It began life in 1920 at the Brooks Works of the American Locomotive Company as 2-8-0 No.6 (serial #61579) built for Kelly’s Creek & Northwestern Railroad, a remote lumber hauling line deep in the mountains of West Virginia.
After a virtually unknown and unseen career No.6 was sold for scrap to Midwest Steel Corporation, but in 1954 it was purchased by nearby steam stalwart, Buffalo Creek & Gauley. This 2-8-0 was renumbered 13, and embarked on a second career long after mainline steam had been put to the torch. Each year No.13 and its fellow BC&G steamers pulled a million tons of coal for their owners on the 18.6 miles of track between Dundon and Widen, and each year legions of camera-toting railfans ventured to West Virginia to see and record onto film steam’s last gasp.
It all ended in 1964.
After retirement from the BC&G and during the next twenty years No.13 bounced around from one short-lived tourist railroad to another, but saw infrequent service under steam.
For a few summers No.13 was operated for the Iron Horse Festival in Logansport, Indiana.
During 1993 Jerry Jacobson acquired this 2-8-0 as a back-up locomotive for his Ohio Central steam tourist railroad when its regular steamer (ex-Canadian National 4-6-0 No.1551) was undergoing routine maintenance.
To commemorate No.13’s restoration, in the summer of 1993 it pulled a series of 46-car unit coal trains from Barr’s Mills on the Ohio Central line to the Panhandle interchange at Morgan Run before going into daily-except-Sunday service as the regular tourist railroad steamer.
Since then this trim 2-8-0 has been used for special trains, railfan weekends, night runs, double- and triple-headers, etc.
Today No.13 sits warm and dry inside the Age of Steam roundhouse, needing side rod work and a boiler ultra-sound test, et.al., per the FRA’s new steam rules.