November 2022 Update: FMW Solutions Inspection

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.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss grants, larger donations or corporate sponsorships of the major components of Phase #2.

Skilled volunteers are also welcome.