News & Reviews News Wire Carson & Colorado Railway volunteers ride behind Southern Pacific No. 18 NEWSWIRE

Carson & Colorado Railway volunteers ride behind Southern Pacific No. 18 NEWSWIRE

By Thomas Scalf | August 29, 2019

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DURANGO, Colo. — Seventy volunteers of the Carson & Colorado Railway got to ride behind Southern Pacific No. 18 on Aug. 23 as it made its way from Durango to Silverton, Colo. The private excursion was hosted by Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which has been leasing the 4-6-0 oil-burning locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1911.

The D&SNGR is converting its Baldwin 2-8-2 No. 493 from coal to oil to use along its 46-mile route from Durango to Silverton, during times of high fire danger. The railroad leased No. 18 to gain experience on the operation of oil-burning locomotives. The lease expires in September, and the engine will be returned to its home in California in October. The last public excursion for SP No. 18 occurred Aug. 24. 

“The D&SNGR has been very happy with the knowledge gained from our locomotive, and they plan on having the 493 operational next year,” says David Mull, president of the Carson & Colorado Railway. 

No. 18 may later operate on other narrow gauge railroads. “We do have plans to run her on other railroads,” Mull says, “but need to work out details before we announce that. We do plan on running in Independence [Calif.] on Nov. 2, 2019.”

SP No. 18 was originally built for the Nevada–California–Oregon Railway and was sold to Southern Pacific in 1926. It was retired in 1954 and donated to the Eastern California Museum in Independence.  The engine sat in a park for decades until local residents Myron Alexander, David Mull, and Randy Babcock embarked on a journey to restore it. From 1997 to 2009, little work was done on the restoration until the Inyo County Board of Supervisors developed a comprehensive plan to restore it.  The group completed restoration in 2016.

Carson & Colorado Southern Pacific No. 18 Thomas Scalf
Carson & Colorado Railway volunteers ride behind Southern Pacific No. 18, as it passes Hermosa, Colo., on its way to Silverton. 
Thomas Scalf

6 thoughts on “Carson & Colorado Railway volunteers ride behind Southern Pacific No. 18 NEWSWIRE

  1. A very nice photo, much better than seeing it in 1959 stuffed and mounted. Excellent contributions to history and preservation.

  2. Thanks Mr. Scalf! I agree, it was goofy-looking. Spoiled the whole esthetic of the locomotive as well.

  3. My understanding was it was a microphone near the stack. A group was capturing audio of SP 18 that day. I hadn’t noticed that it was gone at Silverton but it was there as it pulled into Rockwood so I assume that’s where it was removed. Hopefully it didn’t fall off, although it was goofy looking.

  4. Neat video, thanks for posting!
    A question, what’s that thing that looks like a boom microphone swinging around the smokestack? It’s there at the beginning of the vid but gone at the end.

  5. How long before Blackstone has a model with a soundtrax decoder? Or is someone else planning on making a sound file.

  6. At around 0:49. on the video, the track causes some yawing motion to #18. It handled it but looked like some track work should be considered. Other than that, it is beautiful

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