Restoration Update – 11/28/2022: Lehigh & New England Railroad locomotive #611 is a survivor from an era when coal, slate, cement and railroads were foundations of eastern Pennsylvania society. As the last diesel left from the LNE, #611 (which turns 75 years old in September) is a touchstone to a bygone era.
We are happy to announce that the restoration of #611 took a major step forward in October when the Railroad & Industrial Preservation Society retained respected railroad contractors FMW Solutions to conduct an in-depth inspection of the locomotive as well as the spare components acquired for the restoration.
FMW Vice President – Mechanical, Shane Meador and FMW Director of Motive Power Services, Doug Crawford spent a full day with #611 evaluating multiple aspects of the locomotive. We couldn’t have asked for a better team. Mr. Meador has been in railroading for over 25 years with experience at Class 1 locomotive shops, shortline railroads and heritage steam locomotive operations. Mr. Crawford’s long career includes almost every role conceivable on the railroad and a great deal of hands-on experience with S-class Alco locomotives like #611.
Fortunately, no issues were discovered that would impede progress with the restoration, though some major tasks are required to return #611 to operation.
A working plan developed by FMW will guide the restoration process. Phase #1, to begin in early 2023, will focus on tasks required to return the prime mover to operation. This is the main power plant of the locomotive and is used to turn a generator that makes electricity for the traction motors that turn the wheels.
Phase #2 will see attention turn to rebuilding the generator and rehabilitating the set of roller-bearing trucks already on hand. The traction motors and trucks need a modest amount of work while the generator will be a much re resource-intensive project.
Once the locomotive is running, cosmetic work will be carried out to bring #611 back to its original appearance when built in 1948.
Your donation today will help us move forward on Phase #1. The more successful we are with fundraising, the sooner the locomotive will be back in operation.