A&P RR Red River

Arizona and Pacific Railroad

Red River

Engine #37 Red River





History of the Arizona and Pacific Railroad Engine #37 Red River





          The third S16 of the Arizona and Pacific Railroad is No. 37 (Allan Herschell builder's No. 62-1898). This engine was built for and originally sold to Mr. Stokes E. Bolton for use at the base of a ski resort he was developing in Red River, New Mexico. It was shipped with two carnival-style cars to Red River on April 25, 1962. Bolton was an Oklahoma oilman who with his wife Billie opened the first ski resort in northern New Mexico’s Red River Valley of the Sangre de Cristos mountains in December of 1959.

          The history of the train remains a mystery for much of its existence. In the mid 1970s, it was reportedly operating at a small amusement park in western Oklahoma. It then ran for ten years or more at a small family amusement park (putt putt, driving range and arcade with a few small rides) just southeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prior to 1990, it was out of service and in need of major mechanical work. It sat neglected until 1994, when it was purchased and moved to Moore, Oklahoma where it was partially disassembled. It quickly became clear to the new owner that the scope of the work needed and the financial and time commitment, was beyond his interest and the engine went up for sale.

          In October of 1996, my brother Dave and I inspected the S16 in Moore, Oklahoma. At this point, the coaches and tender were sitting outside in high weeds on private property. Inside, sat the engine in various stages of disassembly and with parts scattered across the shop and some in multiple boxes. I had just purchased our second S16 and the magnitude of that project precluded any serious thoughts of purchasing a third at that time.



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In Storage in Moore Oklahoma



          A few months later, our good friend Malcolm Mackey mentioned he might like the challenge of acquiring and rebuilding a third S16 for his Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad if he could find one. I mentioned this train was for sale and provided the contact information. Within a few days, Malcolm had negotiated a deal and the train arrived in the Verde Valley of Arizona in the spring of 1997. The two coaches did not fit with the theme of the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad and they were quickly sold to a railroad owner in Stockton, CA.



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Arriving in the Verde Valley in Arizona



          The engine and tender were moved into the Mackey Shops in Flagstaff, AZ where as time permitted over the years, they were disassembled the remainder of the way and parts cleaned and inventoried. Malcolm has always been fond of the look of the “Bumble Bee” engines of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and decided to modify the sheet metal of the S16 tender and engine to have some of that feel while still retaining some of the original S16 features. The yellow and black paint job would then really distinguish this S16 from all others.



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In Arizona Ready to Begin Restoration at the Mackey Shops





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Arriving at the A&P RR Shops in Peoria Arizona



          Much of the sheet metal fabrication work was completed on both the engine and tender by May of 2009 when a series of health issues precluded Malcolm from finishing work on the S16. I agreed to move the engine and tender to the A & P Railroad shop in Peoria, AZ and to finish the rebuilding and reassembly of the train. Only the sheet metal work had been started and a tremendous amount of mechanical, electrical and plumbing work was required. It took quite a while to get the work completed, but on August 28, 2011 it moved under its own power for the first time in probably 25 years. Malcolm had his first opportunity to run No. 37 on December 10, 2011.



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Undergoing Restoration at the A&P Shops





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First Run on 8/28/2011





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Malcolm Mackey runs #37 at the A&P RR in December 2011



          No. 37 will continue to run on the Arizona and Pacific Railroad in Peoria, AZ. Some sheet metal and finishing work remains prior to it being painted. Once all the work is complete, it will be painted in the Bumble Bee yellow and black and lettered for the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad.



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Engine #37 Sits on the Transfer Table



          If you can fill in any of the blanks in the history of this engine or correct any of our mistakes, we welcome your input. We would also love to have any photographs that might exist of her in New Mexico or Oklahoma.



Red River

Arizona & Pacific RR Engine #37 Red River






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