This 0-6-0 switcher locomotive and tender were built by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) of Schenectady, N.Y., for the Alabama State Docks Commission in November 1940. Road number 63 was used to switch cargo at the docks in Mobile, Ala. This was the fourth and last steam locomotive ordered by the State Docks Commission from Alco.
The American Locomotive Company was known for its steam locomotives, such as the 4-6-4 Hudsons and the 4-8-4 Niagaras it built for the New York Central Railroad and the 4-6-6-4 Challengers and the 4-8-8-4 Big Boys it built for the Union Pacific Railroad (see diagram).
Our standard gauge locomotives and tender weigh 106 tons, was fired on coal, had a maximum boiler pressure of 200 lbs, and has a driving wheel diameter of 51 inches. It is 67 feet, 8 inches long and 10 feet, 8 inches wide. It can hold 8,000 gallons of water and 10 tons of coal.
A typical load for an 0-6-0 switcher was about six cars. Even when at work, the switcher was waiting more of the time than it was moving, so it needed only a small firebox, boiler and tank to do its work. Most driving wheels on this type of locomotive were 51" in diameter but other sizes were preferred by some railroads. Switching engines almost always had forward and rear sand boxes. Usually, the rear box was dome-shaped like the front one and that is the case on this locomotive.
In 1957, this locomotive was sold to the Gulf States Paper Corporation in Holt, Ala. In 1959, it was donated to the Junior Chamber of Commerce at Tuscaloosa, Ala., where it was displayed from 1959 to 1980 in Jaycee Park. In 1980 it was donated to the Bluegrass Railroad Museum of Versailles, Ky.
The Kokosing Gap Trail board of trustees purchased the equipment and moved it to Gambier in April 2001. It has not been fired since 1959 and there are no plans to put this locomotive in running condition. The purchase, moving and restoration expenses came from donation of funds or services.
What do the numbers mean?
Steam locomotives are ____ by their ____ wheel arrangement. Depending on engine ____, locomotives may have one, two, or three groups of wheels called (front to back), leading, driving, and trailing wheels. Locomotive #63 has six driving wheels and no leading or trailing wheels. Thus, it is called, "0-6-0. " The Niagaras have four leading, eight driving and four trailing wheels. The Big Boy's wheel arrangement is similar to the Niagara's, but has two sets of driving wheels.