RailPictures.Net Photo: WPY 60 White Pass & Yukon Route Steam 4-6-0 at Skagway, Alaska by Kevin Madore
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


White Pass & Yukon Route (more..)
Steam 4-6-0 (more..)
White Pass & Yukon Shops (near MP 2) (more..)
Skagway, Alaska, USA (more..)
April 26, 2011
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
WPY 60 (more..)
None (more..)
Kevin Madore (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
White Pass Archaeology: WPY #60. Sitting on a bluff near the north end of the White Pass Yard in Skagway is one very forlorn-looking, little 10-wheeler with a rather odd story to tell. This particular machine was a narrow-gauge, outside-frame locomotive built for the White Pass & Yukon by Baldwin in 1900. Her road number was 60 and she led a fairly long career on the line before finally being put out to pasture in 1942. On most railroads, she probably would have been sent off to the scrappers, but the WP&YR had developed a more practical use for retired motive power and rolling stock. In the 1940s, they often elected to bury the equipment between the Skagway River and the roadbed to help stabilize the latter and prevent washouts. Using retired equipment as "riprap" was probably cheaper than sending it to a scrapper (especially from a remote location such as Skagway) and was a practical solution to a common problem on mountain railroads. In the case of #60 here, she was essentially buried next to the river near MP 2.5 in 1949....and then "exhumed" about 40 years later and placed here in the yard, where she's now spent another 20+ years resting on her side. While her history time line is rather clear, the reasoning behind her retrieval and any future plans for her remain shrouded in mystery. A sister locomotive that was also retrieved in the same time frame has since been sold to a buyer in the upper mid-west with some sort of plan for restoration. If there are similar plans for #60, no one in Skagway seems to know about them. She's missing her pilot truck, rods, cab and nearly all external appliances, so even a cosmetic restoration would be a challenge. For now, this little 10-wheeler remains just one of several pieces of White Pass history that are visible to amateur archaeologists as they hike along the shores of the Skagway River.
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