|Railway Preservation News
|Apache Railway #300
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|Author:||fairplay [ Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:44 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Apache Railway #300|
You may have seen the posting on train orders about the interesting history of this
locomotive especially since little is ever mentioned about Apache Steam. Number 300 was not built new for the Apache , built in 1915 by Baldwin she was built as a coal burner and remained so untill 1935 when all Southwest Lumber Mills Inc.(predissor
of Southwest Forest Industries) engines at the Mc Nary plant were convertd to Oil.
In the photo on train orders she sports a "cabbage stack". Which I can't conferm she
kept on the Apache all her years burning coal. If you ever rode the White Mountain Scenic Railroad up until the very end of operation in 1976 the oil coal tiple still remained
in Mc NAry on the Fuel-caboose track next to the mill. I spent four years on the WMSRR
as a volunteer and three years as a paid employee 1967-1973. Reed Hatch told me
that he spent many hard days hand firing old "teakettles" up the Logging railroad the
WMS plyed from 1965 to 1973.
Now the real story on the "wreck of the Apache #300. Most or all of the news accounts
and photos get the wreck all wrong who died and how it happened. I personly knew
the engineer who was badly burned but did live to tell the whole story that afternoon
day on February 3 , 1947. Lou Calhoon who was a longtime friend of "Reeds" and who
was seen many times after his retirement from Apache running trains on the WMS
when Reed was off or on many double -headers including the Famous Last Train To
Maverick on September 9, 1967. He truly was the finest steam locomotive engineer
I have ever known. Truly a real throttle artist. I t was NOT a broken Tender Journal
which caused this wreck.
Lou said it had snowed in the early winter of 1946 untill the first of February 1947.
Then it began to rain. at that curve just east of Snowflake there was a massave
washout. Lou said it was repaired the day and into the night before we came through there. The track was soft anyway he said and we had a slow order through there.
We crawled through that curve ,all I can remember is feeling us start to roll and I went for the high side of the cab. and then I remember seeing the blue sky and lots of steam
I didn't remember the pain until I work up in the AT& SF hospital in Winslow. Lou was there for a total of three months recovering from many third degree burns from steam
and hot water which if you have ever been burned that way are extremely painfull.
Lou lived to be 96 and passed away in 1994. He was featured in an Arizona Highways magazine in 1990 on the Late Mc Nary Arizona.
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