 60 cm railways.  The average haul for the entire American light railways system in France was 9.5 miles (15.3 km), probably 30 percent greater than either the British or e French average haul.  In the area around Toul, ammunition hauls were 30 miles (48 km), ration and water trains often went 34 miles (55 km), and personnel trains 27 miles (43 km).

Deliveries of materials from the central shops at Abainville during the Meuse-Argonne offensive were the most extraordinary of all.  The Chief Engineer (1919) reports that a single 108-mile (175 km) run from Abainville to Grand Pre was the longest haul of the American light railways in France.  He also mentions that nine train-loads of material were sent successfully from Abainville  to Dombasle, a distance of  89 miles (140 km).

A large number of men were moved on the American light railways.  For example, according the Irvine (1920) 23,155 men were transported on the 60 cm lines on the nights of August  4 to 9, 1918, during the relief of the 82nd Division b e 89th Division. On the night of August 8 alone, 675 of the men in those two divisions moved to or from the front on the narrow gauge. 

Personnel were usually transported standing on flat cars.  The American operated a total of 1392 miles of track of which 1081 were captured from the Germans during various Allied advances. 195 locomotives were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Co. and all but five were shipped to France.  The Baldwin design was not well thought of by the users in France, the side tanks when full made the locomotive decidedly top heavy and when using unballested rail near the front, often tipped over.  Crushed side tanks are common in the photos from the operations in WWI.  The Baldwins also required a field modification to the front truck in order to track the very tight curvature found in the 60 cm tracks in Europe.  The frequent derailings made them very unpopular with the users.   By using the appropriate search terms, videos can be watched of them in operation on the "Site That Must Not Be Named" such as -- WWI 60 cm railroads.

Of the 80 locomotive built by Davenport and 30 built by Vulcan Iron Works none were shipped to Europe.  Since the American abandoned all rolling stock sent to Europe at the end of hostilities, many of the Baldwins were reclaimed from the rail facilities and were shipped to many places in the world including Brazil, Australia, and Wales.  Several had guage changes applied, usually 75 cm and one at least 100 mm (just shy of 3 feet and 40 inches).  As late as 1982, 60 cm box cars were in use by a tourist railroad in France.  Dunn has detailed disposition lists for the steam engines and the gas locomotives built by Baldwin for use in Europe.  Ten army posts/forts had 60 cm railroads in operation, some as late as the end of WWII.  Equipment was stored across the U.S. and as far away as Oahu, HI, at the Schofield Barracks.  Many of these stored locomotives and rolling stock were declared surplus and were sold to the general public or to the various states and wound up in logging operations and construction sites.  A whole annex is devoted to trying to account for these locomotives.

According to Dunn, Bryon modified two Davenports, 5240 and 5245.  Attached below is a photo of 5245 after being modified.   



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/20 05:56 by SR-RL_Nr_10.




Date: 12/15/20 13:20
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: PlyWoody

This photo is at Fort Dix RR in New Jersey in 1941 at start of Second WW.
The locomotives were the same that were used on the Camp Dix RR and later Fort Dix Railroad.  At first the Camp Dix RR ran from the Union Transportation yard and terminal to a gunning range.  Later a long branch was extended east 5 miles into the cramberry field to move soldiers.  The RR was enlisted for the war in Oct 1940 even before Pear Harbor.  I could write a book about the line if I had a few more photos to publish.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/20 13:28 by PlyWoody.




Date: 12/20/20 14:32
Re: Restored Davenport Trench Engine in California
Author: ns1000

Very cool....

I like Pic 3!!



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