OmniTrax donates locomotive to Reading Railroad Heritage Museum

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STE678
Stockton Terminal & Eastern No. 678
OmniTrax
HAMBURG, Pa. – OmniTRAX Inc. and subsidiary Stockton Terminal & Eastern have donated SW1200 locomotive No. 678 to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg. It is one of just five such units built for the Reading Co. by EMD in 1963. The museum is affiliated with the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society.

OmniTrax, BNSF Railway, and Norfolk Southern are providing a reduced rate for the move.

"Railroaders are, by their nature, students of history. It was important for OmniTrax to do its part to preserve this unique piece of historical equipment that was so important to both the STE and the Reading railroads," OmniTrax CEO Kevin Shuba says. "It would have been easy to scrap this locomotive, but we owe it to those who came before us, and those who will come later, to learn from our history. We’re delighted this locomotive will be appreciated by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society in its new home in Hamburg."

No. 678 was replaced in 2019 with a new Tier-4 compliant, 1,050 hp SE10B locomotive from Knoxville Locomotive Works. The new locomotive was purchased with funds from a San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Central District grant.

This grant terms required that the older be rendered inoperable by destroying the engine block to ensure it would not create future engine emissions. However, that would have reduced the historical value of this unit, so OmniTrax's government affairs team and counsel worked with several government constituents to preserve the locomotive and its engine while ensuring that the locomotive would not create future emissions.

“RCT&HS appreciates the amount of work in Stockton; Denver; Hamburg; Knoxville; and Washington, D.C., that went into saving this locomotive," museum President Duane Engle says. "We thank OmniTRAX, and all of the government and corporate officials who came together to prevent it from being scrapped so railfans all over the world can enjoy it for generations to come."

The locomotive is expected to be on display in Hamburg later in 2020.


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