New Years Day – 2001

By all reports, January 1, 2001 was to be a cold, blustery, snowy day that would not be suited for running steam (or diesel) locomotives. Once again the weather-guessers didn’t do too well. It was cold (in the 20s early but warming to the 30s later) with a few snow flurries but the wind was calm. Fairfield RR executives quickly decided that the day was adequate for the maiden run of the newly finished Pacific 4-4-2 named “Lady Barbara”.

Lady Barbara and her support cars where soon in the yard, fully connected, and a fire was lit. Some 30 minutes later Lady Barbara, with Fairfield RR CEO Wayne Lass at the controls, surged forward under her own power and entered the mainline trackage. By all accounts, the day’s running was a success.

Soon after Lady Barbara left the yard, other locomotives began to arrive. Dan Rankin, another NGLS member, arrived with his new RMI diesel switcher and riding car. Also bringing a locomotive was NGLS member LaVay Sheldon. These locos were soon unloaded and began motoring around the mainline. I had the opportunity to guest-engineer Dan’s switcher and found the experience very enjoyable. It is a very nice well-built loco that is a pleasure to engineer.

The Shay locomotive of DAMAR Southern was also displayed. Parts are beginning to come together now as the motor is being worked on. Valve eccentrics and valve crossheads have been completed. The motor mount itself if nearly completed which will allow the motor to be mounted to the chassis frame in a week or two. Of the two remaining unfinished drive shafts has been completed and the final drive shaft should be done in a couple of weeks as well. 

Many pictures were taken of all the locos along with video. Please enjoy the pictures and video links below and have a great New Year!!

  • Pacific being fired