#18 has been busy! On May 22nd our little locomotive headed the first revenue steam train into Silverton since October 2019. Paired up with the D&SNG’s much larger K37 class #493, the duo pulled 15 cars and over 400 passengers. As best as we can determine, this was the first time #18 had double headed since February 1938 when it headed the final train out of Mina, NV.
Many, Many thanks to one and only Jerry Day and the great Olaf Rasmussen for the following photos:
After that first trip, #18 had a little hick-up the following day when one of its lubricator lines plugged up and it only went as far as Cascade. The issue was quickly remedied and #18 subsequently assisted engine #493 on five more, consecutive, 15 car long doubleheaders, each time pulling over 400 people! With D&SNG engine #480 ready to enter service, #18 will now become the primary backup locomotive. #18 is truly earning her keep and making a honest living.
While we are in the process of putting together at least one special trip with #18 in early August, there are still just a few tickets remaining for the super special #493/#18 photo charter on September 2nd and 3rd. This will be a once in a lifetime event so don’t miss out! Tickets can be purchased here.
And lastly, here are a few shots of #18 at Cataract Falls taken by the highly talented Anthony D’Amato, WOW!:
Loading day for our #18 was Saturday April 10th. Having been previously prepared, and freshly painted, our large volunteer crew arrived to safely secure the engine and tender on Brandon Rosser’s trailers. While loading a locomotive of #18’s size is never easy, we have transported it enough times to have developed a pretty quick routine. Both engine and tender were on their way just shortly after lunch!
After a weekend stay in Ridgecrest and a two day drive, #18 safely arrived in Durango on Wednesday the 14th and was promptly unloaded the following morning. Rosser trucking once again did a fantastic job of hauling the engine and tender. After the unload, the stack was installed and the engine moved inside the roundhouse in preparation for its annual inspection.
Many of you have asked when #18 will be operating in Durango. Because its being used as a back up to the D&SNG’s other locomotive’s, there is currently not a set operating schedule. Our plan is that we will be able to provide at least a few dates in advance that allow folks to make plans. So please check back soon and we will do our best to provide semi regular updates and photos.
In other news: the weekend following #18’s departure from Independence, our crew, along with our friends from the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum loaded former Rio Grande stock car #5771. The stock car, long a resident – since 1997 – of the Eastern California Museum was sold to the NCNGM where it will become the bones for a restored tank car. Once again the move went well and we are thrilled at the cooperation between the groups!