McCloud River Railroad Company
Locomotive #32

Baldwin RS-12
Built- 1955
c/n- 76024
Horsepower- 1200

The railroad faced a tough motive power decision as it prepared to open the new extension to Burney. The line would have twenty miles of nearly continuous adverse grades ranging from 1.5% to 3.7% against the loads. which normally would dictate six motor power similar to the #28 and #29. However, the line also contained several miles of extremely twisty former logging railroad trackage that would be problematic for the big three axle trucks. Baldwin produced the solution in a pair of its model RS-12 road switchers equipped with large six-pole Westinghouse traction motors with 15:63 gearing. This modification boosted the continuous tractive effort ratings from 32,400 pounds of the stock RS-12 up to 48,000 pounds. The pair served McCloud and then the California Western Railroad very well. The two also introduced the final paint scheme the Baldwins would wear, very obviously heavily inspired by the Apache Railway, at which McCloud's president Flake Willis had worked before coming to McCloud.

A brand new #32 on one of the Golden Spike special trains on 3 July 1955.

McCloud #32 sitting at the McCloud depot. George Landrock collection.

The #32 powering a passenger excursion at Bartle. Al Heath photo, used with permission.

The #32 at rest in McCloud in June 1966. Charles Wherry photo.

The #32 on 28 July 1969. Keith E. Ardinger photo.

The #32 sitting in the dead line at McCloud after the arrival of the SD38's. Photo by and courtesy of Dennis Sullivan.

Another shot of the #32 sitting in the dead line at McCloud. Alan Miller photo.

The former McCloud #32 and #33 in storage at the Western Pacific Stockton shops before heading north to the redwoods.

California Western initially painted both of the former McCloud RS-12s in this green and yellow scheme. Note the box added to the running boards, these were water tanks that supplied water to the rail washers the California Western used. C.G Heimerdinger photo, Jeff Moore collection.
In 1976 the California Western repainted the #55 into this scheme to mark the nation's Bicentennial. Jerry Lamper photo.

Another view of the Bicentennial scheme the California Western #55 woore, taken at Northspur, CA, in July 1980 by Jimmy Bryant.

The final paint scheme the California Western #55 wore. Jerry Lamper photo.

One final note of interest...the #32 and #33 introduced to McCloud the final paint scheme the Baldwins would wear, a silver carbody with red stripes. McCloud had hired its then president Flake Willis away from the Apache Railway in Arizona, and the influence of that road is evident in both the paint scheme Flake designed for the two switchers but even more so in the paint applied to the #32 and #33, as can be seen by this picture of Apache's Baldwin S-12 #600, seen here in Snowflake, Arizona, on 13 June 1976.