• Article on Bath "Special Locomotive" EL RS3 rebuild

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Matt Langworthy
Number 1060 was indeed rebuilt at Hornell. The RS3m worked well in yard and local service, so EL planned to build 24 more of them. The second rebuild had just started when C-Day happened, so Conrail moved the entire project to Juniata.

Although Penn Central is often credited with the RS3m, both MKT and C&NW had rebuilt them in the 1950s. Hence I don't use the term Dewitt Alco or Dewitt Geep.
  by Cactus Jack
Nomenclature at the time on CR and PC was Dewitt Geep to refer to the 9900 series rebuilds. Later when production went to Altoona some called those Altoona Geeps but that really never stuck. The Altoona jobs were cleaner looking than the squarish hood Dewitt rebuilds. Fritz Levernosh (sp?) was the General Foreman at Dewitt that engineered the project. I don't know if he borrowed info from MKT or CNW or did his own thing. He was a brilliant mechanical officer and a real gentleman.

The 9900's were not popular. I think the first one was actually an end cab design. They were a bit anemic as they were 1200 HP and looked like they should have been the equal of a RS-3 or GP-7 but obviously were not. Wheel slip control seemed to make them slippery and the Altoona jobs had an EMD style control stand that when placed in the cab was a real knee banger. The Dewitt's as far as I recall retained the Alco control stand.

From an engineered stand point I do not know how much the EL unit differed from the PC / CR units nor do I recall the refinements Altoona made to Fritz's Dewitt units.
  by BR&P
I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. Penn Central began rebuilding RS3's at Dewitt. EL did a similar project on the 1060 at Hornell. After both PC and EL became part of Conrail, the project continued.

I had very limited (and unauthorized) seat time in them. Back in those days, occasionally there was a cripple or a fluke in a track to be dispatched, after the yard crew had gone home, or perhaps were over on the west side of town. It was not uncommon for a yardmaster to enlist the car knocker to work the ground and kick the offending car out. While usually a spare EMD SW1500 was handy, sometimes other power was used, including a Dewitt Geep. I agree with Cactus Jack, they seemed a bit prone to wheel slip.

(Fritz Levernosh! Now there's a name I have not heard for many many years. Never met him but heard of him on several occasions.)
  by jr
Regarding the difference in appearance and controls, between DeWitt and Altoona rebuilds:

A shop employee from DeWitt once told me that the overriding requirement for the ones that they did, was that they keep the expense down to a bare minimum. In his view, they could have done a better job, but Penn Central management demanded that everything be done as cheaply as possible (presumably because of PC's very difficult financial position). Conrail must have been in a better position to allow for better sheet metal work, control stands, etc.

The "LV 211" at RGVRRM, formerly 9920, was one of the last ones done at Altoona, in 1979. It has the second generation EMD control stand, new electricals throughout, and a "fit and finish" that was superior to a lot of the earlier ones. (I've often wondered whether Conrail had a supply of used, second generation control stands lying around for this program. At the time, they would have been similar to brand new equipment rolling out of EMD).