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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Southern Pacific No. 18’s tender arrives in Colorado NEWSWIRE

Southern Pacific No. 18’s tender arrives in Colorado NEWSWIRE

By David Lustig | October 26, 2018

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SP18tenderDurango
SP18tenderDurango
No. 18’s tender rests on the turntable at Durango, Colo., on Thursday.
Randy Babcock
DURANGO, Colo. – Southern Pacific 4-6-0 No. 18’s whaleback tender has arrived at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s main shops this week after traveling by truck from its home in Independence, Calif. The locomotive is still en route to the Centennial State.

Once the locomotive and tender are remarried in Durango, they will be used to train Durango & Silverton employees on how to maintain and operate oil-fired steam power. The Colorado railroad is in the process of converting its fleet of former Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge 2-8-2 Mikados from coal to oil firing.
No. 18 was recently restored to service by volunteers with the nonprofit Carson & Colorado Railway, headed by Dave Mull. It is scheduled to be in Colorado until June 2019. In addition, Durango & Silverton will operate excursion trains with No. 18 on select Thursdays in January and February 2019.

10 thoughts on “Southern Pacific No. 18’s tender arrives in Colorado NEWSWIRE

  1. I am very glad to hear that D&SNG has finally decided to go “oil” on all of their steam locos. This should avoid most fires caused by locomotives. There is always the chance that a passing train could toss a spark from a wheel flange or railhead, but those are few and far between. This should, over the long-haul, save a lot of money that was spent on fire patrols and fire cleanup.

  2. Mister Ross: Having heaved my share of coal when I was a child, I have to admit to a certain sadness with the impending demise of the black diamond. But time marches on, and for a variety of reasons it only makes sense to switch to fuel oil – and I have had more than my share of JP-5 in my drinking water over the years as well.

    The D&S is not just a historical artifact. It is a business, and it has to run in the black. While they do sell nostalgia hopefully the switch from coal to oil will not dilute the experience, especially for those who were there when…

    It will never happen but I would like to have a cab ride in a K-28, just for old time’s sake. But that was long ago and in another life and all I can do is look back with sadness.

    The above remarks are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Go find your own damn lawyer.

  3. This article implies that the D&SRR is going to convert their entire fleet of steam locomotives to burn oil. I thought they were only going to convert some over from coal.

  4. Roger Cole,

    Don’t worry, once they start the conversion they will go through and complete the entire fleet…of course the problem with switching to oil…increased carbon footprint vs coal burning(in this particular case).

  5. The tender arriving ahead of the engine reminds me of being moved by my cousins to a senior living apartment where my furniture arrived weeks before I did.

  6. It is my understanding that only locomotive 493, a K37 will be converted to oil. The railroad is purchasing two diesel locomotives to run during extended dry periods. I have heard nothing about converting the rest of the locomotives to oil.

  7. Mister Bolsega:

    Aside from Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm I am aware of no operational three foot gauge railroads in California. I expect also that this will give D&S management a good look at oil firing, before they pull the trigger, and I expect it to be on the property for some time. For these reasons even at the expense it makes sense to bring the locomotive to Colorado.

    The above remarks are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Go find your own damn lawyer.

  8. California has the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroad and the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, both operational 3-foot railroads utilizing oil-burning steam. Of course, these lines use geared steam, not rod locomotives like the D&S.

  9. Would it not be cheaper to send personnel to Cal. for training? Seems to me that shipping the loco and tender back and forth would be hugely expensive. Just wondering.

  10. Mister Cole:

    Yes…I had forgot about those two. However I am sure the fact that they are geared steam and not rod engines played into the decision by D&S to bring the locomotive to Colorado. In spite of some of the corporate decisions I have seen in my time – some straight out of Believe It Or Ripley – I have to think that D&S management considered their options before making this move.

    On the other hand, I do not believe the Slim Princess (it is the Slim Princess, is it not?) has anywhere to run at the moment because there is no suitable track in California. The amusement parks are out for obvious reasons and the geared steam lines could easily not be suitable for a rod engine. And I am sure the owners are itching to let her do her stuff…

    The above remarks are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Go find your own damn lawyer.

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