Cass Projects: Moore-Keppel Climax #6. You are looking at the inside of the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association's (MSRLHA) Killoran Restoration Shop at the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. What you see in front of you is the result of more than a decade of work by volunteers. This is Moore-Keppel Climax #6, a 70-ton, 3-trucker built in 1919. She served her original owner until 1946, before moving on to the Middlefork Railroad as a back-up locomotive for another 16 years. When she retired in 1960, she was likely the last commercially active Climax in the US. When she was acquired by the Cass Scenic Railroad in 1970, she was in pretty poor condition and was supposed to have been a restoration project. Unfortunately, she was inside the Cass Shop when it burned in 1972, and suffered some damage. With the loss of the shop, this little project went on hold for a very long time.
In the early 2000s, the MSRLHA decided to try and restore the locomotive for active service on the Cass Scenic Railroad. Doing so would not only revive an important historical artifact, but also give Cass at least one operating example of all three major types of geared steam engines. It has been over a decade, but the project is finally starting to enter its final phase. The frame and trucks are largely done. That's what you see here. In addition, other large components have been constructed, such as the cab, fuel bunker, and water tank. A replacement boiler for the original, worn-out piece has been found and overhauled. All that really remains before final assembly can begin is a few major components from the drive train that still need work. If all goes well, this engine could be ready in a couple of years.
The MSRLHA folks can always use some help with this project. Whether you have time or money to donate, I'm sure either will be welcome. Visit their website at http://www.msrlha.org/climaxLoco.shtml for more information.