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Yet Another Lost Locomotive Story

April 14, 2011 06:56PM
I've been on the fence over posting this, but since I don't foresee a time in the future when I will have time to follow up on it, Ill post it and hope someone else will at some point: Ive always had a knack for finding weird stuff. When I worked as an archaeolgist with the USFS I found a 1000 year old body with pieces of clothing on it, another time I found a circa 1200 a.d. site with slag, while on another occassion I stumbled on a depression era bootlegger's cabin hidden in the woods with full cases of whiskey. When I worked in Alaska I located a narrow gauge Porter in a creek that I published in a recent NG&SL Gazette. About two years ago while I was working on the Sonora Narrow Gauge book, I came accross what may have been the boiler to one of the Cananea Consolidated Copper Co's locomotives, and I suspect that there are two locomotives and an untold number of narrow gauge cars buried at the same location. Since I was visiting the plant under unusual circumanstance, I did not have the opportunity to investigate, nor do I wish to return as I was involved in a armed confrontation while there.

The CCCCo operated a narrow gauge at their plant just south of the AZ border until the late 1970's, and had four steam locomotives listed as "stand by" until 1974. Two of the locomotives have survived, one is on display at the plant (standard gauge # 12, or ALCO #31854), while another is at the Museo de Sciencia y Technologia in Veracruz (narrow gauge loco #8, ALCO #29719) There is no record of what became the other two locomotives that existed into the 1970s, narrow gauge #7 and standard gauge #11, which is somewhat famous as Pancho Villa stole this locomotive in an attempt to steal the companies booty. I suspect the boiler I found was from #11 or #7, but it was badly decomposed from the sulphides in the fill it was buried in and difficult to ID. I attached a photo of # 7 under steam in 1969, it is my understanding that The Colorado railroad museum was attempting to purches the 3' locomotive as it was in great shape and ready for operation, unfortunately the deal fell through, perhaps someone on this site may remember details of this. I also attached a map of the location of the boiler, it is at the location of the former roundhouse where it was photographed by David Myrick and Gordon Chappell in the 1960s. If, by any chance someone wants to follow up on this I have more information, but only if someone is serious. btw-my mark for the Espee loco is off. Regards, Duane Ericson


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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2011 09:05AM by elminero67.
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