History of ACL #250

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Wondered if someone would be kind enough to give me some history on this locomotive, which now sits outside the Wilmington Railroad Museum; specifically, when it was built, when and where it ran, when it was retired, and when it was brought to its present location. Thanks very much for any information you can provide.

-- Quin Dressel (qdressel@aol.com), January 18, 2000


Very interesting about the 250's replacement tender-I remember seeing the tender's builder plate and thinking that it was a bit odd. I would bet the tender currently behind the 250 was purchased not for that engine but was part of an order for tenders with increased fuel/H2O capacity to replace the small capacity tenders originally delivered with the K-5/K-6 copper heads. If there is an enterprising soul in the Wilmington area, one possible way to nail down the origin of the 250's tender would be to measure the thing.

Based on the society's ACL locomotive diagram book, the replacement tenders for the K-5/K-6 copper heads measured as follows:

Dist. between end sills - 23'-9" Dist. between ends of tender body - 22'-0" Coal-12.5 tons/H2O-6000 gals

The tenders originally delivered with the K-14/initial 20 engines of the K-15 class copper heads measured as follows:

Dist. between end sills - 25'-6.5" Dist. between ends of tender body - 23'-10.5" Coal-15.5 tons/H2O-6000 gals

If the tender has the smaller dimensions, then it should be safe to assume she was part of the K-5/K-6 replacement tender order and simply ended up behind the 250 as a result of a tender swap in later days. If it's the larger tender then the mystery deepens. Good stuff Larry.

-- Buddy Hill (palmettoLTD@hotmail.com), January 25, 2000.

The 250, 4-6-0 class K-14S, was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1910 for passenger service on smaller local trains. It was used on the Wilmington - Fayetteville line, but also other lines out of Wilmington, including Myrtle Beach. It was retired in the early 1950s and placed on display at the Coast Line Shops in Tampa, FL. In 1984, the 250 was moved from Tampa to the Wilmington Railroad Museum, thanks to then Seaboard System president Richard Sanborn. one interesting fact about the 250 is its replacement tender. The ACL went back to Baldwin in the 1920s I believe to order extra tenders. The tender on 250 has its own builder's plate! I was a volunteer at the WRRM from 1982 to 1993, and remember well the day 250 arrived.I had the priviledge of working with conductors and firemen who ran the 250 in regular service. The WRRM has a color 1949 photograph of the 250 at Kerr, NC making a passenger stop. The photo is dated from the agent's blue 1949 Ford. Hope this helps!

-- Larry K. Neal, Jr. (lkneal@ncsl.dcr.state.nc.us), January 19, 2000.

In 1975, the engine was on display outside the SCL offices in Tampa,Fl.. I had my picture taken on it while on a family vacation, and while chasing down the SCL 1776. What a vacation!

-- Russell Underwood (Jay611@home.com), January 18, 2000.

Others will know more than I do, but here is my personal attachment. My great uncle Harry Smith Sr. worked at the electrical shops in the ACL complex in Wilmington. I was told that the 250 ran from Wilmington to Fayetteville, and Uncle Harry recalled going out on the road to repair something electrical on it once. He certainly remembered working on it in Wilmington. Good luck with your search for info. Marc

-- Marc L. Hamel (gigsup@aol.com), January 18, 2000.

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