The Northern Queen Inn is located at 400 Railroad Avenue, Nevada City, CA, on thirty-four very pretty wooded acres with a waterfall in the centre of the property. As well as lodging for visitors in motel units, chalets and cabins, the Inn provides catered units for active seniors. The Trolley Junction Restaurant on site also hosts wedding parties and other functions.
Three locomotives were in the grounds when I visited, some owned by the Ramey family, who also own and operate the Northern Queen Inn, and not the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum adjacent to the Inn. One of the locomotives, a small Plymouth, was operated on an irregular basis on 24” gauge track at the hotel site, as well as ex-Argent Lumber #5 on a 36” track until about August 2002.
I gather a short length of 36” gauge track on which #5 could operate was planned between the Nevada County Traction Company and the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum for the museum’s opening in May of 2003 but this, apparently, came to nothing (there is a page on the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum on this website).
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Lima built this 36” gauge Prairie type (2-6-2) locomotive in 1910 as #3 for the Williamson & Brown Log & Lumber Co., in Hardeeville, SC. When the Argent Lumber Co., bought Williamson & Brown, the locomotive was renumbered #5.
In 1960, the locomotive was sold to the Stone Machine Co., in Daisy, TN, and then, in 1964, to George Roose for possible use on the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad at the Cedar Point, OH, amusement park. The 36” gauge CP&LE was completed on 25th May 1963 and is still operating today.
#5 apparently never ran on the CP&LE, however, and remained in George Roose’s estate after his death in 1984. At some point, it was sold to the Ramey family and moved to Nevada City.
Top left, a view of the backhead. Lower left, looking inside the firebox: remnants of burned wood, ash and some cobwebs.
#5 weighs 52,000 lbs, 40,200 lbs on its 36” drivers. With 12” x 16” cylinders and operating at 180 psi, it delivered 9,800 lbs tractive effort. When this page was published, the locomotive was listed for sale by the railroad broker D. F. Barnhardt.
This 0-4-0T (Tank) locomotive was built in 1939 by the German company, Henschel & Son, in Kassel for Hans Vatter AG in Mannheim as #9. In 1966, it was sold to Elliott Donnelley and Frank Valish and then, in 1970, to the High Country Railroad in Golden, CO.
#9 weighs 24,200 lbs and has 24 drivers and
9½” x 11¾” cylinders. A coal burner operating at a boiler pressure of 150 psi, it delivered 5,500 lbs tractive effort. You can see another Henschel locomotive on the Forney Museum of Transportation page of this website.