Friday, October 12, 2007
Amtrak 140 is an RS-3 1600 HP Diesel road switcher, built by Alco, April 1951 (#78591). A typical “first-generation” diesel-electric road switcher unit, it was designed to operate equally well in both directions, and contained an oil-fired steam generating boiler for heating passenger trains. 140 was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad as the 8912. She, as many of her sisters, led a versatile life on the Pennsy serving time on road and local freights and passenger trains. 8912 managed to survive until the Penn Central merger in 1968 and was renumbered 5562. By PC days the 5562 had pretty much been relegated to service on local freights or yard switching. It was spared a DeWitt shop rebuilding (a “patented” PC technique of repowering 244-engined Alcos with 567-type EMD engines) and was sold to Amtrak (reportedly for $1.00) when Amtrak took over the Northeast Corridor, April 1, 1976. The 5562 was briefly renumbered 1340 before Amtrak settled on the 100 series for the RS-3s with 140 becoming this engine's new number. The 140’s primary role on Amtrak was to primarily serve on work trains and yard switching, but she received occasional glimpses of glory hauling varnish, rescuing malfunctioning E60s, GG-1s, etc. Another popular Amtrak assignment (a carryover from New Haven days) would be to lead a RDC or SPV-2000 up the Springfield line on snowy days in “icebreaker” service, clearing grade crossings for the lighter rail cars. Amtrak placed the RS-3 fleet up for sale in August 1985, and 140 was purchased by Chuck and Eddie’s, a New Haven metal recycler. 140 sat in Cedar Hill Yard for four months awaiting the torch until it was purchased by the RMNE for use as parts to keep the Museum’s growing Alco fleet operational. The trucks and traction motors were installed under FA-1 0401 in August 1987. Plans are to restore the locomotive cosmetically to Penn Central #5562, as funds and manpower become available.
at 1:00 PM