Railway Preservation News

Cool Springs Mystery Porter
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Author:  Dougvv [ Wed May 27, 2015 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter


cherokee brick 0-6-0t.JPG
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I always loved these standard gauge 0-6-0ts. Ugly. Short. Of the 3 or 4 built, two survive. They could not be taller than about 7.5 - 8 feet.

Both are at Agrirama in southern Georgia. One had two wheelsets removed to replace worn sets on a diesel so it is an 0-2-0. With a lot of work and money, one could be made operable.

Back to the topic,

I hope we can I.D. this odd gauge oddly modified porter.

Philip, I fully agree it is not a Glover. I was using Glover as an example for a possible knock off by a small manufacturer.

Sorry I confused everyone.

Doug vV

Author:  Les Beckman [ Wed May 27, 2015 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

philip.marshall wrote:
Hi Doug,

This is pretty clearly a Porter, not a Glover. Specifically it's one of the low-clearance engines Porter built for use in mines, much like the example in the photo below except with a modified cab. If you look in the third picture in this thread you can even almost make out the name 'H. K. Porter' on the smokebox door. 42" gauge ("bastard gauge") was of course the common PA/WV/KY coal mine gauge.

-Philip Marshall

Philip -

I think you are on to something! It even has the same "slightly canted cylinders" shown on the mine locomotive. Maybe Jeff took a photo of the front of the locomotive showing the smokebox door lettering. Jeff?


Author:  Randall Hicks [ Wed May 27, 2015 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

Thanks so much for bringing this place up. I just happened to drive past it back in 1999, and took a few pictures. I'm surprised any of the equipment is still there. I don't know if any of my pictures can add much to the discussion, but it was easy enough to scan them in and post them on my blog.

http://hickscarworks.blogspot.com/2015/ ... -w-va.html

Author:  philip.marshall [ Wed May 27, 2015 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

The smokebox door is just going to say "H. K. Porter & Co., Pittsburgh, Pa. USA", or some variation thereof. The builder's plates on these mine engines seem to have been placed on the sandboxes above the cylinders rather than on the smokebox sides or saddle as with other Porters, but the sandboxes are missing on this engine so no luck there. I think someone will need to go back for a closer look and see if there is a construction number stamped on the frame, running gear, or boiler, as was suggested above. I'm hoping to get there myself sometime this summer, but maybe someone can beat me to it.

Question: How many of these Porter low-clearance mine engines are still around? I know of several examples of the compressed-air version, but can't think of any others that are steam. Is this possibly the only survivor?

-Philip Marshall

Author:  Jeff Terry [ Wed May 27, 2015 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

I do have a photo of the smokebox, and it definitely says H. K. Porter. I'm away from home for a few days, stuck at the end of the world in Harvey, ND; I'll post it when I return to civilization.

I DID look for numbers stamped on parts, but found nothing (lots of thick paint on side rods, frame, etc...)

Jeff Terry

Author:  Dougvv [ Thu May 28, 2015 2:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter


I misunderstood. I thought there were no markings. I wonder if this loco went through a couple of used loco dealers before it ended up in WV.

Doug vV

Author:  610BS [ Thu May 28, 2015 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

Porter construction numbers were typically stamped in numerous locations, sometimes the complete 4 digits, other times, just the last 2 digits.

Raised cast numbers are typically pattern numbers although, there are some exceptions when the locomotive was part of a custom build.

Common locations are as follows.

1. Valve rocker lower arm, outside to frame - 4 digit CN and cyl size and stroke i.e. 6X10
2. Valve rocker box castings and caps, top surface - 4 digit CN
3. Drive boxes, lower corner, inside - 4 digit CN
4. Frame pedestals, lower leg, inside - 4 digit CN
5. Cross head guide bars, front top - 2 digit CN and cyl size and stroke i.e. 6X10
6. Eccentric straps - 4 digit CN
7. Cylinders and saddle mounting flanges, top - 2 digit CN

There were numerous other locations. For example, on wood cabs, the CN was also stamped on the inside of the front cab pillar and all window sashes.

A bit of paint, dirt or rust can easily obscure the numbers.

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Author:  610BS [ Thu May 28, 2015 11:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

6x10 Porter Mine loco...

PorterMineLoco.jpg [ 208.43 KiB | Viewed 1844 times ]

Author:  Les Beckman [ Thu May 28, 2015 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

610BS -

Thanks for the drawings and especially for the explanation of where the Porter construction number might be located. Great info!


Author:  philip.marshall [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

I stopped at Cool Springs Park on my way home from Cass last week. I'm afraid I had no more success than anyone else in finding a construction number on the Porter, but here are some additional photos that may be of interest. The smokebox door (which proves the engine's heritage) was apparently broken at some point and then clumsily pieced back together. Also, the "idler" drivers are apparently held in place with u-bolts! In addition to the EBT equipment and the odd set of 3' gauge steam locomotive drivers (Vulcan?) missing their engine reported above, I also came across a 3' gauge rail bike, the only narrow gauge example of this design I've ever seen.

It's a sad and distressing place, and after wandering around the place for 30 minutes or so I was almost in tears at the sight of so much decay and neglect.

-Philip Marshall

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Author:  philip.marshall [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

Three more pictures: (1) the rail bike and the various wagons and farm implements and antique cars with which it shares an open-sided shed; (2) the 3' gauge Vulcan drivers; (3) EBT markings on one wheel from a pair of 3' gauge trucks.

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Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

The "&" in the name tells me this loco was built before 1899.

Author:  QJdriver [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

The rail bicycle is identical to the ones used until the end of the 20th century by FEGUA (Ferrocarriles de Guatemala), for their telegraph linemen. I believe these were made by Buda, we called them "Bicicletas de Via". I have fotos and videos of these being hauled in trains, loaded either onto the tender deck or roof of the cabus (our spelling), but no way to post them here...

Author:  JimBoylan [ Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cool Springs Mystery Porter

The photo of the axle support to allow running on narrow gauge track doesn't show much wear, as if it didn't run much after the regauging.
TAN: Did East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Co. cast their own wheels long ago? They made castings for other customers, even after March, 1956, and delivered some in Motor Car M-1 after the end of Steam freight operations.

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