1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive "#1"
This very small 0-4-0 steam locomotive was purpose built by Baldwin for the Comal Power Company to move one coal car at a time into its electricity generating plant by the river in New Braunfels. It had to be small to be able to navigate the extremely limited space. The tracks to the power plant had very tight curves. It was they who called it #1, as can be seen on the factory photographs below. The very small steam engine has an oversized steam compressor to provide enough power to tip and empty the coal cars into the plant's fuel hopper. The locomotive's working life was remarkably brief; the plant was converted to oil power in 1927. Instead of being sold or scrapped, #1 was mothballed. It was "rediscovered" by San Antonio rail enthusiasts in the the early 1960s. The Texas Transportation Museum was formed in order for them to be able to acquire it, as the utility was only allowed to give it away to a registered non-profit. After a short return to service on the tracks at the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, #1 was moved to the new permanent museum location on Wetmore Road. It was returned to service briefly in the early 1980s but has not been operated for the public since then, despite numerous efforts towards this end. As will be explained below, the museum still hopes to either restore it back into active service or put it on static display.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive, Original Baldwin Locomotive Co. document.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive, customer's carbon copy of July 1926 purchase order.
Presented here are just two of the many original Baldwin Locomotive Company documents the museum acquired along with the locomotives in 1964. #1 is appropriately named for TTM, as it is the museum's first acquisition. It was taken to the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio which operated the very short but grandly named "Texas Transportation Company" to connect with the nearby Southern Pacific mainline. The museum took its name from these tracks. Firing up #1 at the brewery in 1964 turned out to have an unexpected consequence. Regulations and statutory oversight was a lot more relaxed in those days. The volunteers simply filled the boiler with water, its fuel tank with oil, lit the fire and waited to see what would happen. The locomotive had not been used since the late 1920's and belched out such an amount of smoke and soot that the museum volunteers were obliged to wash cars and windows for blocks all around the scene of the "crime".
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive in New Braunfels.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive under many a coat of silver at the Comal Power Plant.
Raising steam on the 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive for the first time in 40 years, 1964.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive at Pearl Brewery, 1968.
Raising steam on the 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive at Pearl Brewery, 1967.
From the beginning the saddle tank switcher, with builder plate number 58555,was destined always to be #1. The purchase order indicates it was be to be 'lettered and numbered' as: COMAL POWER COMPANY, NO 1. It has 2 pairs of 30" diameter coupled wheels. It's boiler is 32 inches in diameter, and it has 73 1 3/4 inch tubes that are 9 feet 2 1/4 inches long. It has two 11 inch diameter cylinders with a 16 inch stroke, and operates at 180 lbs. of pressure. With an operating weight of 47,000 lbs, it has a tractive effort of 9,870 lbs. It holds 700 gallons of water and 120 gallons of fuel. It has always been an oil burner.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive at Pearl Brewery, 1968.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive in the early 1980's.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive on Texas Transportation Company tracks at Pearl Brewery, TTM's original location.
Rough accommodations for travellers - Could this be be the cause of the decline of passenger service?
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive crossing the trestle over the San Antonio river at Newel Street.
Locomotive #1 is a 0-4-0T switcher. It was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1925. It was rare for Baldwin to make such a small locomotive. It "only" weighs 60 tons and is "only" 33 feet long. After a very brief service life, it was "retired," and put on display. For the next forty years, it would get regular coats of shiny silver paint. This had a "cocooning" effect and kept the engine very well preserved. Within a year of being acquired by the museum it was back in service. It was operated at the Pearl Brewery for several years, providing rides to the public until the museum relocated to its current location on Wetmore Road in 1968.
Getting ready to move #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive, to our Wetmore location in 1977.
"Doc" Bill Boyd and Louis Guido, Jr, of Guido Construction with #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, in 1977.
Unloading #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, at our site on Wetmore Road, in 1977.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under way, 1983.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under way, 1983.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, at Elvey Car Barn, 1983.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under power back in 1981. This locomotive is not currently on display.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under power back in 1981. This locomotive is not currently on display.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, in the early 1980's.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under power back in 1981. This locomotive is not currently on display.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under way, 1983.
After sitting idle at The Pearl Brewery for several more years, it was moved to the museum's current location. Once again the small locomotive went back to semi-retirement. TTM had acquired an ex Air Force 1942 GE diesel-electric locomotive plus were focused on converting our forty acres green field site into the museum you see today. This included laying every inch of track. #1 would not be fired up again until 1981, when some volunteers decided to get it running. It was a red letter day when it was able to raise steam. But, once again, its period of active duty was very short. Operating and maintaining a steam locomotive is very labor intensive. They require a lot of comprehensive and expensive maintenance to remain safe for operations. As things turned out, #1 failed to re-emerge after being dismantled for a mandatory boiler inspection and service just a year after being brought back on line.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive at the Texas Transportation Museum in San Antonio in the 1970s
Making #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, look pretty.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive at the Texas Transportation Museum in San Antonio in the 1970s
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive at the Texas Transportation Museum in San Antonio in the 1970s
As #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, looked in the 1990s, after another abortive attempt to get the old girl working again.
But hope springs eternal. In December of 2004, steam was raised in this locomotive and, for the first time since the early 1980s, it moved again under its own power. For safety reasons, it was a low key affair, and we are lucky that these pictures were taken to record the event. It was run again in January 2005. A major problem developed with what is known as the dry pipe. A miniscule gap developed that, under pressure, caused a big leak that has proven, so far, beyond the museum's current resources to resolve. To fix it will require the locomotive to be almost completely dismantled. The costs in money, time and effort to fix the gap, which is actually smaller than a human hair, are astronomical. Nonetheless, the museum does intend to begin work on it again, perhaps as early as 2014 or early 2015.
#1 moving under its own power in December 2004
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under steam power in December 2004, for the first time since the early 1980's.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under steam power in December 2004, for the first time since the early 1980's.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under steam power in December 2004, for the first time since the early 1980's.
If this effort fails, #1 will be properly sealed and become a static display near our historic depot. It will remain our hope that future volunteers would still be in a position to make it safe to operate. Just putting it back together is taking much longer than anyone would like. As of early 2014, only about half of the restoration work is done. The sticking point is with the newly installed boiler flue pipes. Just finding the correct tools to flare, bead and seal the tubes, which are very small by modern standards, required a nationwide search. The pipes themselves have a very specific metal composition and had to be ordered from out of state.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 switcher in March 2008.
1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 switcher in March 2008.
Bob Owers washing #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, December 2004.
Bob Owers washing #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, December 2004.

Dave Wallace checking the carbide lamp on #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, December 2004.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, moving out of the shed, January 2005.
Fire in the hole, January 2005.
First air compressor check on #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, in January 2005.

Second air compressor check on #1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, in January 2005.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under way in January 8, 2005.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under way in January 2005.
#1, TTM's 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0 steam locomotive, under way in January 2005.
TTM is a registered 501(c)(3) charity

11731 Wetmore Road
San Antonio, Texas 78247
(210) 490-3554
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Friday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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