• "Official" Hoosac Valley Railroad Service (BSRM) Topic

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by Dick H
The BSRM has "saved" the Holyoke Power and Light SW-1 1849 from the scrapper.
The loco was picked up by PAR and moved to East Deerfield. It will be moved to
the BSRM facility at North Adams. It is ex B&M SW-1 1113 and served the Mt. Tom
power plant for many years. File photo below by Matt Bai.
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?20091 ... 9&BOOL=ANY" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Brent S. Bette
NEWS UPDATE - The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) is proud to announce the acquisition of First Light 1849 (nee Boston & Maine 1113), a 1941 Electro-Motive Division (EMD) SW-1, from the Mt. Tom Energy Plant located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. As one of only three remaining Boston & Maine SW-1s, it was identified by the museum’s curatorial staff as a “top priority” to further diversify the collection, particularly given its regional significance and originality. An initial attempt was made by the BSRM shortly after the plant was closed in 2014 but company officials had yet to determine whether the unit would be outright sold or transferred to another operation. With permitting secured, demolition of the site began in earnest in 2017 by Environmental Remediation Services (ERSI) of East Syracuse, New York. The small, one stall engine house which kept the locomotive out of the elements since its purchase from the Boston & Maine in July 1959 was the first to go, leaving behind a trail of mangled track and a clear indication the 1849 was next. However, Neil Black, a 40-year veteran of the plant and long-time maintainer of the unit would intervene. For him, the locomotive not only represented the pride he felt in keeping the lights on throughout the Pioneer Valley but memories of his colleagues who “had put their kids through college with the salaries they earned here.” Moved to action, Neil quietly let those who could potentially help know the 1849’s fate was hanging in the balance.

A flurry of emails, phone calls and texts ensued to stave off scrapping, at least temporarily. As access to the site was restricted, arrangements were made to inspect the unit as the overall condition was unknown, even within the preservation community. Members of the BSRM mechanical team arrived to find what Tom Delasco, chief mechanical officer, called a “time capsule.” With the exception of a few aesthetic modifications, 1849’s nearly sixty-years behind a protective fence had not only left its historic fabric intact but in excellent physical and mechanical condition. It was clear employees like Neil Black had taken as much pride in maintaining the locomotive as they did the plant. Further conversations would reveal the unit last ran on January 7, 2014 and had, just a year prior, received substantial mechanical work at Pan Am Railway’s East Deerfield maintenance facility.

Negotiations began with ERSI president Tim Niedzwiecki, who quickly understood the significance of the artifact and the mission of the BSRM. Terms were settled on and a bill-of-sale drafted by the museum’s general counsel Pamela Green of Smith Green and Gold, LLP in early February. As of February 23, the unit is en-route via Pan Am Railways to its new home in North Adams, Massachusetts. Initial plans include a more thorough mechanical assessment and installation of new batteries, in addition to the acquisition of a proper bell, its original having been stolen after the plant closure. The phase one budget for the unit is $8,000 and will allow it to become operational. Donations can be made via PayPal and are greatly appreciated. (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?c ... QRMHKNZ536" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

President of BSRM Jay Green remarked, “Preserving these types of artifacts is as much about the stories they tell as it is the actual artifact itself. The 1849 represents not just a significant piece of New England railroad history but even more, the people of western Massachusetts. The museum looks forward to using the locomotive to tell the story of the Mt. Tom Power Plant, the people who worked there and the customers it served.”

The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum would like to extend its sincere gratitude to Neil Black, the employees of Pan Am Railways, Environmental Remediation Services, Kevin Burkholder and the dedicated volunteers who have allowed a significant piece of New England railroad history to be saved and interpreted for generations to come. At the BSRM we just don’t preserve history, we make it.
  by Otto Vondrak
http://railfan.com/berkshire-scenic-bos ... maine-sw1/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
One of the last three surviving Boston & Maine EMC SW-1s has been saved by the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum. Built for B&M in 1941, No. 1113 was sold to the Mt. Tom Station power plant in Holyoke, Mass., in 1959 where it served continuously until the coal-fired plant shut down in 2014. Early inquiries about preserving the locomotive were inconclusive. When demolition of the facility began in 2017, it appeared the historic diesel would be scrapped as well. That’s when veteran plant employee Neil Black took action...
  by Dick H
The SW-1 1849 was delivered to the BSRM North Adams facility on Thursday 3/15
by PAR's AD-1. Compliments to the BSRM and all personnel involved for saving this
77 year old loco.
  by Brent S. Bette
Thank you to our generous donors who have helped us raise $220 towards our goal of $925. These funds will be used to defer the cost of an original Howard bell for Boston & Maine 1113 (aka 1849) recently purchased from a seller in Rhode Island. Please consider making a small donation so this locomotive can be properly restored for all to enjoy.

Donations can be made via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?c ... QRMHKNZ536

UPDATES on Phase 1 Operational Restoration:
The second Leslie 125 horn is currently being stripped and powder coated.

Cost evaluation for minor metal work, sandblasting and paint are currently being conducted for phase 2 budgeting purposes.

The original brass brake handles are being polished.

Grants are being identified for both phase 1 & 2 restorations.

Andy Fletcher has been commissioned to produce a colored drawing of the locomotive as a "thank you" gift for those who have supported the preservation and restoration.
  by oibu
Do the Adams-N Adams trains use a locomotive or just the RDC alone? I have seen photos showing both scenarios and am not sure which is the "norm", how things may be evolvong over time, or if there is any logic to what equipment or train consist is used? For instance, would a nice fall weekend present a capacity concern/ticket sales opportunity than would dictate use of a multicar train with a locomotive, whereas an overcast summer Sunday wouldn't fill the RDC alone?

I can appreciate the significance of a restored operable RDC and mean to take nothing at all away from those who put work into that effort, but personally it would be more interesting to see a locomotive-hauled train and I would like to check out this operation at a time when that might be likely if there is one. Thanks!
  by Dick H
They have no other passenger carrying equipment in Adams, other than the RDC.
They have acquired another RDC, but it is still in Fall River MA awaiting a move
to Adams. I believe the 2nd RDC needs considerable work to make it usable for
passenger service. The "combo" car at Adams serves as their ticket office and
gift shop I believe they have used their sW-9 8619 switcher to tow the RDC on
occasion. When the second RDC arrives, whether they would use the loco to tow
the pair of RDCs, I have no idea.
  by oibu
Thanks, I'm pretty sure I have seen pics of the 8619 with the RDC as well as pulling a coach and caboose, but unfortunately based on your information it doesn't sound like a loco-hauled train is something to expect at least at this point in time.

What is the status of freight service on the branch at this point- the last I'd heard as of a couple years ago was 1-2 days/week?
  by newpylong
Freight up to 3 times per week usually 2. Still SMI at Lime Street and Holland at Zylonite. There is a new track laid just to the north of Holland unsure if for them or another company, no one seems to know.

The scenic train is a good ride but they really need to get MassDOT to put PMS protection in at Hodges, Lime and the Sewer or position someone to flag as to not require a stop and protect.
  by Dick H
PAR moves on the branch are scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday.
However, in practice it can be other days due to crew shortages
or using the AD-1 crew on other jobs.
  by Safetee
and interestingly enough they appear to be owned by the commonwealth of mass DCR. could it be that DCR will become the new west mass mbta??