• S2 206 in its final resting place

  • Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.
Discussion related to New York, Susquehanna & Western operations past and present. Also includes some discussion related to Deleware Otsego owned and operated shortlines. Official web site can be found here: NYSW.COM.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, NJ Vike

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  by dano23
 
Nobody's denying 1985. I have the unit accounted for pretty much from when it was out-shopped on 3/16/85 through the end of 1985 which lands it back in Little Ferry out of service. 86 is very spotty for the moment as well as early 1987. From then I have it so far out of service from September of 87 through at least July of 88.
  by airman00
 
dano23 wrote:Nobody's denying 1985. I have the unit accounted for pretty much from when it was out-shopped on 3/16/85 through the end of 1985 which lands it back in Little Ferry out of service. 86 is very spotty for the moment as well as early 1987. From then I have it so far out of service from September of 87 through at least July of 88.
From what I found out, the #206 was running in December of 1985, and again in January 1987, now as for 1986, I have nothing. But based on 1985 and 1987 I assume she was running in 1986, or at least capable of running. (people talk about an engine failure but I haven't found any evidence to support that) Now in 1988 there is another photo of it with stack capped up in binghamton. From what I was told she was pulled from service and stored serviceable. And then she was put back into service in 1989 and ran straight through, (even after her fire), until she was sent to the scrap line, or whatever happened to her after the fire. After the fire, I don't know anything about her, still doing research on that.

Now it appears to me based on what I know, that the #206 from the moment she was put back in service in the early to mid-eighties, seemed to run on and off for several years. But she always seemed able to run. No mention of any time from 1985 to 1989 where she was in the shop for any problems. And if she had any issues they were fixed as she was operating in 1989.
  by dano23
 
The unit suffered more failures than you are finding.

As far as 1985, 206's first run was on 3/16/85 in which shortly after it was sent to run Warwick to Sparta. She suffered a main generator failure on 6/29/85 outside of Woodruffs Gap. The 252 was readied and sent to PC to be ferried to Warwick but while sitting had every cab window broken and 1804 was sent in its place. It wasn't until 7/6 that the 206 was moved dead to Warwick, returning to Little Ferry on 7/19. It was out of service until the middle of November of 85 supposedly used on an inspection trip which I haven't found the info on yet. A picture on rrpicturearchives confirms it in Little Ferry on 12/7/85. A week after that picture, it was sent up to Binghamton on 12/14 but suffered another generator failure a few days later and was sent dead to Little Ferry a week later.

For 86, all I have for now is it stored out of service at Little Ferry on 9/3/86.

As far as 87 there is that picture of it in Binghamton in January. I have nothing on it until September being out of service again in Little Ferry. It was then on display dead at Hoboken Festival on 9/26/87 with the 116. Both units were ferried back to PC with NJT U34CH 4151 pulling them. Once at PC, 116 was fired up and moved the 2 back to Little Ferry. I then have the 206 out of service in Binghamton 11/21/87, 2/13/88, 4/9/88 and 7/8/88 and 6/17/89.
  by airman00
 
Mr. Dano...If you go back to the beginning of this thread topic, the consensus was that #206 suffered a "massive prime mover failure" somewhere around 1985/1986 and someone even said she "blew up". At that point everyone seemed to agree that the #206 was dead, gone and buried. That wasn't the case at all. Now maybe the failure in question wasn't a prime mover failure, but a generator failure, like you mentioned.

In any event, it is clear that she was fixed/repaired, as she was running again after that generator failure. And if the generator failed yet again later on, as you said, then again it was fixed/repaired, as she also ran again after that failure as well. In the beginning of this topic, NO ONE seemed to know that she was fixed/repaired and put back into service. Everyone said she was dead after 85/86 which is not true. As for the 12/7/85 photo of #206 in little ferry attached to a
suzy-Q passenger coach, the man who took the photo told me she was running that day. As for the January 1987 photo up in binghamton, the guy who took that photo told me that the #206 was running and switching the yard all by herself. (you'll notice her headlight is working and on.)

So it appears that every time she had a failure...she was fixed/repaired and put back into service. From what I gather, all those times she is "out of service" as you mentioned it seems she was at least stored serviceable. And remember she was running in 1989, even after the fire she had. So the #206 might not have ran straight through to 1989, but was running here and there. And especially it seems like everytime she was stored either "out of service" or "dead", she was running again sometime later. Now I don't know what a generator failure entails but it appears she was fixed everytime it failed. I find it interesting that the suzy-q would fix her up and send her back out at least twice from 85-87 and yet nobody knows about this?? And she is/was a semingly fan favorite as many pictures of her exsist. I guess that after the fire even though she still ran, the railroad maybe decided that this was one too many problems, as this was her 3rd incident in 4-5 years?
  by dano23
 
You need to remember we are talking about things that happened over 25 years ago now, and details get fuzzy over the years and it is that plain and simple. There are no conspiracy theories here. I am just working with you here to filter through details, some of which despite pictures, are not so simple to prove. Everyone said it was dead after 85 simply because there isn't much proof of it running at all in 1986. It was even a consensus in 87 when she was at the Hoboken festival that she had not run in almost 2 years at that point. The notes, books and old magazines that I've thumbed through say main generator failure. Is that 100% true? Possibly. While a generator problem is mentioned, there is a picture in Shortlines to Stackpacks where the 206 is running a few months after first arriving in Sparta and the hood is covered in oil. Could an engine problem have been in the works? Possibly. Another factor was parts. In mid to late 1987 FJ&G 20, 21 and NYSW 205 were scrapped by Naporano at Little Ferry more than likely taking all the possible parts to keep the 206 running with them and making it harder for her to stay in service if problems arose.

If you re-read what I said earlier, I confirmed through old magazines that in the 12/7 picutre that she was running, and have confirmed that she died a few weeks later. So (for now until I can confirm more) in a period of roughly 4 years, there are 4 times that the unit is running. Two separate periods in 85 and possibly once in 87 and once in 89.
  by njmidland
 
The reason the NYS&W brought the 206 back to life was because it was a quick way to have something to operate the isolated ex-L&HR line between Warwick and Sparta Jct. I used to chase this train a lot as it usually ran once a week on Saturdays. Typically they carried 4 or 5 cars and a caboose. What better thing to use than an S2 rather than something that could be used everyday and thus would be missed. The problem was that the pre-DO NYS&W spent no money (or rather the primary stockholder pre-1980 plundered the company's assets) and thus the RS1s and S2s were pretty well shot by the time DO took over. The 206 was the only S2 mostly intact and the shop guys got key parts off the 205 before it was cut up. This wasn't like today's Delaware Lackawanna rebuilding RS3s from the ground up - the NYS&W's shop guys did the best they could with what they had and got it running. What made it neat at the time was that the Bergen Rockland Chapter of the NRHS paid to paint it up in its as delivered scheme. Paint is nice but almost immediately that nice paint job was covered with oil that seemed to be shooting out everywhere!

Frankly I don't remember how many times after it died on the L&HR that they repaired it. Once they started to rebuild the original NYS&W between Butler and Sparta Jct. the days of keeping it running were over. CSX was really doing a lot of stuff in the background to get the route open so that the SeaLand stack trains could continue to operate since the deal over Conrail via Suffren had been cancelled and was only in place as a concession while the NYS&W was reopened. CSX is an unsentimental bunch to say the least. Around this time the NYS&W was looking at picking up some C636s or something similar - CSX put a stop to that and thus began the SD45 era. Once the stacks were running and then the operation of the D&H happen with CSX subsidizing any loss the NYS&W had, the days of playing around with the Alcos came to an end. Of course later on Walter got the steam locomotive and the E units but now I look at that as his one last fling before he did the deal to sell out to NS/CSX which really put the end to nearly 20 fun years on the NYS&W.
  by Jtgshu
 
Its important to realize that a loco that is "running" might not be working. If it had a main generator problem, it might not have been able to produce much power. It might be able to move itself, but maybe not more than that. if it had a prime mover problem, it might have been able to idle, but not load up (or spew oil out of every part of it when under a load)

Sometimes it is a bunch of things that finally put the nail in the coffen on the life of a loco - same as with you and your personal car. You can get rid of it when you get tired of it, or you can keep it until it "nickel and dimes" you to death, or somewhere in between. It seems that the 206 was at that point of it nickel and diming them to death, they kept it running as long as they could, with parts off other locos, and when the newer power came after the rebuilding of Sparta Mtn and the stack trains, there was no need to keep dealing with it.

As railfans we might look at the locos, sometimes, particular ones, with admiring eyes, but in the end, they are still just a big piece of machinery, that can wear out and needs maintence and work and has a life cycle, just like everything else that surrounds us.

but this is a very interesting discussion on the end of life of the loco in revenue service.
  by airman00
 
Well now things are starting to make more sense. #206 may have been a victim of circumstances so to speak. As in things that were working against her. (I had heard that the other remaining S2's were used as parts units to keep the #206 going, so that I knew.)

One thing not mentioned though... If the bergen/rockland chapter of the URHS paid to have it re-painted, why wasn't the URHS given a chance to acquire it before the railroad got rid of it? It may have been worn out, but still a running loco would be great for the URHS. And perhaps maybe they could've given it a little TLC and who knows she might still be running today.
  by n01jd1
 
airman00 wrote:Well now things are starting to make more sense. #206 may have been a victim of circumstances so to speak. As in things that were working against her. (I had heard that the other remaining S2's were used as parts units to keep the #206 going, so that I knew.)

One thing not mentioned though... If the bergen/rockland chapter of the URHS paid to have it re-painted, why wasn't the URHS given a chance to acquire it before the railroad got rid of it? It may have been worn out, but still a running loco would be great for the URHS. And perhaps maybe they could've given it a little TLC and who knows she might still be running today.
Airman, there is no conspiracy theory here. The 206 was a victim of mechanical failure. By 1989, it had not turned a revenue wheel in some time. It may have been ferried around to be displayed here and there, but thats it. The URHS DID get the 206 after the NYSW retired it. It sat in the PSE&G yard in Ridgefield Heights for over twenty years. The URHS did nothing with it. If it wasnt for the fact that PSE&G wanted all of the URHS's equipment out their yard or have it scrapped, it would still be sitting there rotting away. Be glad its cosmetically restored. It better than it being cut up for razor blades.
  by cjvrr
 
airman00 wrote:One thing not mentioned though... If the bergen/rockland chapter of the URHS paid to have it re-painted, why wasn't the URHS given a chance to acquire it before the railroad got rid of it? It may have been worn out, but still a running loco would be great for the URHS. And perhaps maybe they could've given it a little TLC and who knows she might still be running today.
airman,

go back and re-read Tim's post. It was the Bergen Rockland NRHS (National Railway Historical Society) chapter that paid to repaint the loco in as delivered scheme, not the URHS. After retirement I had thought it was used as a trade in to GE for the B-40s but the URHS was able to get the unit before it was shipped off or scrapped on site.
  by njmidland
 
CV is correct. The 206, the FJ&G's 2 units, the two Rahway Valley GE 70 tonners and a couple of the RS2s RS3s that DO had were "traded in" to GE for the original 4 B40s the NYS&W ordered. I am sure GE never intended to move them to Erie or use them for anything. The URHS stepped in after GE took ownership and traded them for the 206 and the RV units in exchange for one or more of the GG1s they had and possibly one of the E8s. GE was happy since they got an equal or greater value in scrap metal.

As far as the 206 goes be happy with where it is and if anything do whatever you can to help raise funds dedicated to keeping it in shape. Ten years from now when it needs to be painted again many of the people who saved it both in 1989 or two years ago will be gone and no one may care and think it's an eyesore. How many steam locomotives and later on cabooses were "saved", put in a park or by a station and later on ended up being cut up because it was neglected and became an eyesore.

If one were two attempt to restore this unit to operating condition you have to ask yourself two questions. First, where are you going to get the money and the parts? If you look around the various forums on this website you will see lots of people with projects looking for money. Frankly, fans chasing after fans for money is not going to cut it. You have to reach the general public and frankly who is going to give you big bucks for a project like this? Second and probably more important is where would you operate it? The NYS&W today is all business. Even if it were reliably running and you gave it to them for free they likely wouldn't use it. You can't interchange it so you would likely have to crane it out and move it by truck to.....where? You would need to start contacting tourist railroads/museums who might express an interest in using it but it would have to be a small operation - how many cars full of people can it carry and up what kind of grades. It would need to be something like the demonstration run the B&O museum does or the yard shuttle Steamtown does moving 2 or 3 coaches. And this assumes the folks in Maywood would let you do it.

If you would like to put the energy you have put into chasing around the history of the 206 to work, I have a couple of dining cars I can point you to :)
  by airman00
 
I agree with you all, as you all make good strong points. :)

My whole point was this... I came to find out that the #206 was retired as a running locomotive. (And incidentally when the fire happened she was actually turning a "revenue wheel" as she was being sent out on assignment to work a stone train out in pennslyvania)

What I was told was that after the fire, she was going to be repaired and put back into service once again, and then all of the sudden she's gone. It seems that after she got up to binghamton in june of 1989, to be repaired, nobody seemed to know what happened. So I wondered how does a running loco end up dead on a display track. And as I've come to find out, it was a number of things that did her in, despite the fact that she still ran. (And if she was saved while being scrapped like someone said earlier then possibly #206 is really that gone)

Still though a fascinating story about this one little engine. :) Perhaps one day she may run again...
  by Jtgshu
 
They got new power, thats what happened, why keep working on this hanger queen when they had the SD45s and F45 running and the B40s were at least in the process of being purchased or thought about, so why put more money into this thing when the GP18s or the remaining Alcos could handle the work. Also, it wasn't a dead end/isolated track after Sparta Mountain was rebuilt, so it would be easier to get equipment and trains up there and drop off an engine or two to do local work.

It WAS saved, it was parked in the power plant and sat and rotted for years. It was just parked on "in its final resting place" a few years ago. Its not like it went from being dead in Binghamton in 1989 and then parked on the siding where it is now. It sat for 20 years in the power plant.

As mentioned above, it was traded to GE for other junk, so this piece of junk and the RV 70 tonners could be saved. they were all trade in towards teh purchase of the B40s. Even if it was running perfectly, it could still be traded into the dealer. Thats how it was "saved from the scrapper" something else got scrapped intstead, and GE got the same amount in scrap value, if not more, so they were happy. Ive traded in cars when ive bought a new car that were still running - tend to get more $$$ for them....

Things change and plans change. Just because it was said that it woudl be fixed doesn't mean that it actually happened, which it didn't. It happens all the time in real life, its as simple as that.
  by airman00
 
JT, your probably right in your assesment. They did (it seems) kinda keep this old girl going on more than one occasion during the last few years of it's life. However, one thing though, when #206 appaerently was sent to the scrapper, it went there in operating condition. Meaning it could've ran there by itself. And so why wasn't the URHS given a chance to acquire the #206 while she still ran. The other thing I was told was they actually started to scrap her, some wiring was taken out and someone said the heads were cut off, etc. And then she was saved DURING the process.

I'd love to know how anyone even found out about her since once you get to the scrapyard that's usually it. Like you said JT, a running loco (or car in your case) has more or greater value than one that's dead. And #206 was traded in while still running and sent to the scrapyard while still running.

Don't get me wrong though I happy she's at least saved for now. :)
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