Vintage diesels highlight Aug. 17 event in Western New York

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Railroad fans prepare for a ride on the museum's Penn Central transfer caboose during Diesel Days 2010. At left is former U.S. Army H12-44 No. 1843.
Brian Schmidt
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum will be celebrate its annual Diesel Day event Aug. 17, in partnership with the New York Museum of Transportation. As part of the event, the museums will operate two diesel trains on an extended ride over their shared demonstration railroad, meeting a shuttle provided by NYMT’s electric trolley. Located about 15 miles south of Rochester, the two organizations form the only operating railroad museum in the state.

Among the headliners for this special event are Rochester Gas & Electric No. 1941, a General Electric 45-ton side-rod switcher once used to shuttle coal hoppers for local power plants; U.S. Army No. 1843, a Fairbanks Morse H12-44 retired from the nearby Seneca Army Depot; and R&GV No. 1654, a rebuilt GE 80-ton switcher formerly assigned to the Defense Distribution Depot in New Cumberland, Pa. Also on display will be Lehigh Valley No. 211, a high-hood Alco RS-3 originally built for the Pennsylvania Railroad, as well as Kodak Park Railroad No. 9, an Alco RS-1 retired from the company’s sprawling film products factory located in Rochester.

Countless volunteer hours are invested in keeping the historic diesel fleet rolling. Finding parts to keep up with repairs and maintenance are the biggest hurdles to overcome.

“It can be a challenge keeping up with a locomotive that is 50 years old or more,” says Joe Nugent, R&GVRM motive power superintendent. “Diesel Day is our chance to shine a spotlight on the collection and highlight the accomplishments of our volunteers as well.”

Visitors will ride behind vintage diesels aboard the museum’s restored Erie Railroad and Penn Central cabooses. Supervised cab rides and visits will also be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The train ride connects the extensive trolley and transportation displays at NYMT with the restored 1909 Erie Railroad depot and exhibits at R&GV. The special event also has extended hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Directions, ticket information, schedule, and full event details are available at

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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