McCloud River Railroad Company
McCloud Railway Company
Locomotive #18

Baldwin 2-8-2
Built- 11/1914
c/n- 41709
Drivers- 48"
Cylinders- 20.5x28
Weight- 178,400 lbs.
Boiler pressure- 180 lbs.
Tractive effort- 35,700 lbs.


The #18 was a special locomotive on the McCloud. The Panama Pacific Exposition gave the railroad all the reason it needed to purchase a third new Mikado from Baldwin, and the builder applied a special "Exposition Finish" on the locomotive prior to its departure from the factory. It was also the first locomotive the railroad aquired equipped with superheaters and piston valves, and the resulting operational efficiencies prompted the company to retrofit most of its other Mikados with superheaters in subsequent years.

Builders photo and specifications from a Baldwin Magazine advertisement.

A drawing of the #18 and the special train that the railroad sent to the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, CA, in 1915. The McCloud River Railroad and Lumber Companies, the Red River Lumber Company, and the Weed Lumber Company jointly sponsored the exhibit, which was centered around a model house constructed entirely of products from the three companies and other materials from the region, including a fireplace built out of volcanic rock. The McCloud River Railroad provided this display train consisting of the brand new #18, two carloads of the finest old growth logs the McCloud forests had to offer, a boxcarload of lumber produced from the McCloud mill, and newly built caboose #015. Drawing from a 1923 appointment book produced by the lumber company.

A photo of the display train from a period The Timberman magazine.

Locomotive #18 near the McCloud depot early in its career. Photo from the George Landrock collection.

An easrly shot of the #18 next to the water in McCloud.

The 18 in Mt. Shasta City on 6 April 1938.

The presence of the net spark arrestor and the original tender narrow the date of this photo down to sometime in the later part of 1939.

The #18 on the McCloud turntable sometime in the early 1940s. Note it is now mated to the tender originally from the #16:2.

The #18's crew posing for the camera somewhere on the line. As with several of the other locomotives, the air pump would later be replaced with a powered reverser. T.E. Glover collection.

The #18 ready for its next assignment in McCloud on 29 August 1948. Note it now has a steel cab and is mated to the tender from the #17:1.

The YW #18 switching the Yreka Western-Southern Pacific interchange in Montague, California.

The #18 spent about three years in storage in McCloud between being replaced by diesels and its sale to the Yreka Western, during which time McCloud salvaged the front headlight for use on bucker/flanger #1751. The McCloud shops replaced it with the former AT&SF headlight from the #16 prior to its sale to the YW. Max Miller photo, taken in Yreka on 7 July 1960.

A color view of the #18 steaming in Yreka for a group of railfans around 1964. C.G. Heimerdinger, Jr. photo.

The #18 spent about thirty-four years in storage in Yreka, usually covered by a tarp. Then YW corporate parent Kyle Railways talked from time to time about restoring the locomotive and sending it off to one of their Arizona tourist railroads, but it remained in Yreka until sold to the McCloud Railway Company.

The #19 towing the #18 out to Montague following the #18's sale to the McCloud Railway. Courtesy Yreka Western archives.

A Central Oregon & Pacific freight has picked the #18 up from the YW interchange in Montague and is starting the unit south for the Union Pacific in Black Butte, who will complete the delivery to the McCloud Railway at Mt. Shasta City. Courtesy Yreka Western archives.

The #18 leading a McCloud Railway excursion through Bartle in 2002.

The former McCloud River #18 leading an excursion on the Sierra Railroad in March 2008.

Another photo of the #18, this one on the rebuilt Virginia & Truckee at Eastgate, Nevada, in October 2015. The locomotive's boiler certification expired shortly after this photo.

The #18, seen here on 12 February 2020 in Virginia City with the Virginia & Truckee's 2-8-0 #29, is back in steam for the first time in four years. Indications are that it will be relettered to something associated with the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway before the 2020 tourist season. Matt Simons photo.