Lindy - No. 203 - 1925 Baldwin Steam Engine
“From Moses to Jefferson, the most you could transport over land at one time was a wagon load. Even in the early 1800’s, the best mode of overland transportation was still by horse; George Washington couldn’t get across the land any faster than Julius Caesar- but Abraham Lincoln could, and what made that possible is the steam locomotive. The steam locomotive allowed people and goods to be moved for great distances at high speeds. It changed transit time from New York to California from six months to six days, thereby bringing us together as a nation. So it’s not just an obsolete piece of metal that we’ve restored. It’s an example of the machine that changed America.”
“For someone running shortlines in the South, Lindy is a very special engine. From the time she was delivered to the Washington & Lincolnton until today, this locomotive has never been outside of the South, and she has never been owned by a big railroad. 203 is the quintessential Southern shortline locomotive.”
“Besides that, she’s beautiful.”
- H.P. Claussen
Lindy, also known as number 203, is a 2-8-0 consolidation type locomotive, built in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Co. of Philadelphia. The locomotive was purchased by a Georgia shortline, the Washington & Lincolnton Railroad, which went out of business in 1933. 203 was then sold to another shortline, the Rockton & Rion, which served a quarry operation in South Carolina. The little engine proved not to be powerful enough for the strenuous labor and she was placed in storage at Rockton -- for the next 44 years.
In 1977, 203 was taken out of storage and put to work in the tour trade in Florida and Mississippi; during these years 203 saw limited duty and it wasn't long before she was returned again to storage.Due to her years of idleness, 203 has probably traveled fewer miles than any operating steam engine in America.
In 1995, 203 again became a shortline railroad engine when Gulf & Ohio Railways purchased the locomotive and began the task of rebuilding her for the Three Rivers Rambler. The restoration of this locomotive (including the conversion from coal to oil) is due to the valiant efforts of the employees of Knoxville Locomotive Works and thousands of volunteer work hours.
Lindy Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does the Lindy have Washington & Lincolnton printed on the tender?A. The original railroad that used 203 was the Washington & Lincolnton Railroad in Georgia. During restoration, we decided to keep the original markings.
Q. What does the steam engine burn?
A. #4 fuel oil (recycled motor oil)
Q. How fast does the train go?
A. Our speed limit is 10 mph
Q. How old is the steam engine?
A. 80 years old (June 1925)
Q. How hot does the fire in the firebox get?
Q. How heavy is the locomotive?
A. 66 tons
Q. Where is the fuel and water stored?
A. Inside the tender