Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The real-life train in TRAINS’ front yard!

Posted by Matt Van Hattem
on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flagg Coal No. 75 0-4-0T visits Trains' headquartersOn Tuesday, August 16, something happened I never thought I would see. A train actually visited the offices of Trains magazine. It was the first time ever.
Flagg Coal Co. No. 75, an 0-4-0 tank engine built by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1930, arrived on a flatbed truck at around noon and stayed in the parking lot for 2 hours, while people took turns admiring the locomotive and climbing into the cab to learn more about this unique machine.

Flagg Coal No. 75 0-4-0T visits Trains' headquartersTRAINS Editor Jim Wrinn had actually fired this locomotive while he was volunteering with the North Carolina Transportation Museum at Spencer, N.C., and he developed a friendship with the engine's owner, John Gramling. John and his son Barney had spent 10 years restoring the engine.

Jim and John met up again at the steam festival in Rock Island, Ill., last month. Gramling mentioned he would be passing through the Milwaukee area on his way back from running the engine at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, and Jim asked if there was any way John might be able to make a stop at the office.

Flagg Coal No. 75 0-4-0T visits Trains' headquartersSo it was that the engine arrived at Kalmbach, delighting employees, their families, local residents, and even a few TV and newspaper reporters. As visitors climbed into the cab and rang the bell, Jim pointed out the various devices that make the locomotive steam and operate.

Our sister magazine, Model Railroader, did a special version of "Inside Cody's Office," devoted to the engine's visit.

"We've had two firsts in one week," Gramling told me. The TRAINS magazine visit was the second. While at the museum, Gramling said, a visitor brought the papers to his paid-off mortgage and asked to burn them in the firebox.

Flagg Coal Co. No. 75 is one of two locomotives Gramling owns that travels the country to different railroad museums and events. You can learn more about the engine and its distinguished career here:
Flagg Coal No. 75 0-4-0T visits Trains' headquarters
In the meantime, I'll call it a day. Guess I didn't have to work too hard for today's installment.

Flickr: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS' backyard album
Facebook: Trains Magazine Facebook Page

To leave a comment you must be a member of our community.
Login to your account now, or register for an account to start participating.
No one has commented yet.