Farm Collector

Locomotive No. 1202

223 High St. S.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

Locomotive Number 1202 is on the Hospital Track without her main
drivers and that leads to quite a story.

The 1202 and 1205 were assigned to a local passenger run and
since the schedule called for a stop at almost every station the
running time between stations was very fast.

The 1205 was called one wet fall day to pull the local passenger
train and Engineer Humphrey carefully inspected and oiled the
various parts waiting for departure time.

Finally, when the last cream can and passenger were aboard the
Conductor gave a Highball and Engineer Humphrey lost no time in
getting the 1205 rolling. She nosed and rolled considerably due to
the lateral in her driving boxes but no more than any other 1200
class and acted as thought it would be a very good trip.

Things went well for about thirty miles. Two slops had been made
and Engine 1205 was really ‘kicking up her heels!’ But she
must have kicked a little too hard for as Engineer Humphrey said,
‘All at once the old girl gave a big lunge and I thought she
was going to turn over. We were on a high fill of track at the time
and it was at least ten feet to the bottom. Well Sir, she rolled
and pitched and bucked and jumped–it felt like she went every
direction but off the track! At the first lunge the air went in to
emergency application for some reason. I closed the throttle and
she settled down a little finally coming to a stop. We had been
running about sixty miles per hour when the trouble started.

I got off the engine and looked around. The right main driver,
main rod and side rods were missing and nowhere to be seen. The air
brake pipes were gone and there was a large hole in the main air
reservoir. That is why she ‘Cleaned the Clock,’ (Unwanted
emergency air-brake application) when she was rolling so bad. I
whistled out a Flag and then walked back along side the train until
I met the Conductor. I told him we had ‘real trouble,’ and
would need another engine. I then continued walking back looking
for the main driver and rods. It was getting dark and I never found
them.’

 They were threshing fourteen acres of oats on August 24,
1968 with a 19 Hp. Keck-Gonnerman steam engine and a 3254 Huber
Separator belong to Wayne. Frank Coffman is on the engine and Wayne
Drudge is on the separator. Wayne has owned his own outfit since he
was 18 years old and did threshing for straight 27 years. Mrs.
Drudge and neighbor ladies had an old fashioned Threshers dinner
and served 18 men for dinner that day. This engine has been seen at
the Whitbey Steam Show in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for the past four
years.

A relief Engine and Crew finally arrived and the 1205 was pulled
to the first siding and set out. The fireman had already dumped the
fire off the grates and filled the boiler full of water. She would
be pulled m later by the wrecker.

On the return trip next day, I slowed down passing the trouble
spot to see if I could locate the right main driver. There it was!
It had rolled down the fill embankment-through the right of way
fence and out into a very wet wheat field where it was resting in
the mud. Rods were scattered along the way where the wheel had
rolled.

At the terminal, the Master Mechanic didn’t say very much.
It had been an old progressive break of about eighty per-cent of
the main driver axle inside the wheat fit and could not be seen or
detected by ordinary inspection. No one was to blame.

The wrecker went after the 1205 and the various parts. The 1205
moved along very well all things considered but getting the main
driving wheel back to the railroad where the wrecker crane could
pick it up and load it on a flat car was something else!

The farmer who owned the wheat field was plenty mad and was out
to see what it was all about! The Claims Adjuster was doing his
best to quiet the man down, making one promise after another,
especially while the wrecker crew brought out every piece of cable
and chain on the equipment car to reach out to the wheel and drag
it in. Drag–is hardly the word! The heavy wheel being pulled
through the wet mud of the wheat field left a path to behold.

At last the wheel was picked up and loaded. The rods and pipe
had already been loaded and the wrecker headed back to the home
terminal.

In the roundhouse it took some time for authority to come
through to repair the 1205. In the mean time the 1202 was removed
from service on account of the boiler flues coming due for removal
after four years of service which is Fedderal Law. It was then
decided to use the main drivers and rods from the 1202 for
repairing the 1205 and this was done. When repairs were completed
the 1205 returned to service but the 1202 was sent to shop and
after spending a long time on the Hospital Track (where this
picture was made) the locomotive was scrapped.

How much the farmer was paid for his wheat damage was never
mentioned!!

The 1200 Class locomotives were built by the Baldwin Locomotive
Works in 1908. The cylinders were 231/2 by 28 with 79 inch drivers.
Tractive effort was 33,300 pounds.

  • Published on Jan 1, 1969
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