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 Post subject: Out of service date for Rutland's Mountains
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:00 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 91
27 years ago, Trains Magazine ran a great story called 'Rutland's Green Hornets', by Bruce P. Curry. In it, he states that they were removed from service in September 1952.

That gels with the August 1952 delivery of their final four RS3's meant to complete dieselization of the roster, and the initiation of attempts to sell these modern steamers elsewhere such as to Mexico.

Yet SteamLocomotive.com tells of an interesting story that I've quoted below.

Quote:
im Shaughnessey draws a word portrait of Gardner A Caverly's reaction to a chance encounter with one of these engines in 1955. He saw the locomotive "struggling upgrade with northbound tonnage. The ground trembled, the setting sun was darkened with rising black smoke, and the white hot fire gleamed through the ashpan doors. He listened to the thunderous exhause and the wail of her whistle echoing and re-echoing through the pine-clad hills."

Stirring stuff, and it affected Caverly: "Never before had he been so deeply moved by the power and glory of steam. It was a subject fit for an artist, but Michelangelo himself could not have recorded the emotion that overwhelmed him"

But here's the punch line: "He was nearly brought to tears as the engineer waved for it was only the week before that he had signed the engine's death warrant."


http://www.steamlocomotive.com/mountain/?page=rutland

Did they actually run into 1955, prior to their March 1st retirement followed by departing Rutland later that month for the scrap furnace in Pittsburgh? If true and with their last non-Mountain type on the roster departing in 1953, how did a cash strapped line like this justify keeping steam facilities open for four locomotives, several years after acquiring their last diesels?


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 Post subject: Re: Out of service date for Rutland's Mountains
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:47 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 329
Jim Shaughnessy's excellent "The Rutland Road" has the Mountains as retired in 1955 but last operating in 1952. I'll provide more detail when I have a chance to go back through my copy Tuesday.


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 Post subject: Re: Out of service date for Rutland's Mountains
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 329
I don't know that he ever lists precisely the last steam run, but on p.162, a photo caption says: "No. 92 never looked more handsome than she did in May, 1952, almost at the end of her days, when she brought freight No. 120, latter-day successor to The Whippet, over Mount Holly with 30 cars from Bellows Falls". In text on the next page it says that Caverly retired all steam at the same time the Alco RS-1s and RS3s showed up, the last of which showed up in 1952.


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 Post subject: Re: Out of service date for Rutland's Mountains
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:14 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 91
Thanks, that's what I suspected happened with the Mountains.

All surviving Rutland steam didn't die with the arrival of the last four RS3's in August 1952 though. Of the 19 steam survivors after the RS-1's appeared in October/November 1951 and the first round of RS3's finished delivery in June of the same year, two 0-6-0's lasted in yard service past that final diesel delivery in August 1952 and ran into September 1953.

Korean War related traffic of some sort kept them from entirely dieselizing for a time and gave this pair of switchers a 12 month reprieve, I'd assume (if I were to wager a guess at why they lasted for a while longer).


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