May 22nd 1946
Sir George Hamilton
Chairman, White Pass & Yukon Railway Co. Ltd.,
55 Bishopsgate, London, E.C.2
Referring to my letter of May 11th enclosing for signature Supplemental Agreement No. 6 this is the final letter that I advised you would be sent covering the changes and our final settlement from that contemplated in the Brisbine report.
Regarding the locomotives, when we assumed the management of the operation we really came into a position of being able to appraise the 190 class Army engines. They weigh quite a bit more than our old engines, 60, 61, and 62 but on account of their 48" diameter driver we have never been able to handle more than 92 tons up our grade from Skagway to the Summit where as these other locomotives could handle 115 tons for the first two and 130 for the last one. 80 and 81 which we bought from the Sumpter Valley in 1940 will haul 160 tons and 70 and 71, 170 tons. The Army engines are also quite light built and as time goes by we have more repairs. When the Army came in we were in need of new tenders on our two rotaries and on two of our old engines. For the last two years the Army has used two of their tenders on our rotaries and the fact that three of our old engines had been taken out of service took care of the situation on their tenders.
We spent quite a time discussing this motive power matter and finally came to the conclusion that we would be making a grave mistake if we bought the three engines we had decided on in the Brisbine report and that we would be a lot better for the long pull to buy two new engines on the 70 class which were engineered for our railway. We did however need two of the Army tenders for our rotaries. We were quoted a tentative price by Baldwin locomotive works of 66,800.00 per engine with tenders or 7,000.00 less without tenders. Delivery on the Baldwins could not be made until next spring which would leave us with too few engines to operate this summer and next winter. We endeavored to lease the engines for a year and also to buy only tenders but were unable to. We therefore offered to buy two engines complete with tenders and two extra tenders for 30,000.00. This is a little less that the four tenders we needed would cost us at Baldwin's 7,000.00 price is at Philadelphia.
After the War Assets Department of the United States had some experience with how much they could get out of these second hand light engines they agreed. We have also ordered the two Baldwins for delivery next March.
Our comparative power situation before the war, now and next spring is as follows:-
Number 4 is a very small engine we bought in Dawson in 1942 for 2,000.00 from the Klondike Mines Railway and is only suitable for a yard switch engine or a standby at Whitehorse. We do not usually use a switch engine at either terminal as that would require an extra crew and it is cheaper to use the road crew for an hour or so overtime at each terminal. We are going to be short until we get the new Baldwins particularly this winter when 70, 71, 80 and 81 are assigned to the two rotary fleets. It only leaves 192 and 196 for road engines with 66 as the only helper. 69 is the heavy pusher but her cylinders are so wide she fouls in the snow cuts made by the Rotary and is not adaptable to winter use. In 1947 we will be back to a little better position than we were in 1941, 11 engines against 9 , although when it is considered that engine 66 is 46 years old, engine 4 is not usable as a road engine and 192 and 196 definitely have their tonnage limitations, it does not look to be much improvement. The betterment is in the fact that in 1947 we will have 7 heavy powerful engines in 69, 4 of the 70 class and 2 of the 80 class against 5 of these engines in 1941. We all feel that our solution of the engine problem was by far the best and even if the war had not interfered we could not still be operating the 46 year old engines on the first of the 1941 list.
Under the Brisbine we were to take 50 freight cars and pay for them less the value of 22 of ours destroyed. Our cars are of course the originals of 1900. We decided we did not need the cars as much as the new locomotives and reduced the quantity to the same number that has been destroyed. We did get refrigerator cars instead of ordinary box cars. The increased population in Whitehorse in the winter requires more of these as they are also used for heated cars. We bettered our former deal considerably. For the last year and a half we have been busily rehabilitating all of our cars, passenger and freight, at the Army expense. We had difficulty getting help and had not completed 30 box cars. The Army agreed to give us 30 of theirs in lieu of this rehabilitation. We still of course have our own cars which can rehabilitate or not as we see fit or use the parts as needed in other cars. This was a distinct betterment.
I appreciate there is a lot of detail in these things but I have tried to clarify it as fully as I could without getting too minute. If there is anything not understood please let me know and I will attempt to clarify.
With my very kindest regards to you, Marty, and Mr, Robertson
Very truly yours,
President & General Manager.