W. H. Eccles Lumber No. 3
Wood Burning Heisler on the Sumpter Valley Railway
Page 1


For 20 years, from 1976 until 1996, W H Eccles Lumber 3 was the only operating steam locomotive on the Sumpter Valley Restoration Railway.  I was fortunate to be able to fire her for 6 seasons and run her for three of those seasons.  The following pictures came out of a slide show which I developed and showed to various railroad and non-railroad groups in Oregon, Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina.  With the return of the Heisler for the 2000 season, it seems logical to share these images of The Heisler Experience in 1992.

Click on images below for larger views
No. 3 towed out of engine house 0700 on Saturday morning finds the Heisler being towed out of the engine house by diesel 101.  It will take about two and a half hours to prepare the locomotive for the day's runs.
No 3 from inside engine house Looking more like it has just backed out of a tunnel, this is a view of the locomotive taken from inside the Heisler shed.
Opening smokebox door First order of business is to clean the smokebox of the bits of charred wood from the previous weekend's runs.  While the Heisler leaves no ash in her firebox, she does suck glowing embers through her tubes while running.  These embers are stopped by the screen on the stack and fall back down into the smokebox and stack trap.  Yours truly is pictured here removing the bolts that hold the smokebox door closed.
Cleaning smokebox Much of the approximately 5 gallons of partially burnt wood can be reached with a small shovel through the smokebox door.
Smokebox diving Some can only be reached by a little smokebox diving. 

(Nice shot, Jerry, we WILL get even.)

Cleaning stack This stack was designed and fabricated based on pictures of a similar stack used on the Heisler shortly after she was delivered to the W. H. Eccles Lumber Company in 1915.  Embers drawn through the boiler tubes are stopped by the screen on top of the stack.  They then fall down the lower conical sheet of the stack and are collected in a trap.  Here I'm poking a stick into the trap to coax these once glowing embers into the collection bucket.
Laying the fire With the smokebox and stack cleaned out and buttoned back up, it's time to lay the fire. 
Ignition The small pile of paper and kindling takes off quickly and larger sticks of wood are added until the whole floor of the firebox is covered with wood.
All images and text copyright 2000 by Larry Tuttle
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