Minarets & Western / Sugar Pine Lumber Co 2-8-2 "Mikado" Locomotives in the USA

Minarets & Western Railway

The Minarets & Western Railway was a subsidiary of the Sugar Pine Lumber Co that was built to link their logging operations near the Minarets to the sawmill at Pinedale Ca. From Central Camp, the Sugar Pine Lumber Co railroad ran 11 miles to the switch yard at Wishon where the Minarets & Western ran 53 miles to the mill as a mainline operation. The southern portion of the line was operated with joint trackage rights with Southern Pacific.

The companies were established in 1921 but never made a profit before bankruptcy ended operations in 1933. In 1935 the SP purchased the Pinedale section and the four Mikado locomotives of the Minarets & Western Railway Company (#101- #104). They had cab side numbers and tenders we marked with "Minarets & Western Ry Co".

#101. The #101 was Alco 61858 originally ordered by the Oregon-American Lumber Company in 1920, but the order was cancelled and the locomotive was purchased by the Sugar Pine Lumber Co in 1921.

After its absorption by the Southern Pacific, the 101 retained its number. Later, it was sold to locomotive rebuilder/reseller Birmingham Rail & Locomotive which sold it to the Aberdeen & Rockfish in 1935 as their #40. It eventually wound up on the Valley Railroad.

#102-#104. The #102-#104 were heavier locomotives built by ALCo in 1923. I cannot find details of these locomotives other than construction numbers 64144-146. In 1935 they were sold to the Southern Pacific.

The #102 and #104 were given road numbers 3295 and 3296. They worked as switchers in the SP Dunsmuir yards. The #3295 served there until 1953. In 1940 #3296 (ex M&W #104) was sold by SP to the Long-Bell Lumber Co. at Tennant, Ca. She carried her former SP number of #3296 with Long-Bell and served there well until the end of the Tennant operations.

The #103 was sold to Southern Pacific but not used, sold to Atlanta & St Andrews Bay #300, in 1938 sold to Chicago & Illinois Midland #527, scrapped in 1954 (foothills Rails info) In August 1951 it was retired and scrapped (Don Ross Group).

Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad

The Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad was incorporated in 1892 and eventually ran from Aberdeen, NC through Raeford, NC and on to Fayetteville, NC. In the mid 1920s, Fort Bragg in North Carolina began to expand and as a result the A&R became very busy delivering materials for the expansion of the Army post. With the continuous press of business the short line railroad increased its motive power through purchases of second hand "Mikado" type locomotives, with two coming in 1929, one in 1935 and the last coming in 1941. This small railroad did a huge job during World War II moving material and troops in and out of Fort Bragg.

There is one surviving Aberdeen & Rockfish 2-8-2 "Mikado" type locomotives. It is number 40, which is operational on the Valley Railroad. Number 40 had 48" drivers and 20" x 28" cylinders.


Qty.Road NumberYear BuiltFrom Other RRYear AcquiredBuilderNotes
1301921Sewell Valley1929BaldwinNumber 30 was Sewell Valley #8. Acquired in 1929 and sold in 1949 to Elk River Coal & Lumber Company.
1351922Sewell Valley1929BaldwinNumber 35 was Sewell Valley #10. Acquired in 1929 and sold in 1948 for scrap.
1401920Minaret & Western1935ALCONumber 40 was Portland, Astoria & Pacific #100 was Minaret & Western #101. Acquired in 1935 and sold to the Valley Railroad in 1977.
1501918Kanawha, Glen J. & E.1941BaldwinNumber 50 was Kanawha, Glen Jean & Eastern #302. Acquired in 1941 and scrapped in 1947.

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 101 (Locobase 14276)

Data from []. See also Edward J. Kamholz, Jim Blain, Gregory Kamholz, The Oregon-American Lumber Company: Ain't No More, (Stanford University Press, 2003), p. 53. Works number was 61858 in 1920.

Ordered by the Oregon-American Lumber Company for its Portland, Astoria & Pacific railroad, the O-ALC soon discovered how ill-suited this relatively large Alco was for forest work. In fact, it refused delivery of the engine and sent it off to the M&W.

After its absorption by the Southern Pacific, the 101 retained its number. Later, it was sold to locomotive rebuilder/reseller Birmingham Rail & Locomotive (stock 1262) which sold it to the Aberdeen & Rockfish in 1935 as their #40.

After years of service on the A&R, the railroad stored the 40 in 1950. It languished for 27 years before the A&R sold it to Connecticut's Valley Railroad. Two years of restoration work on the 40 put it back in service in 1979. Years later, the VR began a complete overhaul in 1985, which was completed in 1992. Enforcement of the 1,472-day limit on operations put it in the shops until 2008.

Class E-4 / Mk-10 (Locobase 8727)

Data from SP Menke All Time Steam Locomotive diagrams supplied in May 2005 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Rail Data Exchange. See also [], accessed 9 September 2007.

One could have figured these Mikados were intended for a logging road - their low drivers and short wheelbase suggest as much. The San Joaquin Valley's river system promised to support a lot of hydro-electric power and the San Joaquin Electric Company was formed in 1902 in northern California. They created the Crane Valley Reservoir, which was later renamed Bass Lake when it was restocked after all of the existing fish died from SJEC actions.

In the 1920s, the M&W was created by the Sugar Pine Lumber Company. A common carrier, the M& served a 53-mile right-of-way from the Fresno vicinity to Wishon, CA, which lay at the western end of Bass Lake. Its primary role was to bring logs to a big sawmill at Pinedale, but that venture failed after eight years.

Class unknown (Locobase 1312)

Data from Bruce (1952). Note that former Coos Bay Lumber Company 2-8-2STs 10 and 11 (Alco works # 68548 in December 1930 and 68276 from December 1929, respectively, seem to be the same design.)

Last of three Mikado tanks for this lumber company and more powerful than the other two. Sugar Pine's bankruptcy in the early 1930s led to the sale of #4 to Pacific Lumber Company and operated as #37 from 1935-1962.

Purchased for tourist railroad WaWa & Concordville where it operated briefly in the late 1960s, bought in 1980 by the Wilmington & Western in Marshallton , DE. Stored there until repairs (1983-1987) made it possible to re-enter service in 1987. In 1990 a dispute over who was to pay for needed repairs idled the locomotive.

In May 2003, the Timber Heritage Museum of Eureka, Calif contracted to buy the 37. In Spring 2006, the locomotive was delivered to the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania to begin a leisurely restoration.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class101E-4 / Mk-10unknown
Locobase ID14276 8727 1312
RailroadMinarets & Western (SPLC)Minarets & Western (SPLC)Sugar Pine Lumber Co (SPLC)
Number in Class121
Road Numbers101102-103 / 3295-32964
Number Built121
Valve GearWalschaertWalschaertWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)14.25 / 4.3414.58 / 4.4413 / 3.96
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)30.50 / 9.3033.25 / 10.1328.09 / 8.56
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.47 0.44 0.46
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)67.96 / 20.71
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)136,000 / 61,689207,800 / 94,257148,500 / 67,359
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)176,000 / 79,832258,800 / 117,390197,500 / 89,585
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)172,000 / 78,018
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)430,800 / 195,408197,500
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)5000 / 18.9410,000 / 37.88
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)1800 / 681310 / 9
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)57 / 28.5087 / 43.5062 / 31
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)48 / 121952 / 132144 / 1118
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)180 / 12.40200 / 13.80190 / 13.10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)20" x 28" / 508x71124.5" x 28" / 622x71120" x 24" / 508x610
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)35,700 / 16193.2754,946 / 24923.1235,236 / 15982.80
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 3.81 3.78 4.21
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)253 - 2" / 51240 - 2" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)40 - 5.375" / 137
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)18 / 5.4918 / 5.4912.50 / 3.81
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)143 / 13.31286 / 26.58
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)43.30 / 4.0263.30 / 5.8831 / 2.88
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2516 / 233.743550 / 329.931635 / 151.95
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)862 / 80.11347 / 32.25
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)2516 / 233.744412 / 410.041982 / 184.20
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume247.15232.33187.29
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation779412,6605890
Same as above plus superheater percentage779415,1926950
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area25,74068,640
Power L1457014,450
Power MT296.33613.22

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