• WWI 60cm Trench Equipment

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by steamer69
Just wondering if anyone knows of any saved equipment here in the US. I know that there was an engine saved in TN (one of the 2-6-2T), but it is a static display. So much of it was used here in the states, I would love to find out that there is more than just one or two pieces left.
  by TB Diamond
Should you be referring to the 12" rail mounted mortars, all were scrapped in 1942 per Lewis in SEACOAST FORTIFICATIONS OF THE U.S.
  by steamer69
No actually, I'm looking for operating equipment like locomotives and equipment that may still be left here in the us from the Fort Railroads....I had heard a rumor that some of it went into private collections, but have not been able to track any of it down.
  by RailVet
Fort Dix, NJ, has a narrow gauge locomotive and a rail car next to the post museum, and I've heard there's a narrow gauge locomotive on display at the Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, GA. Not sure of the gauge in either case, but they're worth looking into. Both posts once had narrow gauge operations that are largely forgotten.
  by steamer69
Correct Railvet,
I am trying to find the equipment....if it can be found. There were a lot more 60cm (2 foot) gauge railroads in federal service untill after WWII. Here is a link to a youtube video of the one at


Hope you all enjoy!
  by SemperFidelis
I am not certain who a good contact person would be, but there must be someone aboard Picatinny Arsenal (extensive narrow guage operations, not sure of the gauge) who is involved with the history of the facility. I would doubt he/she would have too much in depth knowledge about the disposition of the equipment, but they might be able to point you in the right direction.
  by RailVet
Dealing with post historians can yield different results, depending upon the base. The historian at Fort Dix published an article on the post's narrow gauge railroad and also provided me with a map of where it ran. When I inquired at Aberdeen Proving Ground about the NG line that once ran there, they were unable to provide any information and recommended I check with the local historical society.
  by steamer69
A read of Narrow Gauge to No Man's Land, puts a lot of equipment all over the place. I would love to get hold of some of the Base Historians, but would they have any knowledge of the dissposition of the equipment? Most of the Base Museums I have been to, they really don't know to much about spacific equipment. Thanks for the infor so far, I will look into some of these and let you all know.
  by SemperFidelis
I would put the chances of the base historian knowing about equipment dispositions in the 1%-10% category. Your best hope would be that the historian has access to archived information from the era in question...or that he/she was a railfan, too.

The National Archives in Washington, DC might be able to shed some light on the subject. Our good government has had the foresight to take time to preserve a vast collection of historical information.
  by steamer69
That they have. Sometimes DC tends to know more about somethings than the base museums. I may have to make an inquirey there. Has anyone else on here tried to track down any of this equipent?
  by Aa3rt
You might try checking with some On30 or HOn30 modeling groups. I'm a member of the Yahoo HOn30 modeling group and these folks are quite knowledgeable. If there's a prototype that still exists and can be photographed and measured I'm sure they can point you in the right direction.

  by steamer69
Thanks guys,
Not having any luck, but I'll keep looking. I have heard a rumor of one of the 2-6-2ts that was modified taking the side tanks off and adding a tender....this engine is supposedly stored in NY (Watertown). I guess there is quite a collection of 2' equipment there. Anyone know if any of that stuff is the Trench equipment? I did find a line in France that is still running a lot of the equipment. Here is the link, for reference. This line is part of whats left from the battle of the Somme.


Hope you all enjoy.
  by Aa3rt
Checking at "steamlocomotive.com" I found one reference to a 24" gauge 2-6-2T at the US Army Infantry Museum in Ft. Benning, GA:

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lists/se ... ountry=USA

According to the notes, this locomotive was built by Davenport in 1918, construction# 1682.

Photo here:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=81165

EDIT: This thread at the Model Railroader forums should be of interest, it provides a lead on the locomotive in Watertown, NY:

  by steamer69
Thanks! I will look into it. I had known about the engine at FT. Benning, but the clue into the engines in Watertown are much appreciated. I'm going to be looking into that one. Is there anyone else on here that has an interest in the WWI trench equipment? I talk to people about the system and the Army Railroaders in France and there is usualy this look of "realy...2' gauge...into the trenches...."
  by Aa3rt
A good page at Wikipedia, including photos of preserved American-built locomotives in England and Wales:


And some large scale models being produced in California, along with some history: