Rare New York Central Electrics Safe For Now

Rare New York Central Electrics Safe For Now

By Justin Franz

GLENMONT, NY – Two rare Central New York electrics have been temporarily moved out of the way of new development at an old power plant near Albany, NY, giving their owner more time to raise funds and moved to a permanent home.

On December 19, railroad contractor Hulcher Service, Inc., successfully moved NYC S-1 6000 and T-3a 278 approximately 200 feet east of their former location to a location where they can remain safely until they are relocated. in their new home, Danbury. Connecticut Railroad Museum. The museum, which has owned them since 2013, has been working on getting the two engines ready to move for most of the year, but earlier this month it looked like that effort would fail. Moving costs had risen dramatically and the developer of a new wind turbine tower factory wanted them moved immediately.

“This is truly a pivotal moment and point of no return.” said DRM president Jose Alves. “For years we have been working to save these locomotives and our plans are finally starting to pay off. This could not be accomplished without our volunteers, in particular, a core group of dedicated and hardworking volunteers; Paul Marsh (who has been involved long before DRM took ownership), Dave Pickett and Project Manager Stan Madyda”

Both locomotives sustained “minor damage” during the move, which was carried out with the help of four “side boom” cranes. Museum officials said the two engines will be dismantled for the final move to Danbury. No timeline has been set for that move, and additional funding is needed. Museum officials also thanked Henry Posner, III, chairman of the Railroad Development Corporation, for financially supporting the project.

“Now that the locomotives have been moved to a staging area, we will separate them into individual components and prepare them for shipment,” Madyda said. “This is a big moment, but we are not out of the woods yet. The move to a staging area was requested by the Port to facilitate the construction of an access road which will later play a role in the removal of locomotives.

The S-1 was the only one of its type ever built and was the prototype upon which all future NYC electric locomotives were built, including the T-3a. T-3a 278 is the sole survivor of 36 such locomotives built between 1913 and 1926. The T-3a electrics were among Central’s most powerful and hauled everything from passenger trains to the 20th Century Limited. After larger and more powerful locomotives were purchased, the S engines found a new role as switchers working in the underground depths of Grand Central Terminal, with some surviving in active service until 1981. Only a handful of electric locomotives survived into the Penn Central era, superseded by the dual-mode FL9 submerged by the New Haven fleet. T-engine 278 found a new home designated for the wire train at Sunnyside Yard in Queens (since the T engine could receive power from the third rail in the tunnels while the overhead wire was repaired).

Odd jobs with no income proved to be the only way to save these historic electric locomotives. The S engine and the T engine were purchased by the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society in the 1980s and given a cosmetic restoration and displayed at local fairs. In 1988, they were pulled back into Grand Central Terminal for use in a scene in the 1988 film The House on Carroll Street, starring Kelly McGillis and Jeff Daniels. After that, they returned to the M&H Chapter and moved to their current location in Glenmont. In the decades that followed, the Chapter was no longer able to care for the increasingly isolated units located on private property. While they have been heavily vandalized over the years, they remain good candidates for cosmetic restoration.

Those interested in making a donation can visit DanburyRail.org/electrics.

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