Clover Valley Lumber Company
Facts And Figures
Clover Valley Lumber Company No. 4
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Builders number: 57684
Built Date: March 1924
Wheel Arrangement: 2-6-6-2T
Gross Weight: 219,000 lbs / 110 tons in working order.
Cylinder dimensions: 17" by 24" high pressure, 26" buy 24" low pressure
Driver Diameter: 44"
Boiler Pressure: 200 psi
Tractive Effort: 37,500 lbs
By Alan Siegwarth, some sections edited from The Club Car, April 1995 by C. G. Heimerdinger, Jr.
In 1910, Baldwin started Mallet construction for the large West Coast logging operations to power mainline log trains where faster speeds than geared engines could provide were appropriate. By 1924, when the Clover Valley was built, two sizes of four different models including a tender version, a side tank version, a full saddle tank model, and a split saddle tank version of were available from Baldwin to those interested in obtaining one of these locomotives. In total, Baldwin built 36 logging mallets and the Number 4 was one of the first split saddle tank versions built that was to become the most popular model. The Number 4 is the only remaining tank mallet originally built for service in California (the other two being built for Casper South Fork & Eastern Railroad and scrapped in 1958). Today, in addition to the Number 4, it is interesting to note that at least one of each of the other models remains - several in Washington, one in San Diego, CA and the only currently operating Mallet in South Dakota.
The Number 4 was built for the Clover Valley Lumber Company as builders #57684 in 1924 and operated out of Loyalton which is located near Portola, California. About 1956, the Clover Valley Lumber Company was sold to the Feather River Lumber Company which kept the railroad in operation. In late 1957, the lumber company switched from railroad logging to hauling logs by truck and the Number 4 was sent to the Tahoe Timber Company's mill near Reno for use in stationary boiler service. The rumor mill has the locomotive only being used in stationary boiler service for several weeks but nevertheless, the locomotive remained next to mill for many years. When the Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) first inspected the locomotive, it sat on an isolated piece of track in a field just west of Reno, Nevada where she had remained after the lumber mill had been torn down.
The movement of the Mallet to the Castro Point Railway in 1973 was one of the major projects the PLA undertook while in Richmond. Not one, but two moves were required in order to get the locomotive off the property in Nevada. The locomotive was sitting in a position where it could not be loaded on either a flatcar or a truck. The locomotive was first moved a third of a mile away to a spur track using snap track and a small crane. Once on the spur track, the front or low-pressure engine was pulled out from under the locomotive and it loaded on one truck and the rest of the locomotive loaded on another truck for transport to Castro Point.
Repair work to the Mallet consisting mostly of superheater tubes and boiler work started in 1977 and was completed by the summer of 1978 with the engine steamed up for the first time in twenty years. Between 1978 and the end of 1985, the Number 4 was in regular operation at Castro Point. With the Navy not renewing PLA's lease in Richmond, Mallet Number 4 pulled the last Castro Point Railway passenger train on December 1st, 1985.
In late 1986, along with ex-Pickering Lumber Company Heisler #5 and Shay #7, the Number 4 was moved out of Castro Point via a special train movement for storage in Niles pending further movement to the Niles Canyon Railway. In 2005, the steam locomotives stored in Niles were moved to Niles Canyon and assessment work was started which led to the Clover Valley #4 being chosen as the next locomotive to be restored to operation on the Niles Canyon Railway.
Last Updated 12/23/2008