Restoration Work on the Arizona and Pacific Railroad P3

Arizona & Pacific Railroad

Phoenix is moved into the shed

Restoration page 3

Restoration Activities on the Arizona & Pacific Continued...

          Joining the "Phoenix" on the A & P motive power roster is another Allan Herschell S-16 the "Sandusky". She originally saw action in May 1960 carrying passengers at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. The history of No. 2 is unknown from the mid 60's when sold by Cedar Point until we located and acquired her in May of 1996 from a small railway preservation society in Canada. Originally acquired as a "parts engine and tender", we made, purchased or had graciously donated all the bits and pieces required to complete that engine and tender.

Cedar Point

In service at Cedar Point


On the road from Canada


Sandusky awaiting restoration


Sandusky stripped down to the frame

Tender 2

Tender #2 being stripped

          The tender restoration, including painting and lettering, is now 100% complete. The engine has been completely disassembled and dipped. The transmission, motor, power trucks and clutch have been completely rebuilt and we plan to start reassembling her soon. We plan a Summer 2007 inaugural run for the "Sandusky" our No. 2.

Sandusky's Tender

Sandusky's tender after restoration

Tender #2

Another view of Sandusky's tender

          Also on our roster of motive power is MTC G-16 no. 582. Constructed in October 1951, she originally operated at an amusement park in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was an empty shell when we found her in California a few years ago. We would love to know more about her history. Several years of searching for, making and purchasing spare, NOS or reproduction parts have afforded us the opportunity to have all the parts to finally completely restore No. 582. This project is slated for completion in the Fall of 2008.

On the Road

On the road to Arizona

At home

Awaiting Restoration

          Our acquisition of A & P No. 2 was an adventure in and of itself and one with which most park train enthusiasts can relate if you have ever traveled to pickup one of your acquisitions. We purchased the engine, which was just a shell at the time, through Rod Johnston one of the really great people in this hobby of Corbeil, Canada. Rod agreed to trailer the S-16 to St. Croix, Wisconsin in conjunction with a live steam meet in October and we planned to meet him there, transfer it to a rental truck and bring it to Arizona.

          We had several months to work out the details. Dave and I flew into Minneapolis. We experienced the usual delays trying to find a cab driver who spoke enough English that he could convince us he could find the Ryder Truck facility a few miles away... Everything went according to plan with the rental company and we were quickly on our way over the fifty miles to St. Croix.

          We had planned to meet Rod at a Comfort Inn in St. Croix and after a wrong turn or two managed to locate the hotel. As we prepared to turn into the parking lot, we noticed a blazer with a trailer in tow which held two passenger cars, tender and S-16 engine. It wasn't difficult for Rod or us to quickly determine we were looking for each other. The original plan called for several members of the local live steam club to assist us in transferring the equipment from Rod's trailer into our truck. We arrived in St. Croix slightly later than planned due to English being our primary language and my inability to follow simple driving directions. The local club members were faced with the option of helping us load the train in the dark and wind with intermittent snow or attend a pig roast with copius quantities of adult beverage a few miles away. Needless to say, Dave, Rod and I loaded the railroad equipment ourselves...

          We experienced many sights on the way home that you just can't appreciate from 35,000 feet. Like Clear Lake, Iowa which Buddy Holly, unfortunately, made famous and enough billboards for Stuckey's pecan rolls and "The Thing" to wonder if somehow the two are related... Potholes that could swallow a Volkswagen, motel parking lots not much bigger than the potholes previously described and the hustle and bustle of Sayre, Oklahoma at midnight on a Sunday night remain memorable, but for different reasons...

          We visited most of the gas stations along the way as we bounced and lumbered our way toward home. We didn't manage to pass anyone in our sleek 22 foot Ryder box truck, but at least the air conditioning lasted for a while - until we really needed it... After three long days of truckstop cuisine, fading radio stations and splattering insects we rolled into familiar territory. No one was critically injured during the unloading process, but I am thankful it didn't fall under the purview of OSHA or any other safety minded organizations... Suffice it to say we were tired and it wasn't pretty, but we were home and happy to have A & P RR Engine No. 2 sitting on a temporary sidetrack in the backyard.

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