Southbound at Yacolt Creek. The last rays of golden sunlight filter through a breaking overcast as Crossett Western #10 charges south across the little wooden trestle at Yacolt Creek.
Mikado saddle-tankers like #10 were popular with logging operations because they were versatile engines. With reasonable water and fuel capacities, they were equally comfortable running trains or doing switching. Granted, they couldn't climb the steep grades that Shays and Heislers could tackle, but these hefty little lokeys could still be used to haul log trains on more moderate grades. Although the design is not what you'd call pretty, it is quite practical. Unlike a tender engine, the water supply is carried in a saddle tank, which hangs over the boiler. The extra weight centered over the drivers gives those drivers more "bite". With leading and trailing trucks, the locomotive would run forward or backward equally well. The lack of a tender actually provided better visibility for the crew when running in reverse. Fortunately, a few of these engines survived the end of the steam era, and have found good homes with tourist railroads like the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad, in Yacolt, Washington, just about 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon.