1942 50 Ton Class BSI H.K. Porter Steam Locomotive – AKA #9
Here are two pages from past programs
Handy Dandy Railroads #9 is a 50 Ton class BSI 0-4-0 built in 1942 by the H.K. Porter Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The locomotive originally worked in the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland, But was soon drafted into the Navy and used at the Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia.
Following the War, the locomotive’s history gets difficult to follow. However, #9 seems to have spent most of her time around Richmond, Belle Island, for the PC Old Dominion Iron and Steel Company. However, the engine’s ownership during this period is still unknown. In 1964, The locomotive was purchased by Echo Valley Park Inc. in Greenville, SC for use on the Swamp Rabbit Railroad, as a supplement for Cliffside Railroad 110. Whether the engine operated here or not remains unknown.
After the closure of Echo Valley Park, the locomotive was sold to the Blacksburg and Cherokee Falls Railroad in Blacksburg, SC, where it had a short operating stint for about a year before being sold to Mr. David Barnhardt in Burnsville, NC in 1972. The engine was stored on the now-defunct Yancey Railroad, presumably for excursion service, But 2 separate floods in 1972 and 1976 respectively washed out the railroad, killing any chance for excursion service.
In April of 1979, it was sold to Brown Loflin, the late owner of the Denton FarmPark, (Then known as Denton Airport) in Denton, NC from Dave Bernhardt and Associates in Mt. Pleasant, NC. It was then brought to the Denton FarmPark from Burnsville, NC. It was made part of the Handy Dandy Railroad which rides tourists on the 1.5 mile track around the park every year during the Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion at Denton FarmPark. The path of the railroad tracks was prepared and placed on the ground with the help of Fred Russell, Charles Johnson, Dee wright, Howard McCullen, Danny Wagner, and of course the two Howard Latham and Brown Loflin. #9 was restored by the Denton FarmPark staff and would operate for the first time during the 1980 reunion. In 1982, the locomotive would be given a facelift, with a set of domes, a bell, and most notably, a tender; along with three passenger cars and a caboose. The locomotive has operated every year during the FarmPark’s Southeast Old Thresher’s Reunion, Which his hosted around the 4th of July every year until 2020. After the Threshers Reunion in 2019, during a routine inspection, An issue was found. Nine is in need of a new boiler, firebox, and a few other parts in order to operate safely.
As of 2023, Denton FarmPark is requesting help to raise the funds necessary to return the locomotive to full operating service once again. We have begun Phase one on January 19th, 2024. Phase one is retrieving the original drawings of #9 and sending them off to have new ones drawn. During this time we have been carefully taking 9 apart and labeling everything as we place them on the shelves. Here are a few photos from that day. We are so grateful to have such a good team!