Drawing of the H.K. Porter steam locomotive

On the 4th of may 1901 the steamship "Astrella" sailed in Hanko Port in Southernmost tip of Finland. Part of its load was 18 wooden boxes of locomotive parts; a locomotive disassembled in parts and manufactured by H.K. Porter of Pittsburgh Philadelphia in U.S.A. in 1901 carrying a manufacturer number 2313. The boxes were shipped by rail from Hanko to Suolahti and forward to Äänekoski along the newly built 750 mm narrow gauge Äänekoski - Suolahti railway (ÄSR). The locomotive was second locomotive at the ÄSR. The first locomotive was also built by H.K. Porter. When assembled the locomotive got the road number #1, the number of the first but smaller locomotive. The first locomotive was renumbered #2.

A boiler of this Porter locomotive was built for about 20 years life span. It is not known when the original boiler was scrapped. The second boiler was built by Tampereen Pellava- ja Rautateollisuus (Tampella) in Tampere, Finland in 1913. Its use was discontinued 1n 1933, but in 1941 it was taken back in the use when the present boiler, built by Tampella in 1932, was renovated. At this renovation the copper fire-box of the current boiler was replaced by a steel one.

At ÄSR the locomotive was called the Big Ram (Iso Pässi). It was used on the main line traffic until 1st of May 1943 when the traffic on the private narrow gauge railway was discontinued and transferred to new State Railway broad gauge line. After this the locomotive was used in the internal traffic of Äänekoski Paper Mills. This ended in 1964 when the narrow gauge lines were closed. In years 1964-66 the locomotive was used to generate steam at the paper mills. In 1966 its windows were protected by plywood sheets and it was stored outside.

H.K. Porter steam locomotive at Minkiö

The locomotive was donated to Museum Railway Forssa-Humppila (later the Museum Railway Association) in 1971. Renovation of the locomotive started in 1972 by dismantling it and sand blasting a boiler and some smaller parts. At this moment the boiler was thought to be in such a bad shape that the renovation work was stopped. The renovation work was started again in spring 1989 because parts of the locomotive were around the museum railway and there was a danger that some parts would be lost or damaged.

In 1993 it was agreed with a machine shop in Jokioinen that they would do the renovation of the frame. At the same time the members of the association started collecting information of the locomotive and working on the boiler of the locomotive. When the renovation went on the boiler of the locomotive was found to be in excellent condition. It was cleaned and new tubes were installed. In spring 1996 the boiler passed the water pressure tests. The same year a new smoke stack was made according to the old drawings.

Renovation work of the locomotive was going on always when there was spare time of the more important projects. The first firing up of the locomotive after 39 years was took place on Saturday the 11th of June, 2005. The fire was lit at 9.00 AM and full 12 kg/m2 working pressure was reached early afternoon. The first test drive was performed one week later on Saturday 18th of June, 2005. Officially the locomotive was taken in service during the first Minkiö Steam Festival on Sunday the 31st of July, 2005. On that day the locomotive pulled a special train for invited guests from Minkiö to Jokioinen and back.

Technical information

H.K. Porter Company, Pittsburgh, U.S.A., 2313/1901
13 700 kg
birch firewood
Tractive force:
22 kN (2240 kp)
Steam engine:
Piston lenght 356 mm, cylinder diametre 229 mm, saturated steam engine
Tampella TK 227/1932, fire surface 20.3 m2, grate surface 0.48 m2, capacity 1.1 m3

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