Houston Belt & Terminal Railway No. 14
Alco S-2 Switcher built 1945
Houston Railroad Museum completed a cosmetic restoration of No. 14 between 2009 and 2011.
No. 14 was built in 1945 by the American Locomotive Co. (Alco) for the Houston Belt & Terminal Railway. The locomotive worked for "The Belt" at the terminal line's various yards and Houston Union Station.
Above and below, No. 14 in disguise as Union Equity No. 97 at the Union Equity grain elevator on the Houston Ship Channel. The engine ended its service life at the elevator. No. 14 was donated to the Gulf Coast Railroad Museum in 1993 after the elevator closed. (The view below shows the elevator being demolished in 1995.) However, it wasn't until 2001 that the unit moved to the museum.
Below, No. 14 working at Houston Union Station in March 1955.
Visitors to our Web site often offer new stories and images. In early 2007, we received the following, along with the in-service photo of HB&T No. 16 below, from former HB&T employee Ron Farrar:
"My name is Ron Farrar. I worked for the Belt from June of 1962 till Nov. of 1967. Worked as a clerk in the
yards for about two years, then at Union Station till '67, when I quit and moved to Las Vegas. Found the web
site with the engines in it and remembered I had a picture of engine 16... I can't remember the name of the yard,
but it was where the Belt transfered cars the the Port R.R."
(The location is believed to be the PTRA's North Yard near the Houston Ship Channel Turning Basin. Thanks, Ron!)
Here's a note we received in November 2007:
My name is Dan Due, I worked at Union Equity. Started there when I was 21 years old in 1977 and worked there until age 36 in 1992. I like many other coworkers spent many hour running and maintaining this engine. I was shocked at seeing this article. It almost brought tears to my eyes.
We had three other engines and two smaller ones that we called dingies. Spent many hours repairing tracks and derails.
While pushing in a line of cars with 97
[ex-HB&T No. 14] I had a ten foot flame coming from the stack, scared me so bad I pulled the emergency fuel shutoff! Had a hard time restarting it.
Utilizing a portion of a grant from Houston Endowment, No. 14 was cosmetically restored into the interim HB&T paint scheme by Cherokee Mobile Services of Grove, Okla. The company also painted SP&S No. 50
, MKT No. 6
and SP No. 4696
. The following photos by Tom Marsh show the steel replacement and early paint work, which took place at the museum in early 2009.
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