Perfect plumage. With the early morning sun highlighting her classic exhaust plume, Crossett Western #10, hauls a cut of freight cars north on the old Northern Pacific branch line between Battle Ground and Yacolt, Washington.
Steam enthusiasts who have visited the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad may notice a strong resemblance between that line's Hammond Lumber #17 and Crossett Western #10, which is depicted here. In fact, with the exception of the headlight locations, and the paint jobs, these two locomotives are virtually identical. Both are 1929-vintage Alco saddle-tankers and both were originally built for the Crossett Western Company in Oregon as their #s 10 and 11. Both were later sold to Hammond Lumber, and became Hammond 16 and 17. After that, their careers diverged. Not only have both survived to operate on tourist lines, but the two are virtual neighbors, both "living" in Washington State, about an hour and a half's drive away from each other. Pick the right operating weekend, and a saddle-tank fan could catch Hammond #17 making the morning run at the Mt. Rainier Scenic in Elbe, and then head down to Yacolt and catch the Crossett 10 on an afternoon train on the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.