Not many locomotives saw their first light of day in San Francisco, California. This wood-burning Mogul, executed to the design of Irving Murray Scott by H J Booth and Company (then the name of the Union Iron Works) was one of the few. According to Engineering's report, its operating environment promised to offer stiff challenges:
"... a very rough and crooked line extending from the mines of Virginia City, California, to Carson Citv- This line has curves of only 125 ft. radius, and it rises with a continuous gradient of 116 ft. per mile, or 1 in 45.51 (over 2%), for its whole length of 24 miles."
Its purpose varied with direction: "The road is used for taking wood fuel up to the mines for tho pumping and hoisting engines, and for transporting ore down to the Carson river where cheap water power is available for reducing purposes."
The Lyon had as her sisters the Ormsby and Storey - the three being named after the Nevada counties in which they operated. The diagram reproduced by Gilbert Kneisss showed a stubby engine with the firebox behind the last driving axle, sharply coned boiler and funnel-shaped, spark-arresting stack. The specs describe a tiny grate for the boiler.
According to Kneiss, the V & T bought no more engines from the UIW. He notes, however, that Lyon and Ormsby had long careers on the V & T before being scrapped.
The Storey had a more involved career: "In 1881 she was sold to A. Onderdonck, manager for D. O. Mills & Company on the British Columbia section of the Canadian Pacific construction. When the work was done she was turned over to the Canadian Government with the road and the rest of the contractorÆs rolling stock. However, when the government in turn delivered the road to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company it retained title to the locomotives and cars. In 1887 the ôStorey,ö now known as ôYale,ö was sent to the Intercolonial Railway in Nova Scotia and was still puffing around in 1920 as Canadian National #7082.
The usual load'taken by the engine up grade, is 70 tons of freight exclusive of cars.
These four wood-burning Moguls started their careers on the V&T as the Truckee, Tahoe, Santiago, and Merrimac; Tahoe cost the railroad $9,976. They operated in the Sierra Valley for 25 years behind the huge stacks so characteristic of the time.
A year after the Boca & Loyalton opened near Truckee in 1900, the Truckee and Merrimac were sold to Verdi Lumber. Truckee, renamed Roberts and renumbered 1, remained with that logger until it was scrapped in the 1920s. Santiago was sold to the B&L as was the Merrimac in 1902 as that railway's #3-4. At some point, they were converted to burn oil fuel. The B & L ran both engines until 1916, when the line came under Western Pacific ownership, and the rails pulled up
At that point, the B&L's parent took over both locomotives and almost immediately scrapped #3 in November 1916. #4 operated in the Sacaramento area until retired in 1924. It was scrapped in 1930.
Meanwhile, the Tahoe remained on the V&T until August 1942, when it was sold to Clifford C Bong Construction of El Monte, Calif. It was retired in 1945 and later sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be put on display in its original livery.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Virginia & Truckee||Virginia & Truckee|
|Number in Class||3||4|
|Road Numbers||19-20, 23-24/4/123|
|Builder||H J Booth||Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Driver Wheelbase (ft)||9.50||10|
|Engine Wheelbase (ft)||16||17.17|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.59||0.58|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft)||44.42|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs)|
|Weight on Drivers (lbs)||71,300|
|Engine Weight (lbs)||6000||82,300|
|Tender Loaded Weight (lbs)||67,600|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs)||149,900|
|Tender Water Capacity (gals)||2800|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons)||1593|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd)||40|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Driver Diameter (in)||48||48.25|
|Boiler Pressure (psi)||120||135|
|High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in)||16" x 24"||17" x 24"|
|Tractive Effort (lbs)||13,056||16,495|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.32|
|Firebox Area (sq ft)||85||93|
|Grate Area (sq ft)||6.32||16.75|
|Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft)||900||985|
|Superheating Surface (sq ft)|
|Combined Heating Surface (sq ft)||900||985|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||161.14||156.23|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||758||2261|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||758||2261|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||10,200||12,555|