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tion in drive wheel size from 51 to 50 inches, as well as a relocation of the air compressor from its perch on the left- side running board onto the pilot beam. This meant that the smokebox door had to be moved to a new location above-cen- ter on the smokebox face in order to clear the compressor — a change that result- ed in the odd “cyclops” appearance that is characteristic of these locomotives. While the S155s quickly proved them- selves to be very capable and reliable machines, they have, as one fan put it, “a face only the Army could love.” The initial batch of 43 S155s, Nos. 4000-4042, was built by Alco’s Schenect- ady Works in the fall of 1942. Following USRA practice, they were fitted with twin sand domes mounted on opposite sides of the steam dome. However, un- like the USATC’s S160 2-8-0 and S100 0-6-0T types, which were shipped over- seas in large numbers to Military Rail Service units, the S155s remained state- side for the duration of World War II, providing yeoman switching service at army depots across the country. Following the success of the first


group of S155s, USATC ordered an ad- ditional 37 engines, Nos. 4043-4079, in 1943. The contract for their construction


went to Lima Locomotive Works, which completed them in early 1944. One mi- nor modification was made from the first batch — the Lima 0-6-0s were fitted with a single oversize sand dome between the smokebox and steam dome, a change that did little to improve their overall appearance.


No. 29 Becomes a Civilian No. 29 was the fifth S155 built by


Lima, carrying construction number 8381 (dating it to January 1944) and USATC road number 4047. It’s unknown where the engine served during World War II since the records from that era have been destroyed, but it’s known that it was declared surplus by the War As- sets Administration just four years after its birth. In March 1947 it was sold to the six-mile-long Bay Terminal Railroad of Toledo, Ohio, where it was renum- bered 111 and used to switch tank cars. Another change came in 1955 when


No. 111 was retired by Bay Terminal and sold for scrap to the Iron & Steel Processing Corp. of Toledo. However, because it was in good mechanical condi- tion it was resold in April 1956 to Dulu- th & Northeastern. At a time when most railroads were turning to diesels, it was


rare for a steam locomotive to be pur- chased for freight service. However, as D&NE and other short lines discovered, second-hand steam locomotives were a more affordable option than new diesels, since they could be acquired for scrap prices. D&NE renumbered the engine 29 and gave it the standard treatment it afforded all its steam power — yellow handrails and footboards with light gray lettering, plus gray side rods and trim. The acquisition of the 0-6-0 made good economic sense for the D&NE. The rail- road had originally been a logging road with extensive lines in the Minneso- ta Northwoods, but by the 1950s, after much of the white pine in the area had been logged out, it had been reduced to just 11 miles of track. Much of its re- maining business centered around local industrial switching in Cloquet, and No. 29 was well suited for this task. By the early 1960s, railfans that


came to photograph D&NE steam pow- er usually found No. 29 sorting cars at the industries served by railroad; one of its frequent haunts was the huge Wood Conversion Company plant east of the D&NE shops on Dunlap Island, which made products like Balsam-Wool home insulation.


Number 29 is interrupts the dragonflies as it rounds the PVH&M’s two-mile loop on August 24, 2014. The yellow trim and gray side rods are an accurate tribute to its career on the Duluth & Northeastern. The veteran 0-6-0 was originally constructed for the U.S. Army in January 1944 by Lima.


40 JULY 2015 • RAILFAN.COM


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