US Navy 0-6-0T No. 4
Builder: H. K. Porter - Pittsburgh, PA
Built: March 1919                             
Serial No: #6369
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0ST (Side Tank) Switcher
Driver Diameter: 46"
Cylinder Bore x Stroke 18" x 24"
Boiler Pressure: 180 psi
Pulling Power: 25,865 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 64 tons
Engine Length: 29 feet
Fuel: Bunker-C Oil
Capacity: Oil - 500 gallons; Water - 1,800 gallons
Status: Non-operational
After the Revolutionary War the Brooklyn Navy Yard was established on the east bank of the harbor in New York City. To help construct, renovate, repair, resupply and maintain America’s ever-growing Atlantic Fleet, by 1938 the yard had 10,000 employees…and that was prior to escalation during World War II.
Keeping that huge operation going required the 1918 construction of the U.S. Navy Fleet Supply Base – South Brooklyn Section, which was filled with warehouses and railroad tracks.
To move incoming and outgoing railcars, in March 1919 the base purchased heavy 0-6-0T No.4 (serial #6369) from H.K. Porter, a Pittsburgh builder of small, industrial locomotives. Three years later the adjacent Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR purchased No. 4 from the Fleet Supply Base and renumbered it 13. In order to make refueling easier, No.13 and its coal-fired brethren were converted to burn Bunker C oil, the same fuel used in Navy ships.
The BEDT’s diminutive steamers chuffed around the Brooklyn docks long after all main line steam locomotives and most industrial and short line steamers had been withdrawn from service. In fact, the BEDT was 100% steam until Christmas Day in 1963 when the line finally dieselized its dockside operations. Fortunately, all of the BEDT steamers in service at that time were saved and preserved elsewhere.
Papers dated June 24, 1963, in BEDT files indicate that the railroad requested $2,500 for the purchase of No.13, while another non-railroad document indicates that No.13 was sold to George Hart’s Rail Tours and in 1968 moved to Reading, Pa. This 0-6-0T in January 1977 became part of the vast collection of the State Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg where it was displayed outdoors near the museum’s turntable. Through the years No.13 was painted black with no number or railroad identification. In 2010 the 0-6-0 was declared as being surplus to the core collection of the museum, and was made available to a good, non-profit home.
Enter the Age of Steam Roundhouse staff who wrote a proposal seeking donation of the BEDT locomotive and two surplus DOD (Department of Defense) flatcars. On October 25, 2011, the request was granted and AoS took ownership of No.13 and the two flats.
No time was wasted in moving the equipment by highway trucks to the newly completed Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek, Ohio. The same 24-wheel trailer that was used to move Thomas the Tank Engine (fabricated from No.13’s cousin, ex-BEDT 0-6-0 saddle-tanker No.15) around the country made quick work of ramping-up No.13 and heading west on December 7, 2011, unloading the precious cargo the next day.
No.13 is now being repainted inside the dry, warm Age of Steam Roundhouse.