A&P RR Sandusky

Arizona and Pacific Railroad


Engine #2 Sandusky

History of the Arizona and Pacific Railroad Engine #2 Sandusky

          The second S16 of the Arizona and Pacific Railroad is No. 2 (Allan Herschell builders No. 60-1880). This engine, the “Sandusky”, was built for and originally sold to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. It was shipped with three of the original style S16 coaches on May 17, 1960. It was one of two S16s that operated at the park from 1960 through 1965.


Running at Cedar Point Amusement Park

          The history of No. 2 is largely unknown from 1965 when the train was removed from operation at Cedar Point Amusement park until about 1994. Reportedly she operated at a shopping mall somewhere in Ontario Canada until acquired from the mall by a contractor when the mall underwent renovation in the late 1970s. The contractor had the engine and cars stored on his farm for many years and planned to eventually rebuild and run the trains on his farm, but that never happened. In 1994, a member of a new railroad club in North Bay Ontario Canada came across the derelict train sitting on a short section of track on the perimeter of a parking lot at a farmers market near Arnprior, Ontario. At that time, there were four S16 coaches and a G16 coach with the engine and tender.


Sitting Near Arnprior Ontario

          After a handful of visits and discussions with the owner, the train was acquired in late 1994 for parts to use on the existing G15 equipment of the Heritage Railway Preservation Society in North Bay Ontario Canada. After all the mechanical parts were removed, the engine and tender shells were stored and then listed for sale in May of 1996. We were lucky enough to be the first prospective buyer to call and made a commitment to buy in the first call and had a check on its way the next day. We got the S16 and cars from Canada to Arizona in October of 1996 and that was an adventure in its own right and you can read about that here.


On the way to Arizona

          I originally acquired No. 2 as a "parts engine and tender" for No. 1 as it had most of the original bolt on components that we were missing. Over the years we made a great number of contacts and were able to purchase, fabricate, have cast and in a couple of instances accept the donation of parts we were missing to complete that engine and tender.


At the A&P RR Awaiting Restoration

          Our first S-16 (No. 1) runs great with its Wisconsin engine and has plenty of power for all our needs, but even with its muffled exhaust it is a bit loud for our “urban railroad”. We have neighbors on each side who are somewhat less enthusiastic about railroads and railroading than we are – I know hard to believe! I started exploring the possibilities of converting No. 2 to electric for quiet evening operation during the summer months in early 2007.


Beginning the Restoration

          Dave and I attended the Miniature Railroad Convention in Steelville, MO in September of 2007 and on one of the trips around that amazing railroad another passenger and I started a conversation. That passenger was Brian Stepaniak a design engineer specializing in the design and fabrication of electric locomotives for industrial use. He had recently converted a 15 inch park train to battery operation, had great design ideas, was tremendously knowledgeable and I soon determined he was the person for our conversion.

          We rebuilt the original power trucks and drive lines of our No. 2 with all the standard parts. The engine, transmission and fluid clutch were replaced with a 48 volt electric motor and drive assembly designed by Brian Stepaniak at his company Scaled Plus shop in Ontario Canada. The battery tray and all components were designed to fit into the original brackets and mounting holes on the S-16. The frame was left original so it could revert back to the Wisconsin engine one day if desired. It is a very clean and professional conversion.


Getting Converted to 48 Volt Electric Power

          Here is where you realize what a small world it really is… Brian Stepaniak that I met in Steelville, MO and he traveled to AZ for our S16 conversion is a member of a railroad club near his home town. The name of that club is the Heritage Railway and Preservation Society in North Bay Ontario Canada – yes the same one from which I purchased that train in 1996…


Brian Stepaniak Takes Sandusky on an Early Shakedown Run

          There is still a bit of finish sheet metal work that remains to be completed on No. 2, but we hope to complete that and finally get her painted in 2013.


A&P RR Engine #2 Sandusky

          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 Ohio or Canada.

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