The Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society (YPRHS) will dedicate the latest addition to its rolling stock collection at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the museum in Toledo, Oregon. The retired 45-ton, center-cab locomotive (pictured at left), aptly if not imaginatively nicknamed the “45-Tonner,” is a gift from the Georgia-Pacific (GP) mill in Toledo. It was used there in support of lumber and containerboard operations for most of its 60-year working life. It originally was purchased by the C.D. Johnson Lumber Co. in 1951, prior to selling its Toledo operations to GP the following year.
“Adding the 45-Tonner to our collection is a major step, since it means we will have the Alpha and Omega of historic railroad locomotives that worked in this area,” said YPRHS President Ralph Grutzmacher. “We are deeply grateful to Georgia-Pacific for deciding to make our museum the permanent final home for the engine; we’re hoping to turn it into an interactive and interpretive display for thousands of visitors each year.”
The locomotive was retired due to age and has since been replaced. GP agreed last year to donate it to YPRHS with an estimated in-kind value of $40,000. “We are honored to support the preservation of our region’s vibrant history and industrial heritage,” said James McClure, vice president and general manager of GP-Toledo. “This locomotive literally is a piece of the past and we’re pleased it will remain in Toledo. We are grateful to YPRHS for making it available to the public.”
The YPRHS Toledo museum already houses “One-Spot,” a large steam locomotive built for the C.D. Johnson Lumber Co. in 1922 and the company’s first. The 45-Tonner was the last and only diesel engine purchased by C.D. Johnson, and except for a short period in the 1960s, was used exclusively by GP-Toledo to move railroad chip cars into position for dumping their loads onto a large conveyor. Wood chips and recycled cardboard are used by GP-Toledo to make containerboard, the layers of cardboard boxes.
The YPRHS collection also includes one of very few restored railroad post office and baggage cars, the oldest wooden caboose in the Pacific Northwest and vintage boxcars, along with speeder cars, smaller historic railroad implements and a research library. The public is invited to the dedication ceremony and light refreshments will be offered. YPRHS is located at 100 NW A Street, Toledo (next to the post office).