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Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:32 pm
by MQT1223
Apparently this was the last industrial operation that used a steam locomotive of any kind (in this case a fireless version) until the locomotive was finally retired in 1994. Did anyone witness this locomotive in operation at the plant it worked at during its last years?

Here is the info on the operation from steamlocomotive.com in their "Last of Steam" section of their website:

Sensient Flavors
Sensient continued to switch its plant in Harbor Beach with fireless 0-4-0F #4 until February 22, making this operation very likely the last industrial steam operation in the country.
February 22, 1994
Harbor Beach, MI
Source: Railfan & Railroad, April 2010

Also included are many other cases of steam holdouts and unique cases where steam continued long after the steam era was over. I will provide a link for anyone else that cares to read.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lastofsteam.php

Here is a picture of the locomotive from 2001 and 2002. I cannot find anything more recent, but it looks like the locomotive is still in Harbor Beach judging on information from steamlocomotive.com and railroadmichigan.com.

The locomotive was built by H.K. Porter serial #8123, in 1947.

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Re: Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:15 pm
by Racer
I assume the trackage to the plant is long gone?

Re: Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:39 pm
by AARR
Track to Harbor Beach was abandoned and removed around 1994ish. This was around the time HESR traded in its GP-9's for 38-2's. Apparently the slightly heavier 38-2's damaged the track and there was not enough business to justify repair/upgrading the track.
Racer wrote:I assume the trackage to the plant is long gone?

Re: Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:18 pm
by Mackinac Mac
Here is a photo I took yesterday of the 0-4-0F at Harbor Beach. Sensient Flavors the current owner recently repainted the locomotive and boarded up the cab. They also painted their logo on the pressure vessel and added a history marker on public property. Very nice to see this awesome old locomotive get some much deserved TLC!

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Re: Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:40 pm
by SD80MAC
On a related note, are there any operable fire-less locomotives anywhere? Obviously you would need a stationary boiler to supply the engine with steam!

Re: Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:18 pm
by MQT1223
The Lake Shore Railway Museum's 0-6-0 Fireless Heisler is the only fireless locomotive that I've known to operate in recent years. The Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern had one too but idk where that one went.

Re: Fireless Steam Loco in Harbor Beach

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:23 pm
by Mackinac Mac
Also I believe this was repainted about 5 years ago