builder..

railroad class..

builder number..

built..

wheel arrangement..

boiler pressure..

cylinders..

drivers..

operational weight..

starting tractive effort..

length..

width..

wheelbase of drivers..

BALDWIN

TF-20

57010

1923

2-6-2

180

16x24

46 inch

106 200 lbs

20 440 lbs

 ft  in

 ft  in

 ft  in

TS 32/132 was built in 1923 for the Sierra Railroad as their 32.  Intended mainly for their Angels Camp Branch, the 32 typically pulled the freight trains while similar 2-6-2 Sierra 30, built a year earlier, handled the passenger runs.  The 32 occaisionally pulled freight and passenger on the mainline and pinch hit on Angels Camp passenger trains when the 30 was in the shop.

When the Angels Camp Branch was abandoned in March 1, 1935, the 30 and 32 were used only sparingly and later declared surplus.  The Tidewater picked up the 32 in 1940 and placed it in service to supplement the second 1.  In 1941, the 32 was renumbered to 132, reportedly to avoid confusion with WP 32.

It is likely that the much newer 132 became the main motive power for the line, pushing old timer second 1 into more of a support role, although is is clear from photo evidence that traffic levels were high and there was work for both engines until the mid 1940's.  That WP 124 (and other WP engines) was often on the line and both electrics still pulled the steam trains through Modesto is a good indication of how busy things were on the Tidewater.  Conversely, the 132 was documented to have occaisionally stepped off-line to aid sister road Sacramento Northern, continuing a long tradition of power loans among the WP interurban subsidiaries (including Central California Traction).

During its 15 year career on the Tidewater, the Baldwin Prarie toiled away quietly.  Its one moment of glory came in April 1952 when it was tapped to pull an excursion on the Western Pacific from Oakland to Stockton.  Many photos exist showing the small engine, Tidewater name clearly visible, perched on the large WP steel trestles near Livermore with several cars of enthusiastic railfans trailing behind.  Also in 1952, the 132 was in an accident and lost its tender.  A replacement tender was purchased from the Sierra, coming off of Sierra's 18, which had recently received a wood-carrying tender for movie work.

After the diesels began arriving in 1946-1948, the 132 was relegated to back-up service.  After December, 1947, the engine was only active during the Fall packing rush, except for 1952 when it was also active in the spring, and 1950, when the engine did not run at all.  Instead, it was in Jeffrey Shops during July and August, getting a Class 3 shopping (new flues, repairs to boiler, firebox and wheels).

According to a search of WP records, the 132 last ran in October, 1953.  The last steam engine commonly reported in revenue service on WP proper was 2-8-2 WP 329 in June 1953.  Based on a study of surviving locomotive milage logs, it appears that TS 132 and WP 164 last worked in October 1953, tying for the honor of last revenue steam operation on the WP system.  (WP did retain two steam engines for special service, 4-6-0 94 and 2-8-2 334, after this time.)  While WP 0-6-0 164 only ran 92 miles after several months of no activity, possibly a light engine move heading for storage, TS 132 logged working miles during both September and October, corresponding with the annual fall rush on the Tidewater.  Noted WP historian Virgil Staff reported that the 132 also operated in November and December of 1953 based on his research into WP records and ICC reports.  In March and April 1955, the engine was used in stationary boiler service at a mine in Sulphur, NV.  According to Staff's research, the 132 may have operated to and from Sulphur under its own power, making April 1955 the last move of non-excursion steam on the WP.

The engine retired in early October, 1955 and sold for scrap on October 10 to the National Iron and Metal Company of Oakland, California.  Various sources report that 132 hung on so long due to light bridges on parts of the TS that prevented heavier locomotives.  Where these bridges were, however, is not listed and this reasoning has not been confirmed.  Considering the engine's sporadic operation after the arrival of the 70 tonners, it is more likely that it was just used as extra power and retained because it was still in good condition.

Two reports from the time indicate that the 132 was not completely scrapped, however.  They stated that the boiler, possibly including the frame and some of the cab portions, was sold to a sulphur mine in Nevada, located 58 miles west of Winnemucca for stationary service.  However, site visitor Tom Irion has reported that a 1955 Oakland Tribune article includes a picture of the 132 with the entire boiler shell gone forward of the firebox.  Such extensive damaged would have rendered the engine useless for stationary service and means it almost certainly was completely scrapped.  It is likely that these reports confused the details of 132's use as a stationary boiler during March-April 1955.

A sister engine does survive, however.  Sierra 30, one year older and slightly smaller that the 32, is currently being restored by the Pacific Locomotive Association in Niles Canyon, CA.

 

OVERVIEW                                  

. Former Sierra Railroad 32.

. Served 1940 to October 1953.

. Possibly the last steam engine in revenue service on WP system.

. Bridged the transition from electric and steam to diesel on the TS.

. Used on WP excursion in 1952 from Oakland to Modesto.

in service as        Sierra Railway 32

1923

1935

1940

1941

1952

1953

1955

      

Built by Baldwin, Philadelphia PA as Sierra 32

Angel's Camp Branch retired, 32 declared surplus

Sold to Tidewater Southern as TS 32

Renumbered to 132

Pulls excursion from Oakland to Turlock

Tender destroyed in accident, replacement acquired

Retired, possibly the last active revenue steamer on WP system

Used in stationary boiler service in Sulphur, NV in March and April

Scrapped in Oakland, CA

 

TS 32/132 Timeline                                                        

Tidewater Southern Railway

Baldwin 2-6-2 32/132

Central Pacific 2-6-2T 1
New York 4-6-0 second 1
Baldwin 2-6-2 132
Baldwin 2-8-0 WP 124
Pittsburg 4-6-0 WP 125
NEW