A late-design Climax Class C No.4 (built 1923 #1631) operated by the Crown
Willamette Paper Co., Clatsop County, Oregon in this photo from the mid-late 1920s.
Photo: Railroads in the Woods by John T. Labbé & Vernon Goe - Howell-North (1961)
The Climax classes of geared locomotives were designed and built primarily for Logging Railroad work in North America in the days of a seemingly endless supply of timber and unbroken forests. The first Climax C Class locomotive, a wood-burning 50 tonner, entered this working life in 1897. Manufactured until 1928, improvements were added to the C Class' design with every new build. During the class' lfespan, locomotives were available in seventeen sizes ranging from 12 to 100 tons.
Logging railroad locomotive operators loved the C Class for its large roomy cab which provided a shelter from the elements. Interestingly, prior to 1910, all C Class cabs were made of wood, after which steel cabs became the norm (as pictured above), with wooden cabs offered as an optional choice. Drivers were impressed by the C Class' uncomplicated operation, being equipped with a two-speed gear selector. This system offered the engineer a choice of using high or low speeds including a neutral free-wheeling position. Logging Railroad owners were attracted to the Climax C Class' low purchase price, and with most of the crucial working parts accessible from the outside of the locomotive, many repairs could be carried out on location in the field.
Pictured Left: Caspar Lumber Company's No. 4 Climax C Class locomotive, here featuring its original wooden cab in its by-then derelict state in 1944. the more durable steel cabs were only available with new Class C builds beginning in 1910.
Ferdinand appears to be a pre-1910 build of a Climax C Class locomotive.
Photo portion from Caspar Lumber Company by Stanley T Borden - The Western Railroader Issues 315-316 (1966)
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