#1298 is one of two 0-6-0 switchers built by Baldwin for the Arizona Eastern in 1917. The Southern Pacific took control of the AEZR in 1905 and the switcher, originally #39, became #1298 in 1924 when the AEZR was merged into the SP. It was donated to the City of Santa Cruz in 1963 and is on display in the Harvey West Park.
A Class S-10 oil burner, #1298 weighs 154,600 lbs and has 51” drivers and 19” x 26” cylinders. Operating at a boiler pressure of 190 psi, it delivered 29,720 lbs tractive effort. The tender was sold around 1987 to Rick Hamman as a spare for SP C-8 #2706, a Consolidation type (2-8-0) now owned by John Manly. As a consequence, #1298 stands somewhat bereft bedecked in rather garish colours behind a low wooden paling fence. It is apparently only one of two 0-6-0s to have the extra window in the cab (compare it with the other 0-6-0s on the SP S-10 #1237 page of this website, the SP S-12 #1258, the SP S-14 #1293, and the Travel Town pages).
The 0-6-0 was the backbone of switching work from the late 1800s until WWI when the USRA 0-8-0 proved better at handling the increasingly heavy freight loads. Although orders did continue right into the 1940s, 0-6-0s were generally used on lighter duties and in smaller yards.
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