Northern Pacific Oil Burning Steam Locomotives

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  • Member since
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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, March 12, 2020 8:14 PM

1070 was one of the first steam locomotives I saw.

It was bought by a preservation group from Simpson Lumber in the early 1970s, and was moved up to the Lake Whatcom Railway where it operated frequently through the 1990s (the BN incident was in 1988).

Up until a few years ago it was used at low pressure to steam heat coaches before they were pulled by the railway's Alco S1. I understand it currently isn't even doing that.

I wish there was money for a rebuild, but there isn't.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, March 12, 2020 10:23 AM

Quite true about switchers.  NKP also closed out steam with an 0-8-0 at Calumet Yard.

The last steam locomotives built for domestic service in the United States were 15 0-8-0's built at Roanoke in 1953.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 2:56 PM

Surprisingly, switchers were often the last steam locomotives active on a carrier.  Virginian closed out steam with an ex-C&O 0-8-0. 

From what I can find NP 1070 was used to deal with a local logging operation in Washington, and was probably a "pet" forgotten by the front office.  After NP sidelined it, the lumber operation bought it, using it into the 1970s, where it was once used to bail BN out of a high-water situation.  It was used in excursion service into the 1990s, and is probably the only preserved steamer to see service in every decade of the 20th century.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 2:41 PM

Was there a special reason why a switcher was the last NP steamer active?  Economics drove most railroads to begin diesel conversion with switchers.

Possibly this 0-6-0 had an assignment requiring just a few hours each day, where the investment in a diesel woiuld have marginal value and whee maintenance was simple and local?

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Posted by Fr.Al on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 2:18 PM

Where was the 1070 in use? I seem to recall pictures of vintage NP 2-6-2' s working in Minnesota as late as the mid 50's.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 12:38 PM

Looks like classes A-3 (2660-2667), A-4 (2670-2677)  and A-5 (2680-2689) had at least some members set up to burn oil.

NP must have converted quite a few.  An 0-6-0, 1070, was converted to oil in 1950 and was the last NP steamer in active service, in 1958.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 11:19 AM

At least Class A #2600-#2611 and Class A-1 #2626 (former Timken Four Aces demonstrator) converted to oil firing and gave up their booster engines in the late 1940s. Not sure about the rest of the fleet.

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Northern Pacific Oil Burning Steam Locomotives
Posted by SPer on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 2:04 PM

Did any large Northern Pacific steam locomotives burns oil systemwide.


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