Richard Samuels first full size, standard guage, locomotive
Last Update:  October 9, 2011
Southern Pacific "Leroi"
This locomotive is Mr. Samuels very first locomotive and it holds sentimental value for the Samuels family.   However, the OPR
no longer has control over this locomotive and it's ownership has been in dispute for many years.

This 1941 Davenport 20 tonner was built in August 1941, originally for the U.S. Army, No. 7706.

The little Davenport 20 tonner was used for much of its life by the Southern Pacific where it switched cars and locomotives
around at the Brooklyn Yard shops in Portland.  It was last lettered as the SPMW 570.  At some point, prior to 1978, it ended
up in the Schnitzer scrap yard under the Ross Island Bridge.

Mr. Samuels purchased it from the Schnitzer family in about 1978, for about $2000, long before any thought of owning and
operating a railroad.  The locomotive was stored on property owned by the Samuels family until such time as a railroad spur
was installed in what was then Samuels Steel.   The spur to the Samuels Steel fabrication business was connected to what
was then the Portland Traction Company (today the Oregon Pacific Railroad, East Portland Branch) and the Davenport was
used by Samuels Steel to switch cars of structural beams and tubing from the Midwest mills.

The Davenport would also be the very first operational locomotive used by Mr. Samuels when he acquired the rights to
salvage the Boring Branch of the PTC.    And it occasionally found itself on the PTC with Mr. Samuels at the controls.

The locomotive had a lot of history with the OPR and its beginnings.   That's one reason it's current fate and how it got there
is met with such sadness and frustration by the OPR.

When Mr. Samuels was able to reacquire the PTC No.100 for use in salvaging the Boring Branch and later to start his
operation of the East Portland Traction Company, taking over PTC operations, the Davenport was no longer needed.  Since it
appeared that groups operating the steam locomotives at Brooklyn Yard would need a shop switcher and since the
Davenport historically served as a shop switcher in the Brooklyn Yard's heyday, a deal was struck with PNWC-NRHS to trade
the Davenport for a caboose, with the understanding that the Davenport would be restored and used as an operational shop

When that did not happen, the Samuels family attempted to return the caboose in exchange for the return of the Davenport
so that it could be preserved by the Samuels family, until such time as it could be used for its intended purpose.  The
PNWC-NRHS refused to exchange the Davenport and it when it became clear the historical locomotive would only be left to
languish, the Samuels family repossed it.   However, after a legal battle, it was returned the PNWC-NRHS.   

It now sits on an undisclosed siding, missing many parts, continuing to languish and is an on going victim of vandalism.

It's future fate is unknown and has sadly long been out of the hands of the OPR and the Samuels family.
At it appeared as of 2007 on a siding somewhere in the Portland area.  Kellogg Terminal was the name of the storage yard for Mr. Samuels
equipment in the pre-EPTC days, in what was later become the OPR shops.  The Davenport was painted in colors and markings that matched up
with the PTC locomotives at the time, hence the orange colors with black stripes.
Copyright © 2004-2011 All Rights Reserved
Brian McCamish
In Search of History Expeditions
Active & Abandoned Railroads of the Northwest
Leroi being loaded up onto a flatcar and delivered to the Samuels Steel property on McBrod Ave, near the current OPR shops.
Samuels Family photo collection
Leroi while in use by Richard Samuels at Samuels Pacific Steel and on occasion, out on the PTC, prior to him taking over the line in 1991.
Photos from the Samuels Family Collection