A Shay With Odd Lettering

Copyright © Alan Short

This Class A Shay (Lima Locomotive Works, 1910, c/n 2374) is displayed near the social club of Finca Pantaleon in Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala. It last operated in 1997 before being put on display. It is lettered for “New England Lime Company” No. 2. This information is fictional and not a part of the ownership chain of the locomotive. When it was being painted for display the lettering came from a photo found in a book.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 8, 2019 in Interesting Locomotives


Site Problems

Recently, our hosting provider switched from Adobe Coldfusion, a compiler which implements CFML (Cold Fusion Markup Language) to Lucee, an open source compiler which also implements CFML.

There are many upsides to this change, including the fact that .cfm pages compiled with Lucee execute anywhere from 25% to 50% faster than the same page compiled with the Adobe product. The transition was reasonably seamless. Unfortunately there are a couple of problems, which we’re working on at present. (We, of course, meaning me).

Firstly, if you submit a link to a site for a locomotive, it cannot, at present be approved by our editors. This is because the submission doesn’t show up in our management interface at all. It is properly in the database, but we simply cannot see it for some reason. This is being researched.

Secondly, all the pretty map information on the site was originally provided through use of a CFML tag called <cfmap>. This tag, unfortunately doesn’t work correctly in Lucee and there seems to be little likelihood that it will any time in the near future. So…the map functionality is being rewritten in its entirety with the Google Maps API and Javascript. Sigh. Couple of weeks, I think.



Leave a comment

Posted by on June 13, 2019 in Website


An Elusive 0-4-0T in Belgium

Etterbeek Station is a railway station in suburban Brussels, Belgium. For many years a narrow gauge (600mm) 0-4-0WT was preserved on the platform of this station. The locomotive was complete, and displayed on a short length of track. Chris West, a contributor to Nieuwsbrief Issue No. 46 of June 2003 described visiting the stationin April of 2003 and discovering that the locomotive was no longer present, though the trackage was.

He writes:

The exact history of the locomotive is not known with certainty, but by the mid-1920s, it was in Belgium and at work on the construction of the Brussels – Charleroi canal.  It was purchased for preservation in the late 1960’s by a Brussels watchmaker from the yards of Ponts, Tunnels & Terrassements S.A. at Lembeek.  At first stored at the Scepdaal Museum, by 1972 it had moved to Etterbeek.

We have recorded this locomotive as Krauss (Munich) 4018 of 1904.

Chris West continues to analyze this locomotive with information from a visit in the early 2000’s.

The locomotive is generally recorded as Krauss (Munich) 4018/1904.  It carries two plates on the boiler back head; one shows ‘Maffei 2061 10K’, the other ‘Brabant No. 1861’.  In the published Krauss works list 4018 is a 600 mm gauge 0-4-0T delivered to Schramm & Kraus, München in 1900.  Maffei 2061 was a standard gauge 2-6-0, used in Bavaria, so the plate must refer to a separate series for boilers.  The second boilerplate is believed to show the boiler registration number.
When I checked the locomotive’s motion I found the number 2842 in two places.  Maffei 2842 was a 600 mm 0-4-0T ordered in 1908 by Leipziger & Co., Köln for Kaiser & Schorr, Beilingries.  From this I deduce the locomotive is Maffei 2842, carrying boiler 2061, and possibly incorporating some parts of Krauss 4018.

Any further information about this locomotive would be greatly appreciated.


Leave a comment

Posted by on September 22, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives


Migrating Locomotives

One of the things that has surprised me about running is just how often steam locomotives, dead and non-operational, get moved from place to place. And how often they seem to change ownership. I have a few modest examples here.

To begin with, consider Six Gun Territory 4-4-0 No. 4 “General Sam Houston”, a Crown Metal Products locomotive of 1964. For years it has resideded in Underground Atlanta. I saw it there in the late 1980s. ga0019
Photo Copyright © Wes Barris

On August 30th, 2017 it was removed from Underground Atlanta enroute to the Kirby Family Farm in Williston, FL, where it will become a display.

And in an example of how long it sometimes takes for information to reach us, let us consider PKP 2-8-2 No. Pt47-14 which had been on display in Bialogard, Poland for a very long time:
Photo Copyright © Ian Smith

In the late 1990s this one was moved from Bialogard to Technikum Kolejowego w Stargardzie Szczecinski in Stargard, Poland. And then, in 2004 it moved again and was placed on display at the Szczecinsk Railway station in Stargard, where it remains.



Leave a comment

Posted by on September 6, 2017 in Railway Preservation, Steam News


Adventures in Research

As many of you know, we here at have an ongoing project to attempt to verify the location, condition and whereabouts of locomotives in our database. To this end, I’ve been working my way through our lists of locomotives without photos. There are probably more rational ways to do this, but this seemed convenient.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to an extraordinary railway museum: The Bochum Railway Museum in Bochum, Germany. The link takes you to a mostly-English version of their website. And the site is stunningly beautiful, the museum quite extraordinary. We had excellent photo coverage of the museum by several photographers — except for one locomotive DB 0-4-4-0T No. 99.604. And this caused me to wonder why.

The locomotive proved elusive on Google, at least at first. The locomotive was not listed on the museum’s website as a part of their collection. A search by builder and construction number on Google turned up nothing. (The builder information we had was wrong, of course).  Another wonderful website, if you’re interested in German steam locomotives can be found at The Steam Locomotive Archive. The site is wonderfully informative if you speak German, and if not, well Google Translate is your friend. Therein, I discovered that good ol’ 99.604 did indeed exist, and had been at the Bochum Railway Museum in 2006.

In the history of the locomotive  on I learned that the locomotive had been transferred in 2006 to the The Society for the Preservation of Narrow Gauge Railways in Dresden, Germany, where it is nicely displayed. Our page for this locomotive is at: DB 0-4-4-0T No. 99.604

And that, dear friends, is how I came to be on my fourth cup of coffee at 5:31 am writing a blog post about a convoluted internet search.




Preservation News (8/6/2017)

Some newsworthy items acquired today:

  • V.E.W. Donawitz 0-4-0T No. 100.13 had been listed as being stored at the Waldbahn Museum Railway in Bezau, Austria. At least least since 2015 it has been operational at a tourist railway in Criscior, Romania.
  • An 0-4-0T with only partial information was listed at Feldbahnmuseum FIM in Freiland, Austria. The locomotive’s railroad of origin was the Graf Karoly Imre tramway, it’s build date was 1899 and a photo was added for the locomotive. The locomotive is operational, have had its boiler recently reworked at Graz, Austria.
  • Removed a duplicate entry for this locomotive at Freiland
  • CFF 0-8-0T No. 764.219 is in possession of the Club 760 Museum, in Frojach, Austria, and it’s status is now “Operational”. A photo was added for this locomotive.

A Happy Discovery

There is an ongoing effort here to both improve the accuracy of the database that drives, and to add locomotives, maps and imagery to the site. Occassionally this yields a pleasant surprise.

So it was, this morning. I often use Google Earth Pro or to search for locomotives in our database. If I can find them in a satellite image, I can add a map/satellite view for the locomotive. I had been searching for locomotives in Chile and was trying to locate Humberstone 0-6-2T No. 11 in Humberstone, Chile. Our data said the locomotive was “Inside Shop”, but the photo provided by Sr. Pato Moris showed the locomotive outside, against the background of a somewhat run-down building. So the search began and I discovered that Humberstone, Chile is actually the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, now defunct.

It has been converted into a sort of tourist attraction, and Humberstone No. 11 is indeed outdoors in front of a building. So I began using Google Street View to explore the area at ground level and this is what I found:


The locomotive on the left is, indeed Humberstone No. 11 and it matches our photo by Sr. Pato Moris. The surprise, of course, is the locomotive on the right. This locomotive was not on any list of Chilean locomotives I could find. Navigating around it with Google Street View revealed markings that make this Humberstone No. 8, a locomotive which had been reported scrapped in 1940. So…I’ve cheerfully added this little critter to our website and database, and am searching for technical details for it.


Leave a comment

Posted by on August 6, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives