Featured Locomotive for June 2011

Gypsy Falk 1

This month we look at a rather special 0-4-0 Tank Locomotive called a 'Gypsy Falk 1' for the Elk River Mill & Lumber Company. The winch out the front 'gypsy' was used in many hauling & hoisting situations so common in the timber industry. The winch could even haul the engine on a slippery slope - much like the way donkey engines were moved through the forest. Surely a tribute to American know-how.

The Gypsy Locomotive

The loco was purchased by Noah Falk, president of the Elk River Co, hence its name, from Marschutz & Cantrell National Iron Works of San Francisco, California in 1884. It was used to haul 4 wheel flat cars the 5km to the sawmill, ceasing this task in 1903 after some 18 years. Falk 1 was replaced by 20ton Baldwin from 1903 to 1928, during this time the Falk 1 was continuously used for shunting and general duties.

In 1928 the Baldwin was replaced by a Heisler and the Baldwin replaced Falk 1 as the shunter, which was deemed scrap after 44 years service. In 1936 Falk 1 was gifted to the city of Eureka and placed in the Fort Humboldt Museum, where it rusted. The locomotive was restored by members of the Northern Counties Logging Interpretive Association in 1981 and is now in working order.

Gypsy's particulars are :
0-4-0 Tank Engine
  • Dry weight - 10 tonnes
  • Valve gear - Stephenson
  • Operating pressure - 100psi (6700kpa)
  • Fuel - Timber
  • Drive wheel - 30ins(76cm)
  • Bore -10ins (25cm)
        Stroke - 15ins (38cm)
  • Length approx 15ft3in (4.4m)
  • Height 9ft6in (2.9m)
  • Bore -7.5ins (19cm)
        Stroke - 15ins (38cm)
  • Winch Ratio 6 to 1
  • Gauge - 4ft 8.5inchs (14.35m)
  • Coupling- Pin & Loop

Our model was made in China to US specifications for Missouri Locomotive.

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