On 12/6/2020 I rode on a fundraiser/photo shoot for the restoration of the Southern Pacific #1744, a Class M-6 2-6-0 "Mogul" type steam locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Southern Pacific Railroad in November 1901. Images of the 1744 chassis and cab + #s 166, 173 & 185. About 40 people rode on a train pulled by an SW900 Diesel Electric Locomotive, SP #1195. We were following the "Skookum" Steam locomotive #7.
History of the Skookum:
Deep River Logging No. 7, named "Skookum" is a 2-4-4-2 steam locomotive. It was built in June 1909 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Deep River Logging railroad, where it was used mainly on log trains.
It was retired and abandoned in place in a forest following a derailment in 1955.
As of September 2018, it was nearing completion of restoration to operating condition at the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad shop in Garibaldi, Oregon. Its first steaming was the following month, but not before problems with its bottom-end (that of the low-pressure engine) were encountered. Afterwards, back to the shop it went, and once the problems are ironed out, Skookum returned to service by the end of 2018. It was completed in early 2019 and ran on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. It is in full operating condition. It was sent to the Niles Canyon Railway to be run regularly in July of 2019.
History of the 1744: It operated for many years out of Oakland on the SP Western Division and in California’s Central Valley where the Moguls were fondly called “Valley Mallets” by their crews. The locomotive was made famous in later years by operating on several of the last steam railfan excursions on the Southern Pacific. After many years of operating around the United States, the #1744 is returning home to once again operate through Niles Canyon on the last leg of the transcontinental railroad. After retirement from service on the SP in 1958, the locomotive was operated at the Heber Valley Railroad, moved to Texas and restored for a brief period of operation in New Orleans. Iowa Pacific bought the locomotive and ran it on the San Luis & Rio Grande over Colorado’s La Veta Pass in tourist service during 2007 until it was sidelined with boiler issues. The locomotive was disassembled, boiler work started and then stopped. The locomotive has sat disassembled since 2008 with the boiler moving from Alabama to Texas and then back to Colorado during this time. The Pacific Locomotive Association is currently in the process of gathering the pieces together in Colorado for shipment. The boiler will be sent to a contract shop for repairs while the rest of the locomotive will be shipped home to Niles Canyon. The PLA plan to return the #1744 to service will not be a quick or inexpensive proposition but we are looking forward to the future when she will once again steam through Niles Canyon. ~