California Western Railroad (CWR) Loco Roster
The two pages right, are from the August 1965 Western Railroader “California Western’s Super Skunk” (a pdf version available here) steam train shows the locomotive roster whilst Union Lumber Company (ULC) owned the Skunk.
After The CWR was sold off #45, the current steam loco owned by the CWR, and #46, The “Super Skunk” were acquired. As you will see from the two pages right, most of the locos were made by Baldwin. The Fort Bragg Railroad was a predecessor company to the CWR.
Below are slideshows of the photographs of the above locos we have collected.
Fort Bragg Railroad
California Western Railroad (CWR)
Fort Bragg Railroads #3 and #4 became CWR #3 and #4.
Union Lumber Company (ULC)
CWR Locomotive #14
One of CWR’s locos still exists – just. CWR Number #14, shown below right when she was working, resides, awaiting restoration, at Roots of Motive Power in Willits.
Number 14 weighed in at a trim 54 tons. She was built for the California Fruit Exchange in 1924 and served as their #1. She operated in their Plumas County operations at Graeagle, California. The Fruit Exchange, headquartered in Sacremento, was formed by a group from the Sacremento and San Joaquin valleys involved in fruit farming and packing houses. They came to the Graeagle area in 1920 with the purchase of the Davies Box and Lumber Company.
Initially the Fruit Exchange moved logs to their Mill with a fleet of Mack trucks. Because of the truck technology of the day and the quality of the roads this proved unsatisfactory. Number 14 was ordered from Baldwin in 1924 and the Fruit Exchange began the construction of roughly 20 miles of railroad. Number 14 hauled pine, cedar and fir logs to be made into fruit box shook and crates. A shook is “in timber working a set of parts ready for assembly, especially of a barrel”. Number 14 then hauled the packaged shook and crates to the Western Pacific Interchange at Blairsden.
Railroad logging operations were discontinued in 1938 and she was sold to the California Western Railroad (CWR). Number 14 would work in relative obscurity for the next 16 years in the Union Lumber Company’s Ten Mile Branch logging operations. CWR’s more powerful locos #21, #22, and #23 would bring the logs to the mill in Fort Bragg with #14 spotting the log cars in the woods and assembling them into consists.
Number 14 did have one moment of fame when she chosen in 1938 to pull a much photographed excursion train on the Ten Mile Branch by the Pacific Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historic Society. With the closure of the Ten Mile logging by rail in 1948 she saw limited service with the CWR until 1956 when she was sold to Bert Rudolph. Bert and his wife Ferne stored her on the their Willits ranch for 35 years. They donated her to Roots of Motive Power in 1991 where she awaits restoration.