|RyPN Briefs July 25, 2005
Request for Expressions of Interest in Acquisition of Steam Locomotive
Rannoch Corporation is requesting expressions of interest from
railroad museums, tourist railroads and other parties who would like to
acquire a partially restored Baldwin 2-6-2 “Prairie” locomotive. The
locomotive, known as “#108” for all of its working life, is unusually
complete in terms of parts and documentation, though it is currently in
an advanced state of disassembly. Interested parties should be prepared
to demonstrate that they have the ability and resources to continue
restoration of the locomotive, preferably to operation.
Background of Locomotive #108
#108 was built for the San Augustine County Lumber Company in 1920, and
operated by the Angelina and Neches River RR for many years. #108 was
sold to the Reader RR (Arkansas) in 1956, where it was used in mixed
passenger and freight service..
In 1976, #108 was bought by the
Railroad, where it was in tourist operation from 1977 until
1988. In 1988, #108 was replaced by a larger locomotive and placed on
display. It was on display at the CSRR until November 1999, when it was
purchased by Rannoch and transported to Sulphur Springs, Texas, where it
#108 doubleheads on the Reader
In the photo above, taken in 1972 on the
Reader Railroad, #108 is the
locomotive in front. It was a typical branch-line locomotive of its
time, weighing in at 125,000 lbs for the engine and about 100,000 lbs on
the tender with fuel and water. It was rated by Baldwin at 25,300 lbs.
of tractive effort. It is superheated, burns oil and has air-operated
valve gear, a later addition.
The locomotive and tender are now in Sulphur Springs, TX, where they are
on a siding of the
Railroad. Rannoch has set up a restoration shop and warehouse
for parts in an adjacent building.
Fortunately, the former owners of #108 were good record-keepers, and so
we have all of the original purchase papers, the builder’s specs, Form 4
and many of the maintenance records. We also have a much better than
average pictorial history of the locomotive at its various venues. In
the course of our restoration efforts, we commissioned a search of the
remaining Baldwin engineering files and obtained a number of documents
and drawings, including the original erection drawing. Some of these
documents are posted online at this
link. A copy of the Baldwin builder’s photo is shown below.
David Lathrop, former chief mechanical officer of
Loop RR and a former member of Bernie Watts' staff at Backshop
Services, worked with Rannoch to evaluate the locomotive and plan the
restoration project. Dave also under took rehabilitation of several of
the major appliances.
Upon #108's return to Texas, Ron Larson of Southwest Steam
Locomotive, and formerly chief mechanical officer of the
was under contract to do the disassembly and make a thorough assessment
of the restoration work required. Ron worked with a team of volunteers
on the project until 2003. Very little restoration work has been done on
the locomotive and tender since that time.
Expressions of Interest
If your organization is interested in acquiring and continuing the
restoration of #108, please contact Nat Turner of Rannoch Corporation by
email, or by
telephone at 972-239-8198. We have prepared a CD with a large number of
detailed photos and other documentation showing the current status of
most parts of the locomotive. We will be happy to send a copy of the CD
to qualified parties. Obviously, we will also be happy to answer
questions by telephone, but we will restrict site visits to parties who
are clearly interested and qualified.
As a final step in the process, we will ask potential acquirers to
submit a written proposal, including a statement of their plans for the
locomotive and of their ability to undertake the rest of the
(Nat P. Turner, President, the Rannoch Corporation)