Morehead & North Fork  0-6-0 No. 12
 
Specifications
Builder: American Locomotive Co. - Pittsburg Works; Pittsburgh, PA
Built: September 1905 as Southern Railway #1643
Serial No: #37672
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0
Driver Diameter: 50"
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 20" x 26"
Boiler Pressure: 185 psi
Pulling Power: 32,710 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 73 tons
Tender Weight: 89,740 pounds
Length: 54 feet
Fuel: Coal
Capacity: Coal - 7 tons; Water - 7,000 gallons
Class: A-7 (as built for Southern Railway)
Status: Under Restoration
 

American Locomotive Company’s works in Pittsburg (no “h”, thank you!), in September 1905 (serial #37672) constructed saturated, A-7 class, 0-6-0 No.1643 for the Southern Railway. After more than 40 years of service the yard goat was retired, and sat in the scrap line until 1952 when it was purchased by a mundane, 4-mile long short line in Kentucky, the Morehead & North Fork. Renumbered to 12, this 0-6-0 joined M&NF 2-6-2 No.11 (Baldwin, 1907) and 0-6-0 No.14 (ex-Union RR, Alco 1944) in hauling trains of local clay products, coal and lumber to the Chesapeake & Ohio interchange in Morehead. The M&NF didn’t dieselize until 1963 (with a pair of Alco S1’s), so the railfans came from across the country to find and photograph this obscure steam holdout.
 
The M&NF was abandoned in 1973, but a private owner took possession of the railroad and continued operations for his clay plant with four Baldwin diesels acquired in 1976. C&O successor CSX Transportation removed its track into Morehead during 1985, and for a while the landlocked line operated the occasional steam-powered—and then diesel-powered—tourist trains until 1995. Steam sisters Nos.11 and 14 were sold and preserved elsewhere (and even operated), but 0-6-0 No.12 was shoved into the M&NF’s ramshackle shed in next-door Clearfield, and largely forgotten about.
 
However, Jerry Jacobson never forgot about No.12, and sought to acquire it for twenty years. Finally, in late 2011 the locomotive owner’s widow and son agreed to a sale, and plans were made to retrieve the isolated 0-6-0 and haul it to Ohio over the highway. Being light in weight and not very tall, transportation of the tender was pretty easy, and it was unloaded at the Age of Steam facilities on November 18. However, moving the 68-ton, 14-foot six-inch tall No.12 to the roundhouse by highway was a comedy of errors, but we weren’t laughing.
 
It required five separate attempts during a three-month period of trucking company last-minute cold feet (“We’re supposed to move that train this morning, but we never hauled anything that big before. Good-bye.”), a too-short truck trailer provided (“Darn—I thought I measured that right—I guess not.”), truck breakdowns (“Yep. She blowed-up jest like a hand grenade.”), permit expirations (“While a-waitin’ for our truck to be fixed, the permits expired and we forgot to check ‘em before we showed up the second time.”), and repeated police escort scheduling delays (“No officers available. Call back next week.”). And when #12 did arrive in Sugarcreek, the Highway Patrol escort insisted the 0-6-0 be delivered to the Age of Steam offices in downtown Sugarcreek, not out at the roundhouse. Finally, on February 7, 2012, the 0-6-0 was lifted off its 50-wheel, 13-axle trailer and today is safely ensconced inside the roundhouse.