Reuben Wells Locomotive
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The newly built "Reuben Wells" sits at the Jeffersonville yards where she was built for the Jefferson Madison & Indianapolis Railroad under the supervision and to the specifications of Master Mechanic, Reuben Wells, for whom she was named. Her boiler was tilted forward to keep the boiler water level on the steep incline at Madison, Indiana. The tender was incorporated into the engine and two long cylindrical tanks holding 1800 gallons of water were placed astride the boiler, placing the weight of the water over the driving wheels. In addition, when even more traction was needed, she carried four containers of sand to distribute over the rails. In this picture you can clearly see her five pairs of driving wheels, each being forty-four inches in diameter. She was thirty-six feet in length and fourteen feet high. The locomotive weighed in at about 56 tons. The "Reuben Wells" began its career as an 0-10-0T wood burner and was assigned the working number of 35. In later years she was somewhat modified and her number was changed to 635 when the P C & ST L Line took control. With the success of the "Reuben Wells", the cog system was removed from the incline. The locomotive was retired in 1905. It was refurbished at one point and, for a short time, was used as an exhibit for special functions. The "Reuben Wells" now resides at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
|Jefferson County Historical Society|