By Jeff Livingston, Historian
London Amorin is using a needle gun on a 2-foot gauge electric engine, now known as the "Mole", from Red Hill. Bob Paoa, Historian Emeritus, explains: "The "Mole" is one of two battery powered 24-inch gauge locomotives we received from the US Navy. These locomotives once operated in the underground oil storage complex under Red Hill." Bob says that the two locomotives were excess to the Navy's needs, hence the donation.
The little mining locomotives were yellow in color and in pretty good shape since they spent most of their operational life underground.
Jeff Livingston explains that when we received these locos, neither had identifying numbers or letters at the time of receipt, except for a bolted on metal "1" on each end of what is now the "Mole". Jeff goes on to say that somebody gave her a name in an earlier life. The number USN 65-00495 was applied in the early 1960's. The original color was gray.
Jeff says he is trying to find electrical drawings for "Mole" because he'd love to make her run again. Even though she is 2-foot gauge, a 24-inch line run out and back from the maintenance shed would allow disabled passengers to view the stored collection safely and it would also be a good excuse to operate the little loco.
For the record, the second mining locomotive in the yard, appears to be a "Jeffrey" and might be one of the original units used at Red Hill, but we don't know that for sure.