NS GP40-2 3046

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Riding in Classics....

Located somewhere in the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway’s Brewster Locomotive Shop, there is a sign that says : " GP35 LOCOMOTIVE BUILT:1965 BY GENERAL MOTORS (EMD) HORSEPOWER:2500...WEIGHT 266,000LBS. FUEL:2,300 GAL. ...LUBE OIL: 243 GAL. COOLING WATER:275 GAL. ...CYLINDERS 16 WELCOME ABOARD....."

As part of the 1990 sale agreement to the newly created Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, Norfolk Southern included about 25 locomotives, specifically EMD’s GP35 model. This battalion was made up from mostly former Southern Railroad units. Over time, units underwent rebuilding at Brewster and emerging with Q-Tron microprocessor controls to bring them up modern control standards. Not all units were lucky to receive a rebuild to extend their service life. The un-rebuilt units were called to duty from time to time in traffic surges, otherwise laid-up hoping for a returned call for duty.

Recently, six un-rebuilt GP35 models left the fleet for three SD40-2 models in a sign and trade deal with LTEX. Another GP35 is being kept around for parts, but will leave Wheeling once depleted. The remaining GP35s will soldier on for some years to come. Units are currently being cycled through Brewster for their second rebuild.

I clearly remember the first time I stepped on 2645 and thought how many other railroaders had stepped aboard the battle weary unit. And weary it was indeed. 2645 responded when asked to move some cars by rattling everything on board. 2645 struggled to move cars. After that run, a call was made and another unit was shipped up for us to use........

A picture of the 2645 and the five others going to LTEX