Raritan River Sand Company 3 (0-4-0)

We found this engine at the Agrirama in Tifton, Georgia. The Agrirama is an outdoor museum with buildings and equipment representative of the 1890's in south Georgia. Besides this working engine, there is a cotton ginnery, turpentine still, water-driven grist mill, newspaper, saw mill, cooper's shop, forge, pharmacy, and various farm buildings. This locomotive has been converted from coal to gas.


This engine was originally built by Porter in 1924 (builder's number 6932) as a side-tank engine for Hope Natural Gas Company in Pittsburgh. Soon after it was sold to Raritan River Sand Company in Nixon, New Jersey, where it remained in service until 1956. In 1956 the engine was purchased by James Wright and Jay L. Wulfson, a company they called Wright & Wulfson Inc. These men also were founders of the Pine Creek RR in Marlboro NJ in 1952.

The locomotive was leased by Wright & Wulfson to a related company called Cranberry Creek RR Inc to run at a tourist theme park called Cowboy City in Howell NJ, not far from Marlboro NJ. The park ran during the summer seasons of 1957-58-59, then closed for good. Cranberry Creek (or Pine Creek) DID NOT operate Cowboy City (the park); they just built and ran the railroad as a contractor.In 1959 the engine returned to Pine Creek at Marlboro NJ. At this time, the Pine Creek RR was a for-profit corporation but was reorganized as a non-profit museum corporation. Jay Wulfson, Jim Wright, and others donated their holdings, including this engine, to the Pine Creek Railroad Museum Inc., thereby Pine Creek holding title to it until late 1960, when the engine, tender, and two small homemade coaches were sold to the Busch Woodlands Museum in Cooperstown NY. It was sold to the Great Escape Fun Park in Lake George, New York, where it was provided with a new boiler in 1971. In 1990, it moved to the Orlando International Toy Train Museum. At this time, it was overhauled by the shops of the Tweetsie Railroad near Boone, North Carolina. It moved to the Agrirama about 1995.

I thank an unnamed engineer at Agrirama and Gary Crawford, Publicity and Membership Chairman, NJMT Pine Creek RR, Allaire NJ, for helping me with the history on this locomotive.

The engine has 18" drivers and the wheelbase is 3' 10". The cylinders are 9" x 14". The frame length is 17' 9", the pilot is 2' 6" long, and the firebox is 3' 10" long. The headlights are driven by a battery in the cab. The air tank is pressurized to 50 psi at the shop each morning. The steam is admitted to the tank to operate the brakes and the atomizer for the fuel system. The hydrostatic lubricator line on the left side of the engine burned through. When it was replaced, the line was run outside the boiler cladding in full view. The crew tells me this provides an excellent way to get a good burn. The steam dome is inside the cab and an odd tube connects it to the top of the backhead. This tube can be seen in the picture on the right.

Copyright 2004, 2005 Donald Nute

This page last modified: 2/21/2005.

Please send comments to: donald@nute.ws