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Engine 7

Rahway Valley Railroad #7

Type: 2-4-4
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Construction #: 32817
Year Built: 06/1908
Drivers: 56"
Cylinders: 17" x 24"
Notes: Purchased new 1908
Sold 1917


Engine #7's Baldwin Builder's Photo. Collection of Michael Kaplonski.

#7 was the only new steam locomotive ever purchased by the Rahway Valley Railroad. In 1908, the railroad contracted with the Baldwin Locomotive Works to build a new locomotive for the line. #7 was constructed by Baldwin in September, 1908.


The new forney-type locomotive quickly became the pride and joy of the crew and of the railroad. Being a new locomotive and therefore in the best shape mechanically, #7 soon became the most used locomotive on the RVRR. Having a great deal of weight on the drivers as well as a short wheel-base, the locomotive could handle the stiff grades and tight curves of the RVRR.

Management attempted to replace #7 on the passenger runs between 1912 and 1914 with two rail buses (#10 & 11), but venerable #7 was still used in daily freight service conducted on the Rahway Valley Railroad (Source: Young).

When World War I broke out in 1914, business picked up greatly on the line, and #7 was kept busy.

No sources seem to agree as to where #7 ended up after she left the line in 1917:

  • According to Thomas T. Taber, III, #7 was sold to General Equipment Co. and ended up in South America.
  • "No. 7, the pride of the line, was sold, and was last seen running somewhere in South America, as late as World War II" (Rahway Valley Railroad: Saga of a Shortline, John J. McCoy, 1976)
  • #7 was sold to the General Equipment Co. who subsequently sold the locomotive to the Watervliet Arsenal (Source: Frye)

Where #7 ended up, we may never know for sure.

Collection of Don Maxton

 #7 is seen here hauling some freight along the line.
Collection of Thurlow C. Haunton, Jr.

#7 shuttles a lone combine between Springfield and Baltusrol. in this 1912 view.
Photo taken by George B. Whitfield.

#7, coupled to at least two passenger coaches, takes on water from the Summit Water Tower in this c. 1915 view.
Collection of Don Maxton.

#7 and her crew pose in this 1910 photograph. From L-R: ?, Bill "Pop" Snyder, "Handsome" Jack Shallcross, Pete Mascaro, and Joe Shallcross . Possibly taken in Summit.  Collection of Don Maxton.

A family proudly poses with #7 at Kenilworth. Collection of Don Maxton.

Tank Engine For the Rahway Valley
Railway & Locomotive Engineering, Vol. 21

Baldwin Locomotive Works Builder's Record for RV #7
Courtesy of Michael Kaplonski

John J. McCoy's drawing of #7 for the cover of his book, Rahway Valley Railroad: Saga of a Shortline

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