Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
This locomotive was used in road and local freight service by B&M and, after the 1981 takeover, Guilford Transportation Industries. GTI renumbered it Springfield Terminal 68. The locomotive was transferred to a rail equipment leasing company in 1996, and was purchased by RMNE from the leasing company in August 1997 along with sister unit 66 (B&M 1728). As B&M 1732, the unit was wrecked at Orange, Mass., in October 1973, and was rebuilt in 1974, apparently receiving a replacement short hood. The short hood now on the locomotive differs in detail (number of side doors) from standard GP-7, 9, 18, and 20 short hoods. #66 was sold in December 1997 to Massachusetts Central Railroad. #68 was painted and renumbered as 1732 in May 1998. The locomotive is currently in our shop undergoing a rebuilding and eventual return to service.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The former NH 529 was sold to Amtrak, reportedly for $1.00 when Amtrak took over the Northeast Corridor on April 1, 1976. The locomotive continued to wear its “funeral black” color scheme applied by the PC but was first renumbered 1338 and 138 shortly thereafter by Amtrak. The 138 continued to operate in New Haven territory on work trains, but occasionally it would rescue a disabled passenger train such as the trouble-prone SPV car runs on the Hartford line. In late July 1985, the final assignments for the locomotive included the Hartford work train, and the shop switcher in New Haven. Replaced by newer engines, the Alco fleet was put up for sale in August 1985 and the RMNE purchased 138 in September of that year. The locomotive was repainted in the 1959 color scheme in October 1986. Extensive cosmetic and mechanical work was done in 1994-95. 529 operated the first RMNE train onto the Naugatuck Railroad in September 1996, and continues to be one of our primary locomotives.
The 2203 was built as Conrail 2798 in June of 1977, the last unit of an order of 10 U23B’s, which made up Conrail’s first purchase of brand new locomotives. She is the last built of the “U-Boat” series of locomotives, of several models numbering more than 3100 units. She would work for Conrail for 14 years before being retired and then sold to the Providence and Worcester Railroad, along with six other U23B’s from the same Conrail order. At the P&W, she would be renumbered to 2203, retrucked from GSC drop equalizer trucks to the then-standard GE FB-2 trucks and would receive a moderate amount of preventive maintenance work that would keep her running for another 10 years. Hauling everything from mixed freight to stone trains, 2203 and her six sisters would prove to be the backbone of the P&W fleet. In June of 2002, P&W would retire the 2203 (as well as the other ex-Conrail U23B’s) in favor of newer GE B39-8 units. After leaving P&W property, 2203 would await her fate in the shops of her new owner, Susquehanna Locomotive & Railcar Services, at Utica, NY.
In October of 2002, volunteers of the Railroad Museum of New England became aware of 2203 having been retired from the P&W and was out of service sitting in Utica. Upon inquiry on the locomotive, its new owner, sympathetic to our cause, made us an offer that we couldn’t refuse – a price at about less than half the market value of the locomotive at that time. After discussion among museum members of the historical significance of the locomotive in addition to what role she would play on the museum’s subsidiary Naugatuck Railroad, we would aggressively seek to bring the historic locomotive to our home rails. As is often the case in preservation efforts, a small group of RMNE members dug deep into their pockets and quickly raised the not-insignificant sum to save this locomotive. Our timing was right for preserving this locomotive: in 2002 after the CSX-NS dismantling of Conrail, the used locomotive market quickly became saturated with old, worn-out GE locomotives. But in the last four years, the used locomotive market has contracted greatly due to many retired locomotives being scrapped, while at the same time many previously retired locomotives being called back into service. This is the case with all the ex-P&W U23B’s, which have found work on the Susquehanna and other shortlines. Had the members of the RMNE waited rather than acting quickly, 2203 would have most certainly been sold off and would be back to work for another shortline railroad. Preservation depends on generosity of its proponents.
After coming home to the Railroad Museum of New England, 2203 was very quickly put into service in June of 2003 on the Naugatuck Railroad, becoming the regular power on weekend excursion runs. In the last four years, the museum’s loyal band of volunteers have done a substantial amount work to keep this locomotive running. In the fall of 2003, a standby onboard heating system was added to the locomotive to keep its engine warm for winter service. Several significant repairs have been made to the engine, including the replacement of a damaged cam shaft segment, changing a defective cylinder, replacement of a failed oil cooler and rebuilding of the failed equipment blower drive shaft. Much work remains to make her a true museum piece. Additional repair and clean up of the diesel engine is needed to get it running in top notch condition. At some point, our hope is to replace the FB-2 trucks with the original style drop equalizer trucks, or so called “AAR-B” trucks. Finally, a complete cosmetic overhaul is needed – repair of the battery boxes and other rotten carbody steel and finishing up with a fresh paint job. While it hasn’t been decided how she will be painted, a safe assumption would be the locomotive will be painted in a New Haven Railroad-inspired paint scheme and lettered for the Naugatuck Railroad. Also at that time, she’ll get her original road number back – 2798.
New Haven 2525 is a U25B 2500 HP road freight Diesel locomotive, built by GE, November 1965 (#35733). The 2525 was the final locomotive built for the New Haven (class DERS-7). This class was built to replace the worn-out 1947 Alco FA fleet (represented by NH 0401). It ran in road freight service on the New Haven's major routes in and out of Cedar Hill Yard near New Haven: to Maybrook, Springfield, Worcester, and Boston. This unit survived the Penn Central takeover and was eventually renumbered 2685, a number that it carried into Conrail. Like the 529, the 2525 stayed on former New Haven territory due to its cab signals. After cab signals were removed on the Hartford line and the Shore Line lost most through freight service, the 2685 roamed the Conrail system, receiving a major engine overhaul in Dec. 1977, after being wrecked on the Boston & Albany Division. It ran only a few more years, being stored in early 1980 and then retired around 1982 as Conrail purchased new motive power. It was stored serviceable at Selkirk and later Altoona. In mid-1985 the decision was made to scrap the 2685 and many of its sister locomotives. Arrangements were made by the RMNE through Conrail to have the locomotive donated and transported to Old Saybrook only weeks before the scheduled scrapping. Thanks to Conrail, another historical locomotive was saved. The 2525 arrived at Essex on Jan. 8, 1986, and was test run in October 1986. The fully-operational unit was restored to its as-built appearance in 1987. Additional work to bring the locomotive into FRA compliance was done in 1992. Unit is currently stored, awaiting a return to service.
The original four “Chromes” were retired in the fall of 2001. In April 2002, ConnDOT 2019 (former New Haven 2049) and 2002 (former New Haven 2005, the oldest surviving FL9) came to RMNE on a long-term lease. Tired but still operational, they entered the service rotation for the 2002 season on the Naugy passenger train. They were also quite popular when they were used on RMNE’s “Engineer For an Hour” program.
Since 2009, FL9 2019 has been used as a regular engine on our excursion trains, while 2002 remains in the shop pending repairs and reactivation to regular service.
It was November, 1960. John F. Kennedy had just defeated Richard Nixon in a close Presidential race, becoming the 35th President of the United States. And, in LaGrange, Illinois, the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors had finished building a locomotive for the New Haven Railroad, number 2059, an EMD model FL-9 passenger unit.
NH 2059 closed out the production of the most famous, most recognizable series of diesel locomotives on North American railroads—the 7,690 “F-units” built by EMD. Twenty-one years earlier, demonstrator locomotive GM-103, the first of the Fs, rolled out of EMD’s plant near Chicago, and changed American railroading forever. The 103 and its descendants took on the biggest and the best steam freight and passenger locomotives, and swept them from the rails within fifteen short years.
NH 2059 was a specialized F-unit. The New Haven Railroad needed a diesel locomotive that could also run on electric third-rail power into the Park Avenue Tunnels of Grand Central Terminal in New York. EMD came up with a nine-foot-longer F-9 model, with the extra length providing space for the electric traction equipment. The first FL-9 (“Long F-9”) hit the New Haven’s rails in 1957, and NH 2059 was the sixtieth (and last) of the type.
Operating in passenger service over the New Haven’s compact southern New England system, the FL-9s covered routes out of New York’s Grand Central to Boston, Springfield, Pittsfield, and Cape Cod. They headed up express runs like the ”Yankee Clipper” and “Merchants Limited”, as well as New Haven-New York and Boston-area commuter runs, and branchline locals to Pittsfield, Mass.
After the 1969 takeover of the New Haven by Penn Central, the FL-9s were shifted into New York-area commuter service, eventually becoming Conrail (in 1976) and Metro-North (in 1983) property. Some FL-9s were retired due to fires and lack of proper maintenance during the Penn Central and Conrail years. Six were transferred to Amtrak for Albany-GCT service. Numerous renumberings resulted in NH 2059 becoming PC-CR 5059, and finally Metro-North Commuter Railroad (MNCR) 2033.
By the mid-1980s, Metro-North was planning for the replacement of these twenty-five year old diesel locomotives, even as Metro-North was overhauling and repairing the FL-9 fleet. The need for a dual-mode locomotive was still there, and it was not until 1994 that the first General Electric P-42ACDM “Genesis” locomotives were placed in service by Metro-North. The FL-9 fleet slowly dwindled as the “Genesis” units arrived, with the last few (four to six) FL-9s being used in passenger service on Metro-North in late 2001.
In the summer of 1984, knowing that Metro-North was planning to replace the aging FL-9 fleet, two members of the Railroad Museum of New England decided that NH 2059 should be preserved. Not only the last FL-9, they knew that it was the last F-unit, and therefore a rather historic locomotive. Museum President Bill Sample and Acquisition Manager Howard Pincus met with an acquaintance of Howard’s, MTA board member Jane Butcher of White Plains, NY. They presented the Museum’s proposal for preserving not only NH 2059, but another New Haven diesel, 1947-built 0401, which was on the Long Island Rail Road. Ms. Butcher was favorably impressed with the proposal, and on November 2, 1984, a letter from Metro-North to the Museum indicated that, “..we will make the FL 9 locomotive available to the Museum when possible and this probably will be sometime in 1986.”
The replacement dual-mode locomotives would not be ready for a while--- MNCR 2033 went on to provide eleven more years of service to Metro-North, finally being retired in November 1995. At one point, 2033 narrowly escaped a “rebuilding” into one of the ten ill-fated and highly-modified “starships”—the FL9AC units from Republic Locomotive. The late Richard Gladulich, a Metro-North motive power department employee (as well as a noted railroad historian) was able to have 2033 quietly removed from the list of locomotives slated to become “starships”, and he substituted another FL-9 for 2033.
As 1996 dawned, 2033 sat outside the Harmon (NY) Shops of Metro-North. The Railroad Museum of New England prepared to start operating excursion trains for the public at its new home in Waterbury, Connecticut, on the Naugatuck Railroad.
Follow-up letters and occasional phone calls to get 2033 out of Harmon and to the Museum continued through 1997, 1998 and 1999. Metro-North started using 2033 as a parts source to keep the rest of the FL-9 fleet running, although no critical items were removed. The wheels of bureaucracy turned slowly, but finally, on January 23, 2002, the official documents were signed and Metro-North 2033 belonged to Railroad Museum of New England. Moved to Metro-North’s New Haven Shop in August 2002, 2033 was delivered to RMNE at Waterbury on April 25, 2003. New Haven 2059, Metro-North 2033, was finally home, after almost nineteen years of persistence by the Museum.
NH 2059 is one of the least-modified former MNCR FL-9s, retaining the 24-RL brake system, Vapor OK-4625 steam generator, 16-cylinder 567-D diesel engine, and lacking head-end power connectors and ditch lights. Plans are to restore the unit as NH 2059, keeping as much of the original equipment as possible. It is likely that the locomotive may wear some appropriate “intermediate” paint schemes before the final, full-scale restoration to the 1960 appearance.
The locomotive is currently stored awaiting evaluation for restoration.
Our heavyweight coaches were originally built for the Canadian National Railway and used in regular mainline service. Built between 1919 and 1923, many were retro-fitted with ice-cooled air conditioning in the late 1930s. The cars were regularly used on trains between Montreal and New England cities such as Boston, Portland, Maine, and Springfield, Mass. After being replaced in the early 1960s by modern passenger coaches, they settled into their new role in Montreal commuter service starting around 1969-1970. Each car is 82 ft. long, average weight w/o A/C is 145,000 lbs each. After serving a long career in Montreal, the coaches were retired and put up for sale in 1991. The cars currently serving on the Naugatuck Railroad were donated to RMNE by benefactor Thomas V.G. Brown in 1997. Cars 5046, 6608, 4952, 4962, 6606 arrived in Waterbury in 1996, the rest came in 1997. Because the coaches are equipped with roller bearing trucks, they were able to have a starring role in a major motion picture production that required a shoot in Grand Central Terminal. As time and resources permit, each coach will be restored to its mid-century appearance and painted standard CN #13 Coach Green, carrying their original numbers again.
The list of CNR coaches, by current NAUG numbers:
4952, built 5-1920, CC&F, orig number 7294, stored
4980, built 1924, CC&F, orig number 5072
4990, built 1927, NSC, orig number 5114
4992, built 1927, NSC, orig number 5089
5046, built 1923, CC&F
5805, built 1923, CC&F, divided 1st & 2nd class, under restoration
6606, built 1923, CC&F, divided coach & smoker, stored
6608, built 1923, CC&F, divided coach & smoker, stored
CC&F: Canadian Car & Foundry
NSC: National Steel Car
Our air operated side dump car, "NYC 133," was built in 1951 for the Monongahela Railway by Magor Car Co., in Clifton, NJ. It's a 30-cubic yard, 50-ton capacity air-operated side dump, weighs 56,000 lbs. The car became property of Conrail when they merged the Monongahela in 1993, and was passed on to CSX in 1999. CSX gave the car its "NYC" reporting marks, even though it was never owned by the New York Central. Purchased from the Western Maryland Scenic Rwy, Cumberland, MD and arrived at the Nauguatuck Railroad in 2007. Currently in use on the Naugatuck Railroad in maintenance of way service, this car allows us to transport material such as ballast, fill, and rip-rap, and dump it where needed at any work site along the railroad.
77843 Boston & Maine 50’ steel box car PS-1 (single door each side). Built July 1957 by Pullman-Std., purchased 1997 from Guilford
70466 Boston & Maine (ex-Norton 374) 40’ wood box car, double sheathed, USRA original. Built 1919
71870 Boston & Maine (ex-Norton 319) 40’ wood box car, outside braced, AAR type. Built 1930 by Std. Steel Car Co.
72480 Boston & Maine (ex-Norton 323) 40’ wood box car, outside braced, AAR type. Built 1930 by Std. Steel Car Co.
W-610 Boston & Maine 41’ drop-bottom steel gondola, built by Bethlehem Steel in January 1942, purchased 1997 from Guilford (originally 92000-series). Formerly B&M 92788, currently lettered Naugatuck Railroad, used in MofW service.
Boxcars listed as former “Norton Company” cars were used in interplant service by Norton Abrasives of Worcester, Mass., and were donated to CVRM/RMNE in 1979-80. They were acquired second-hand by Norton.
Friday, October 12, 2007
General Electric manufactured 510 of these unique small switchers betweeen 1941 and 1974. They are powered by a Cummins diesel engine, producing about 150hp. These small locomotives were often found inside industrial plants or at railroad shop complexes where they were used to move equipment from place to place without venturing out on the main line.
Boston & Maine 104406, steel underframe, wood body, built February 1907 by Laconia Car Co.
Bangor & Aroostook C-67, steel underframe, wood body, built 1947 by BAR shops on a former MDT refrigerator frame. Privately owned, on lease to RMNE.
New Haven C-507, steel, class NE-3A, built October 1929. Built as PRR 477585, class N-5B, became Penn Central 22989, then Conrail 20075. Represents New Haven NE-3 type (500 series).
New Haven C-561, steel, class NE-5, built June 1942 by Pullman-Standard in Worcester, Mass. Later became Pittsburgh & Shawmut 193.
New Haven C-194, steel, class NE-6, built July 1948 by International Car Co. in Kenton, Ohio. Later became Pittsburgh & Shawmut 194.
St. Louis South Western (Cotton Belt) 2305, branch line caboose, 50 feet long, built 1920. Consists of coach and baggage sections.
Central Vermont 4014, steel underframe, wood body, built February 1925. Privately owned, on loan to RMNE.
71568 New Haven 36’ wood box car, double sheathed, built 190?, rebuilt 1927-1929. (ex-Norton 361) **
71737 New Haven 36’ wood box car, double sheathed, built 190? rebuilt 1927-1929. (ex-Norton 353) **
17219, 17221 New Haven 50’ 70-ton flat cars, built by Readville Shops 1937. Converted for use in piggyback trailer service in 1940s-50s. Sold 1965 to Farrell Corp., Ansonia, CT. Donated to RMNE in 1990.
7447 New Haven flat car, built 1895-1905? (ex-Grafton & Upton, ex-Draper Co.). The car rides on Fox trucks, body stabilized with truss rods.
46203 New Haven 40’ steel high side gondola, built 1930 by New Haven shops. Current number was assigned by Penn Central when converted to work service.
** NOTE: Boxcars listed as former “Norton Company” cars were used in interplant service by Norton Abrasives of Worcester, Mass., and were donated to CVRM/RMNE in 1979-80. They were acquired second-hand by Norton.
Cars like these were built by the Pullman Company in Chicago, and are of a type known as “heavyweight” cars, due to their massive steel construction. Ready to roll, the 83-foot long cars weigh about 85 tons each. In 1948, Pullman sold off most of its 8000+ car fleet in a Federally-ordered divestiture move (similar to AT&T in the 1980s), and the remaining fleet was operated by individual railroads until replaced by newer "lightweight" equipment in the postwar years.
Built in August 1927 for first-class service on the “Knickerbocker Limited” between New York and Boston over the New Haven Railroad. Originally a 36-seat parlor chair car, it became coach #603 in June 1949, and operated on most routes of the New Haven until retirement in 1962. Sold to Jim Bradley in 1964, it was moved from his Stonington back yard in April 1991 and stored in New Britain, CT. Moved to Naugatuck Railroad in November 1999. The coach was brought to Thomaston Shop in 2009 for some stabilization work to its roof and sides. The interior is in amazingly good condition, making 603 a good candidate for restoration in the future.
A regular assignment in 1950 was the “Day White Mountains” train between New York and White River Jct., Vt. In July 1957, “Stag Hound” became club car #5108 on commuter trains out of Boston, and was retired in 1961. Bought by Jim Bradley in 1962, it was moved to his Stonington back yard for display. Donated in 1988 by the Bradley Estate, it was placed back on live rail at Mystic, CT on April 3, 1991 and moved to storage in New Britain, CT. Along with the other Bradley Pullman cars, it was moved to RMNE’s Naugatuck Railroad in November 1999.
Maine Central 557 is an RS-3 1600 HP Diesel road switcher, built by Alco, October 1953 (construction #80567, sales order 20907, works order S-3219, shipped 11/53). One of two RS-3 units built for Maine Central (556 and 557), this locomotive is similar to NH 529 and Amtrak 140. It was originally equipped with a steam generator for heating passenger trains. Sold in 1976 to the (now defunct) Wolfeboro Railroad in New Hampshire, 557 passed through a number of owners while remaining in the same area of the state, finally being sold to the RMNE in March 1995. It was moved to Naugatuck Railroad's Chase Yard in Waterville in November 1996.
New Haven 0401 is an FA-1 1500 HP road freight Diesel locomotive, built by Alco, May 1947 (#75276). Part of the first three-unit set of road freight Diesels purchased by the New Haven (class DER-2a), this locomotive was the first Alco cab-type Diesel preserved in the United States. The 0401 (and its sisters) eliminated steam power on the New Haven’s Maybrook (NY) to New Haven freight trains. These locomotives were then used in road freight service over most main line New Haven routes. During late 1958, it was one of the four FAs selected to join a number of RS-3s that were factory rebuilt by Alco. Thanks to this rebuilding, his unit escaped the massive trade-in of the FA fleet to Alco and General Electric for new C-425s and U25Bs in 1964. It survived into Penn Central to be renumbered 1330 and painted black. By April 1971 the 0401 had been retired and traded in to General Electric. Once again the 0401 evaded certain scrapping by being resurrected as a head end power-control cab unit for passenger service on the Long Island Rail Road in 1974 when it was renumbered 618. The unit was used in this service until 1982 and was then retired. New York area members of the RMNE kept track of the 618 and, beginning in late 1984, started an effort to obtain the locomotive. After over a year of work, a purchase agreement was reached and the 0401 became the property of the RMNE in December, 1985. She arrived on the property April 4, 1986 and her extensive restoration began in 1987. The unit was moved to safe storage on the Naugatuck Railroad in 2008.
The G-5s, while comparable in size to CPR Pacifics of the 1910 period, are modern, powerful locomotives. The engines weigh 115 to 117 tons, have 70 inch driving wheels, 250 pounds boiler pressure, front-end throttle, and are equipped with a mechanical stoker. They were all built with some form of feedwater heater system, and engines 1216 and 1231 were equipped with the first all-welded boilers built in Canada (quite an innovation for steam locos in the 1940s), while the rest of the G-5s had conventional riveted alloy-steel boilers. The G-5s are comparable in hauling capacity and horsepower to a 1800 hp diesel unit. They operated on all lines of the CPR, including the International Railway of Maine Division. In Western Canada, they were extensively used in fast freight service, while in Eastern Canada, the 1200s were used primarily on local passenger runs.
A number of 1200s were overhauled by the CPR at the end of the steam era and stored as serviceable engines. From this group, five G-5s were saved by two American steam locomotive collectors. George Hart of Pennsylvania purchased 1238 and 1286 (along with D-10 4-6-0 972) in 1964, F. Nelson Blount, New England industrialist and founder of Steamtown, USA purchased 1246, 1278, and 1293 in 1964. One of the prototype G-5s, 1201, was preserved by the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario, and has operated excursion trips.
Number 1246 operated in Alberta and Saskatchewan in Western Canada, making 655, 773 miles of service for the CPR between July 1946 and March 1958. 1246 was primarily a freight locomotive, as CPR records show only 13 months of passenger service over that time. She was overhauled for the sixth and final time by the CPR at Winnipeg, coming out of Weston Shops on June 15, 1958. After Nelson Blount purchased the locomotive in 1965 for $8200.00, it was restored to service by Blount’s Green Mountain Railway Corporation in 1969. Used on the Steamtown passenger trains between Bellows Falls and Chester, Vermont, the locomotive was sold to Steamtown (along with sister 1293) in August, 1973. 1246 occasionally operated (in company with sister 1278) over the Green Mountain to Rutland, and over the Vermont Railway between Bennington and Burlington, Vermont--all former Rutland Railway routes. For a double-headed (with 1278 as “D&H 653”) trip to Rutland in December 1973, the loco was relettered “Rutland 82”, to represent one of that road’s long-scrapped Pacifics.
After retubing and overhaul in 1984, 1246 was taken to Steamtown’s new home in Scranton, Pa. She operated over the former Lackawanna Railroad route until March 1986, when it was determined that in addition to some heavy repairs that would soon be due, the engine was too light for the heavy grades and sharp curves of the Steamtown line. The locomotive was stored, and ultimately considered surplus by the National Park Service, which was to take over the Steamtown collection. 1246 was sold October 29, 1988 to the Connecticut Valley Railroad Museum, Inc., and arrived at Saybrook in April 1989. In 1996, 1246 was moved to Essex and repainted by the Valley Railroad for display at the Essex station area. In 2008, the engine was carefully moved to the Naugatuck Railroad.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
In June 2009, the locomotive was moved by truck to the Naugatuck Railroad, where it will be cosmetically restored and put on display. Read all about the move here.