North to Chester. Valley Railroad Mikado #40 takes the second, sold-out, Santa Special of the day north across Chester Creek, heading for North Chester, just about a mile and a half further up the line. Heading up the consist behind the 40 is the blue monster, the massive 6-axle Observation Car "Middletown."
Valley Railroad #40 is a 1920 Alco product, which was built as an oil-burner and first served the Portland Astoria & Pacific as their #100. Two years later, in 1922, she was then sold to the Minaret & Western and carried the number 101. In 1935, she was sold to the Aberdeen & Rockfish line, where she was converted to burn coal and became their #40. Retired in 1952, the engine then spent the next 25 years tucked away in the engine shop at the A&R, until she was purchased by the Valley Railroad in 1977. Arguably the prettiest of the 3 engines on the Valley Railroad, this engine can handle any of the trains the line envisions running. Lacking superheaters, she does use a lot of water, and the crews occasionally refer to her as "Miss Piggy."