From the Photographic Collection of Donald Hensley
By 1945, the locomotives originally rostered during the logging days of the Preston Railroad were wearing out. Somehow, the Preston acquired the above 0-6-0 from the Western Maryland, where it had been engine 1003. Built in 1905, this Baldwin was C.N. 29658. No. 17 was the cause for building a new engine house, seen in the photo behind the locomotive. At 120 tons, it was by far larger than the 65 ton Shay that had been shuttling 'steels' from the Banner Mine to the B&O interchange. The heavier weight and lack of a leading truck caused all manner of trouble with the rails, requiring all five of the operating employees to do track duty.
In 1951, Preston decided to purchase West Virginia Northern's No. 8 & 9, 2-8-0s that were apparently lighter and in better shape. No. 17 was sent to the Duluth and Northern. And a larger tragedy, the last of the Shays was scrapped. Source: Tall Pines and Winding Rivers, B. Kline and Glade Star, article by George Fizer.
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