This is pretty cool. I was always surprised that they didn't have any decent sized diesel switchers. I live near the Essex Valley railroad, and they have two GE diesels, an 80 ton, and an 88 ton, in addition to their two-going-on-three steam locomotives.
Will this eliminate the need for a "hot spare" steam locomotive when they run longer trains? When I was there over the summer, they were going to run two trains for July 4th, and they were running one that day. They had 475 on the train, 90 ready to go for the weekend trains, and 89 as a hot spare, fully steamed up. It seemed like a huge waste of money for a locomotive that probably isn't needed.
Considering how hard the steamers have to work to get up the grade, I'm surprised that 44 made it at all!
With the new locomotive, I hope that they keep 44 in fully working order, however, if only as a backup to the new one. It would be a shame to see it deteriorate because it has been replaced. If it is not often used, and doesn't have to haul a heavy load, it should last much better...