Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site has started the process of the renovation of locomotive No. 9. This Baldwin 10-wheeler has been a static outdoor exhibit at the museum since 1960. Renovation and preservation are big commitments, and our plan is eventually to assess the feasibility of steam operation.
This past Summer, a small team of Laws volunteers carefully removed and tagged all the equipment and appurtenances surrounding the boiler jacket. The boiler jacket and historical lagging were then removed by a licensed, experienced contractor. The assessment process will include an examination of all components and systems of this historic locomotive as well as a determination of the condition of the boiler. Boiler assessment is an important phase which will largely determine the direction in which the project will proceed.
Whether #9 is stabilized to resume static display status at the museum or is made operational remains to be seen. Either way, this undertaking will be a multi-year effort, requiring public support: donations, and volunteer fundraising and labor hours. We are excited to undertake this challenge and privileged to become a part of the history of this 1909 locomotive.
If you would like to support our efforts, please consider donating and/or becoming a member. We are especially inviting members of the museum to participate in any additional way they can. Please contact Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site and let us know how you can help. Stay tuned to future editions of The Mail Car* newsletter for project updates.
* Excerpt reprinted from "The Mail Car," our membership newsletter, November 2023 edition.