They truly do not make them like this anymore. Engine 316 has hauled freight, people, tourists, and lots and lots of curious children. This engine has seen it all.
The 316 is a 4-6-0 wheel configuration that gives it 4 guiding wheels and 6 drive wheels. The engine, like the Consolidations, has no trailing wheels. The designation for the 4-6-0 is “Ten Wheeler”. They hauled fast freight and passengers as early as 1847. The 2-8-0 Consolidations like Engine 300 replaced the Ten Wheeler.
A. L. Cooke Locomotive Works manufactured the 316 for the Texas & Pacific Railway back in 1901. It spent many years hauling various cargo for the Texas & Pacific and then the Paris & Mt. Pleasant Railroad in 1949.
Finally, in 1951 the 316 met her retirement in Abilene. The city was celebrating its 75th anniversary and bought the 316. They gave it a paint job and a new number 75 and placed on it in Oscar Rose Park for display. There to spend the rest of her time. The 316 quietly endured the Texas heat, the blizzards of the winter, and the hands and feet of thousands of school children and curious adults.
Finally, this grand old lady of the rails was ready to meet her end at the hands of a scrapping crew. But she had fate intervene. An anonymous woman not only bought the old engine but also donated it to the Texas Railroad in East Texas.
After years of hard work and renovation she is back to work as the 316. She now spends her days hauling happy tourists between Palestine and Rusk, Texas.
Here is the website from the Texas State Railroad with her exact mechanical specifications:
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