1860's 2-2-0 locomotive "Shamrock"
the early spring of 1864 the Allegheny Valley Railroad was briskly
building, headed ever northward up the Allegheny River valley towards
the coal, timber and other raw materials that the factories and mills of Pittsburgh and
other Eastern markets craved. Big things
were on the horizon, or so the line's directors hoped. So it was
perhaps unsurprising that they deemed it desirable to purchase two light fast passenger
engines to pull the daily
mail and express passenger trains between the major towns along the line.
Danforth, Cooke & Co. in Paterson, New Jersey submitted a bid to build the
railroad a pair of 2-2-4 tank engines similar to the 4-2-4 "C.P.
Huntington" they had built for the
Southern Pacific the previous year. But in their usual contrary way, the AV's
directors decided that
a 2-2-0 with tender could haul more fuel and water - thus requiring less
frequent stops. So that's what they finally ordered in the fall of that year.
However, due to the
continued 'unpleasantness' with the South, and other obligations, actual production was
delayed by almost two years. The builder, now re-organized as Danforth
Locomotive & Machine Works, finally delivered the first one, named
"Schenley" in late 1866. The second one, named "Shamrock", was
delivered a few months later in
early 1867. These two little express engines
were built with huge 54" drivers, and 9"x 18" cylinders - limiting them
to about three 27 foot coaches on the water level main line. Even with
their lack of tractive effort they were deemed quite attractive, and were most
certainly very fast for the day!
But time and technology moves ever forward. By the late 1870s larger, heavier
coaches had all but replaced the old light and flimsy 1850's originals. - And the
little 2-2-0s struggled to pull just one of the new style coaches on the northbound upgrade, and two south.
On a foggy morning in March of 1879, 'Schenley' - now bearing #1 - derailed on a patch of
runoff ice just above Mahoning Creek, and tumbled into the river -
taking her single postal combine with her. No lives were lost, and she was retrieved from
the icy water the next day. But it was discovered that her frame had
been badly twisted in the wreck. The
directors decided that the wisest course at this point was to simply replace the
aging pair with modern, and much larger 2-6-0 Moguls. 'Schenley' was
taken in trade by Baldwin and promptly
scrapped. 'Shamrock' - now bearing #2 - found herself
demoted to yard service..... a job for which she was completely ill-suited.
By the early 1890s #2 (aka 'Shamrock') was a sad, neglected shadow of
proud self. But to her good fortune discussion began to circulate of a
railroad fair to be held at the upcoming World's Fair: Columbian
Chicago, set to begin in May of 1893. As the oldest still-operable
engine on the roster, the directors decided that it might be good press
railroad to spruce her up again and send her, along with their newest
2-8-0 #19, west to represent the line
After months of hard work by the AV shop men, 'Shamrock' sparkled
like new, but another financial crisis beginning in late February of
put an abrupt end to all plans of sending the locomotives to Chicago -
just weeks before they were due to
depart. #19 was simply returned to regular service, but poor 'Shamrock'
was all dressed up, with noplace to go.
It wouldn't be until 1897 when director Wm Otto won a private car
in a card game that she would again find useful work. But she would
pull the car for only 5 years before being deemed too obsolete to
continue in service. Old #2 was then traded to a broker who had her
36". She was then rumored to have been sold to a plantation in South
America. Of her destination, service there - or eventual
fate, we have no record.
project almost didn't get built. I had intended to give many of the
parts away to a fellow modeler in Pasedena, California so he could
build a model of the Los Angeles & San Pedro RR's 2-2-0 'San Gabriel'
built by Vulcan Iron Works of San Francisco in 1864. But for whatever reason he decided that he
didn't want them.
So, I decided that, rather than let the parts go to waste, I would
build a single myself, with an Eastern twist. Vulcan had built only a very few
locomotives before they went bankrupt, and all stayed in California for most
of their lives. But Danforth of NJ, and Union in Mass had made a few
singles in the east. Two examples, the Cumberland Valley 2-2-2
"Pioneer", and the Central Pacific 4-2-4 "C.P. Huntington", one from
each builder, still exist.
The chassis was started in late January of 2011 with new-old-stock
Delton c-16 parts, a NOS Delton motor, and a used Aristo-Craft 4-6-2
Pacific gearbox and driver set. Without a boiler it somewhat resembles
a drag racer.
The tender is a modified Lehmann Toytrain. The striping is freelanced,
but typical of mid-to-late 1860's practice, perhaps even somewhat
simplified. We'll blame that on the 1892 shop crew working on a budget
and without diagrams, photos, or stencils. The toolboxes were leftovers
from a Bachmann 2-8-0 project.
The boiler and superstructure is a blend of new old stock Delton and Kalamazoo with a few Bachmann parts thrown in.
I still haven't decided how much I want to detail the backhead yet. Here is the CP Huntington's
is mine so far.... I need to sort which piping on the above picture are
later additions and see about fabricating the folding firedoor
Nothing looks quite like split wood as real split wood. It really isn't difficult
And it's worth the effort...
Nearing completion, just minor details left to attend to. It's geared
rather high, but will still pull 2 Kalamazoo coaches without slipping.