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Photo: Hugh M. Comer/Collection of David W. Salter

Engine No. 58 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in October 1907 (construction #31899) for the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic Railroad and is a typical switcher locomotive of the 0-6-0 wheel arrangment, which means she has zero pilot wheels, six drive wheels, and zero trailing wheels. Locomotives of this wheel arrangement often featured large boilers atop small driving wheels, and No. 58 is no exception. This design put more weight on the drivers and resulted in considerable pulling power, especially at slow speeds. Such locomotives were often found switching freight cars in and out of industries and working in classification yards, where they assembled individual cars into much longer trains. Since switchers never strayed too far from yards and terminals, they didn't need to carry a lot of coal and water, so they often had small, slope-back tenders, which also gave the engineer a better view when running in reverse. No. 58 has a boiler pressure of 190 psi, a tractive effort of 31,100 lbs. and weighs over 150,000 lbs.

Photo: HRCV Archives

When the Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic entered receivership in the early 1920s, the line was re-organized as the Atlanta, Birmingham & Coast (AB&C), and No. 58 became AB&C No. 27. The locomotive was eventually sold to the U.S. Army and wore the number 6961, and was sold again to the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway and became their No. 4. She was later purchased by the Mead Corporation of Lynchburg, Va., and renumbered 300. In 1963, Malcolm Ottinger purchased No. 300 for his Valley Forge Scenic Railroad, which operated along a portion of the ex-Reading Pickering Valley Branch in southeastern Pennsylvania. After operations ended on the Valley Forge Scenic, Brian Woodcock purchased the engine in 1973, moved her to the Wilmington & Western, and returned the locomotive to its original number.

Photo: Curtis Cox/HRCV Archives

After sitting in storage for many years in the Wilmington & Western yard, Woodcock moved No. 58 to Avondale, Pa., in December 1988 to become the star attraction of his Avondale Railroad Center. The locomotive sat as a static display until 1997, when Woodcock donated No. 58 to the Wilmington & Western with the wish that it be restored and operated in regular service. No. 58 returned to steam in the fall of 1998 and was dedicated as "The Veteran's Locomotive" on May 23, 1999. Over the past few years, she has served as the star attraction of our Veteran's Day Celebration each November. She has become a favorite among our engine crews and is known for being a well-steaming engine, capable of pulling whatever we give her. Since being restored in 1998, she has traveled approx. 5,300 miles up and down the Red Clay Valley. No. 58's last revenue runs occurred on Veteran's Day Weekend 2013, and her 1472 inspection began immediately on the following Monday.

Boarding Location
2201 Newport Gap Pike
(Route 41 North)
Wilmington, DE 19808
1601 Railroad Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19808
Monday to Friday
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Historic Red Clay Valley Inc.
P.O. Box 5787
Wilmington, DE 19808
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