WM I1 Russian Decapod
After the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917, a large amount of 2-10-0 decapods scheduled for shipment from the US to the Russian Empire ended up being cancelled and kept in the US, not being able to be paid for by the USSR. These decapods were converted to American standards and were put to work on various railroads. The WM received (10) of them, numbered 1101-1110. Classified as I-1’s, the little decapods were used nearly system wide and were the preferred power on many of the local and branch-line trains. They did everything from fetching coal and working mainline locals to running the daily locals on the Waynesboro and other branches. They did their jobs well and were generally liked by the crews. It’s been noted that the throttles on the locomotives received by the WM worked in reverse….meaning the throttle was opened by pushing forward on it, rather than pulling back on it. One can imagine an engineer’s instinct to close the throttle quickly during a wheel slip most likely resulted in more wheel slipping when they accidentally opened the throttle wide open by pushing it forward!
One the engines, #1110, was tested as a yard engine in Elkins, WV. The wide tires and long wheelbase led #1110 to derail numerous times around switch points. Needless to say the experiment was short lived.
None of the WM’s (10) Russian Decapods were preserved.
WM I1 Russian Decapod set includes: (3) Engines and (3) Tenders
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