In the Diesel Shop


STEAMWORKS! - Well, that's what an enthusiastic young friend of mine (and obvious Thomas addict) would call this, but no it's actually the backshop of the Alaska Railroad. Here heavy repairs of modern diesels takes place (as the SD70MAC wheelsets in the foreground attest to) so this antique from another era is quiet foreign....yet so at home. Old #557 was the Alaska Railroad's last active steam locomotive, and after a 46 1/2 year hiatus in the lower 48 she is back home. She is a Baldwin Locomotive Works class S-160 2-8-0 Consolidation built for the US Army Transportation Corps. and diverted to Alaska in December 1944. Retired and shipped out of state in 1965, she was purchased by a wealthy Alaskan philanthropic family, repatriated to the Last Frontier, and donated back to the ARR with the provision she must be returned to active service within 8 years. Note: the photographer is a railroad employee with permission to be on the property and was wearing all required PPE while taking this photograph. 2/26/12



Page created 4/10/12 and last updated 4/10/12