Southern Wood Preserving Co. 0-4-0T No. 3

American Locomotive Co. - Cooke Works; Patterson, NJ

Built: January 1926
Serial No: #66308
Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-0T (Tank Engine)
Driver Diameter: 40"
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 16" x 24"
Boiler Pressure: 180 psi
Pulling Power: 23,500 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 49 tons
Weight on Drivers: 49 tons
Fuel: Coal
Status: Operational
To save time and materials on per-unit costs, occasionally the American Locomotive Company would construct several, unordered “stock” locomotives (usually small industrial switchers), knowing that such ready-made, lower-cost locos always were in demand and would not sit unsold for very long. Many of these small-fry steamers were built at Alco’s Cooke Works in Paterson, New Jersey, and each steamer carried an appropriately smaller rectangular builder’s plate (or two).
Such was the case with saddletank 0-4-0T No.3 that was constructed in January 1926 (serial #66308) by Alco’s Cooke Works in Paterson, New Jersey, but not sold until 1929. Its first owner was Southern Wood Preserving Company, a company making pressure-treated creosote railroad ties at one of its plants in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Rolling on 40-inch driving wheels, but weighing-in at a beefy 48.5 tons, this little locomotive switched specially-built rail cars that carried raw oak timbers into—and coal tar treated railroad ties out of—the pressurized treatment plant.
After retirement from its heretofore commercial endeavors, No.3 became property of Paul Merriman, a Chattanooga electronics research engineer who loved steam, and who was one of the founders of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. By 1963 Paul’s collection also included 2-8-2 No.12 which he purchased from Kentucky & Tennessee RR. This locomotive is better known as ex-Southern Railway No.4501, the patriarch of the SR’s highly successful steam excursion program. Needing a home for his two steamers, Paul was happy to display them at TVRM.
During 1994 No.3 was sold to Jerry Jacobson, and was trucked to Coshocton, Ohio, the nerve center of Jerry’s Ohio Central Railroad System. Along with several other OC locomotives, the 0-4-0T was fired-up for OC’s Steam Fest ’97 where fans could ride and photograph steam-powered passenger and freight trains, including double and triple-headers. They toured the newly completed Morgan Run Shop, where No.3 shuffled about the property in grand style.
When construction of the Age of Steam Roundhouse was nearing completion, Jerry’s steamers, diesels, passenger and freight cars were moved in several trains (some of which were powered by steam) from their storage site at Morgan Run to their new home near Sugarcreek.