Central Railroad of New Jersey 113
Our locomotive began life in June of 1923 at the Schenectady Works of the American Locomotive Company, one of five B7s 0-6-0 switchers built for the Central Railroad of New Jersey, numbers 111-115, Alco order number S-1419. In common with most of the steam locomotives on the Anthracite Roads (those that hauled hard coal from the Pennsylvania fields), these engines had wide, Wootten fireboxes (first designed by the Reading Company's John Wootten not long after the Civil War) so they could burn the same coal that they hauled. Intended solely for yard service, the B7s locomotives had no leading or trailing wheels and six driving wheels (thus the 0-6-0 designation, or wheel arrangement); with all of the engine's weight on the small drivers, one of these workhorses could move almost any cut of cars a yard track could hold, although not very fast. In common with all short-wheelbase locomotives, 113 and her sisters did not ride smoothly, and they rarely got beyond 15 miles per hour -- a speed at which 113's fireman would have to hold on for dear life and could probably not successfully aim a shovel through the clamshell firedoors!
The picture above, taken by Alco's official photographer, shows the first locomotive in the class at the builder's works before delivery. 113 and her sisters worked the CNJ's freight yards for almost three decades; in 1945, the railroad changed her class to 6S46 -- "6-wheeled Switcher, 46,000 pounds tractive effort" and by 1951 placed her out of service as diesels took over. One photo of the engine in regular service appears on North East Rails; another shows her out of service at the CNJ's main shops at Elizabethport, N.J., in the company of other no-longer-needed steam power.
The Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co., now Reading Anthracite Co., bought our locomotive from the CNJ circa 1953 and used her at the colliery in Locust Summit, outside of Ashland, until she last steamed in 1960 -- the last CNJ engine to feel a fire on her grates; the CNJ itself ran a few fan trips with 4-6-0 #774 in 1954 but then had the engine scrapped. Stored outside, eventually with trees growing up all around her, 113 sat for many years until the coal company donated her to Historic Red Clay Valley in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1980. In 1986, Robert E. Kimmel, Sr., bought her and later moved her to Minersville. (Only one other CNJ steam locomotive survives, 4-4-2 #592 at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md.)
Work to refurbish the locomotive to operating condition got under way in 1999 took more than twenty years, more than $600,000, and countless hours of volunteer labor. Many parts had long since vanished before restoration started; because no commercial builder has produced steam locomotive parts in decades, the Project 113 crew had to make many from scratch. As one example: Patternmaker Bernard Perch, from White Haven, made a wooden pattern of the three-chime whistle, measuring an original CNJ whistle, and had a new whistle cast. It sounds just as lovely as the original!
Retrieving some parts of the locomotive took detective work: As an example, Reading Anthracite removed 113's bell after the engine went out of service and gave it to an official of the coal company; he put it on a post at Lake Wallenpaupack. Eventually, Project 113 located the bell and it got returned to the locomotive, through a trade for another bell. After further investigation, we found that 113 has a bell from a Baldwin-built camelback tenwheeler, stamped with a Baldwin class number. Our Alco-built locomotive probably picked up the "foreign" bell during a visit to the Elizabethport shops at some point in her career.
113's vital statistics
Track gauge: 4'-8 1/2" Cylinders: (2) @ 23" diameter, 26" stroke Driving wheel diameter: 51"
Engine wheel base: 11'-0" Engine and tender wheel base: 45'-4 3/8"
Boiler, inside diameter: 76 1/2 " Working pressure: 200 pounds per square inch (as built; now 185 psi)
Firebox: 108 1/8" long, 90 1/4" wide Grate area: 67.7 square feet
Boiler tubes, 2" diameter: 208 Boiler flues, 5 1/2" diameter: 34 Tubes and flues length: 11'-6"
Heating surfaces, in square feet: tubes, 1242; flues, 558; firebox, 180; total, 1980
Superheater heating surface, in square feet: 462
Weight in working order, in pounds: engine, 197,000; tender, 139,300; total, 336,300 (168.15 tons)
Tender capacity: 10 tons coal; 6850 gallons water
Maximum tractive effort: 45,800 pounds
A primer on switchers
"In the beginning, road engines coupled their own trains and placed cars from their trains as required. By the time business increased to require several trains to be run each day, the work of gathering cars, making up trains, and spotting cars from inbound trains consumed too much time to be included in a road trip. Older and nearly obsolete road engines were assigned to switching service. During a day's work these could make up several trains and break up others and spot their cars for unloading. This permitted road engines to be used entirely for their intended work, coupling to their trains and hauling them over the road. As ever, they picked up and set out cars at places en route where there is not enough switching work to employ a switching crew.
"Engines were then built especially for switching. Their outward appearance was generally that of road engines minus leading and trailing trucks, which were not needed to guide the drivers at the slow speed used in this type of work. Since they were never far from the round-house, the early switchers were tank-engines. The limited coal and water supplies became an irksome feature as business increased. Consequently, later designs included separate tenders of ever-increasing sizes. Imagine if you can, a yardmaster with a road engine and crew waiting for a train to be made up,another train entering the yard and the switch engine needing water and/or coal. The later switchers could work an eight-hour shift on a tank of water and go two or more days on a tank of coal. Today's diesels average about three days on a tank of fuel oil."
From North East Rails