Since being built in 1939, the locomotive has serviced various industries in New York state including Lehigh Portland Cement south of Albany and steel factories around Buffalo. Remarkable history for a ‘generic’ locomotive that old records indicate was built “for stock” without a buyer order.
“This locomotive was built in September 1939 as the last of six similar locomotives built that year” said Lake Shore President Ray Grabowski, Jr. Research by various historians and GE locomotive experts indicate that this may be the last built GE boxcab style locomotive, at least for domestic service. “It now becomes the oldest General Electric locomotive preserved at Lake Shore Railway Museum,” Grabowski added.
The Lake Shore Railway Historical Society has established the “Locomotive Rescue Fund” to help defray the costs of
transporting locomotives to North East for preservation. Donations to Lake Shore Railway Historical Society are
tax-deductible. The boxcab locomotive was moved late last week by tractor-trailer to North East from Buffalo by
Scott Symans of Dunkirk, New York. Scott is the owner of steam locomotive Viscose Company #6.
While currently not operational, the boxcab locomotive is very intact with its original engine and drive systems.
Museum volunteers are happy that the locomotive is complete and they are confident it will run again.
The “boxcab” design was the norm for most early internal combustion locomotives. Art Deco influences in the
1930’s impacted all aspects of industry and the locomotive boxcab design gave way to the locomotive design more recognizable today. In a boxcab locomotive, the engineer-operator shares the inside space with the diesel engine,air compressor, generator and control gear, all items separated from the operator in modern designs.
The boxcab locomotive is already on display at Lake Shore Railway Museum. The Museum is open weekends only
in May; after Memorial Day the Museum will be open Wednesday through Sunday. See Museum webpage and
Facebook page for more details about schedules, events and how to donate to the Locomotive Rescue Fund.
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