Posted by: bgtwindad | December 14, 2010

New Yard Power!


 

Dateline: 13 December, Glover’s Bend, WV

Today, the CH&FR announced the newest addition to its locomotive roster: a beautifully restored EMD NW2 switcher locomotive freshly restored to its “Chessie System” paint scheme. This 1,000 HP machine will see regular service at the Glover’s Bend yard.

C&O #5278 was originally built for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in 1940, at the height of World War II, and served its owner (and its country) shuffling tank cars and other supplies at the many crucial chemical plant facilities in the Kanawha Valley. An excellent runner, the C&O kept it busy, and it was one of the first locomotives repainted in the Chessie System colors when the new company was formed in 1973.

After nearly forty years of service, it was showing its age, and was retired in 1975, placed in storage at the company’s Huntington, WV locomotive service facility.

In need of a “new” yard switcher, and always on the lookout for interesting historic equipment, the CH&FR offered to purchase 5278 from CSX for its scrap value in order to restore it. CSX, recognizing the historic value of the engine and the skill of the Frost River Locomotive Works at restoring old equipment, sold 5278 for $1.00, on condition that it carry the Chessie paint scheme and C&O markings.

After three years of intensive rehabilitation including a complete gound-up rebuild of the EMD 567 engine and replacement with new high-efficiency traction motors, 5278 is ready for another 40 years of service.

Michael Frost, Chief Engineer for the CH&FR said, “the NW2 is a classic engine. Compact, powerful, and flexible. it is especially suited to small yards like the one at Glover’s Bend because of its ability to navigate tight curves. We’ve kept it as true to the original design, while adding a few subtle enhancements to improve tractive effort and operator comfort and safety. The result is a great blend of the past and the future.”

Officials at CSX were unavailable, but provided a statement: “We are proud of our railroad’s heritage and the service our employees – and equipment – have provided to our country over the years, and the CH&FR have become experts in preserving historical equipment and returning it to service as a ‘living museum’. We are pleased to partner with them in the restoration of C&O 5276.”

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