McCloud River 2-6-2 No. 9
 
Specifications  
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works - Philadelphia, PA
Built: 1901 
Serial No:  #18596 
Wheel Arrangement: 2-6-2 Prarie
Driver Diameter: 44"
Cylinder Bore x Stroke 16" x 24"
Boiler Pressure: 160 psi
Pulling Power: 19,000 lbs. tractive effort
Fuel: Oil
Status: Non-operational
 
The first 2-6-2 steam locomotives with separate tenders were built during 1885 by Baldwin and exported to New Zealand. Its 2-6-2 American counterpart was first constructed in 1898 (also by BLW) for McCloud River Railroad of California, a logging line up in the Sierra Mountains. The engine’s small size allowed for operation on light track with sharp curves, and the addition of rear trailing wheels made for better operation in reverse than 4-4-0 and 4-6-0 types.  Later, larger 2-6-0s were developed for use on the rolling profile of the Midwest, however, their symmetry of design placed the center of gravity almost directly above the center driving wheel, causing them to “nose” from side-to-side and become unstable at speed.  Except for CB&Q, AT&SF, Wabash and a few others, the 2-6-2 or Prairie-type of locomotive did not find favor with many Class I railroads, and only about one-thousand 2-6-2s were built, many of them for low-speed short line railroads.
 
Business was booming and McCloud River RR needed additional locomotives, so during 1901 it turned to Baldwin for a pair of low-drivered, 2-6-2s, Nos. 8 and 9. Carrying boiler serial number 18596, steamer No.9 rolled on 44-inch driving wheels, developed 160 pounds of boiler pressure, and used 16x24-inch cylinders to produce 19,000 pounds of tractive effort, less than half the power of a modern, 1930s-era 0-6-0 switcher. Operating through the forests of northern California these two locos were designed to burn wood, which was in abundant supply.  But wood-burning boilers had several drawbacks, so during 1920 loco No.9 was converted to burn oil. It was retired in 1934, rebuilt in 1937 and stored until purchased by Yreka Western Railroad in December 1939.
 
After five years of service on YWRR, No.9 was sold in 1944 to the Amador Central RR. The former YW 2-6-2 was not relettered to reflect its new ACRR ownership, and also retained its road number.  During the following year (1945) No.9 was sold to the Nez Perce & Idaho RR, and, again, was not relettered for its new owner and continued wearing its former YW identification. It has not been determined just when NP&I No.9 was retired, but this 2-6-2 sat derelict until 1964 when it was purchased by Richard Hinebaugh and moved to Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin. The museum rebuilt No.9 for operation and it pulled tourist trains. During the summer of 1971 the new Kettle Moraine steam tourist railroad began operations on four miles of track in North Lake, Wisconsin. Initially, KM used other privately-owned steamers, and No.9 (nicknamed Sequoia) would be moved later from North Freedom to North Lake. The Kettle Moraine became an unfortunate victim of real estate development of former farm land. New residents complained about smoke, noise and visiting tourist traffic in town, and the steam train ride was no longer wanted in the upscale village—October 28, 2001 was the last day of operation.  No.9 was owned by Steve Butler and stored indoors at North Lake until purchased by Jerry Jacobson. The 2-6-2 was moved to its new AoSRH home in Sugarcreek on August 25, 2015.