• 2 RF16 Delaware & Hudson are in Northern Michigan

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by Engineer James
:P :P The 2 RF16 "sharks" are privately owned and are still on the LS&E, and they are stored in the old shophouse at I believe, Escanaba, Mi. they have been there since 1976, according to the picture on the website and caption. the link below will take you there...


The front locomotive is numbered 1205, with a coupled twin on the rear. Cannot make-out 2nd unit's number. These are collectors themselves!! AND YET THEY HAVE BEEN SITTING THERE SINCE AT LEAST SINCE 75'!!

:( :( SAD...
  by Komachi

The sister unit to #1205 is #1216, both bought by the D&H in 1974 from a scrapyard that obtained the units from the Monongahela. The units were then sold to the E&LS in 1976 (excelent year, BTW), where they worked until the early 80's when one suffered a crankcase malfunction, and both were subsequently sidelined.

It was around '82 or so, when some (long list of explatives) decided to go onto the property for a little "trophy hunting." Builders plates, operating manuals, an a few other bits were taken. After that, Mr. Larkin (the gentleman who owns the railroad) hid them away and the railroad became an anti-railfan entity. Many have inquired with the railroad as to whether or not they are still in posession of the sharks, however, they have never received replies or have been treated very rudely by the employees when calling or inquiring in person.

So, with the fate of the units unknown, and much speculation surrounding them, these two sharks have a rather interesting place in modern railroad lore.

Welcome to the club.

  by Aji-tater
I was pondering a sarcastic remark, to the effect that EVERYBODY knows the sharks are there, when it hit me - those things have been stashed away for longer than some of today's adult railfans have been alive! No wonder Engineer James thought he had a "discovery" - with nothing new happening on those units they seldom make the news any more.

It's too bad, but the folks up there are within their rights to hold a grudge this long. It's a good example of how (presumably) one or two morons can ruin things for a whole generation of railfans. With the price of steel, let's hope they don't show up in a gon cut into little pieces! (Sarcastic remark has been put back into the "Sarcastic Remarks" box for future use on other topics)

  by DutchRailnut
They have been outside but very rarely

  by Komachi

Yes, I hope my post didn't come off as rude or sarchastic, just trying to post the facts as I know them. As DutchRailnut pointed out, they've been so elusive that some are unaware of their existence. I'll also echo that it's a shame that they're locked away from the public, but from a historian's point of view (well, the BA says I'm a historian...), I'd rather they were secured somewhere where more (EXTENDED RADIO EDIT) won't get their hands on them and cause more damage than what's already been done.

Also, Aji-tater made the comment of hoping that they don't wind up in a gon in little pieces, given the current price of scrap steel. Well, I don't want to add to the rumor mill, but I read on another railfan website that there's a rumor (ONLY A RUMOR!!!!!!!) that Larkin has orders that upon his death, the sharks are to go to the torch. I sincerely hope that this is not the case. I would hope that there is a group/society/museum out there that they will be sent to for preservation. And, although I'm a midwesterner and would love to see them stay here in the Midwest (either stay in Michigan or maybe south to the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay or Illinois Railroad Museum), I would also love to see them go East to New Jersey and the SMS. Those guys have worked miracles with Baldwins and if anyone can get the Sharks back in running order (maybe?), it would be them.

I guess we're just going to have to sit and wait and watch and see what happens as events unfold (or, more than likely, remain in stasis).

  by jmp883
I echo the sentiments.....let's get them restored to operating condition, and most importantly.....LEAVE THEM IN THEIR D&H COLORS!!

Within the last few years the former D&H PA's were restored. I believe that one of them was repainted into either SP or SF colors and that the other one was painted in NKP's colors. This is not to take anything away from those railroads, or the fans of them, but the D&H deserves some recognition in the world of restored locomotives. After all, the D&H is only the oldest, still in existence, transportation company in the country. That alone should be reason enough. A replica of the Stourbridge Lion is nice, but I'd like to see a diesel in that awesome paint scheme saved as well. I know CP Rail had left a few GP's in the lightning stripes but who knows for how long that will be.

It's a shame that they've been vandalized and stolen from....
it's a black eye to all of us who enjoy this great hobby.

They deserve to stay in that fabulous silver, blue, and gold!

  by Typewriters
I echo the sentiments expressed here generally (although I'd rather they be repainted into their as-delivered colors, but that's irrelevant.)

I'd just like to add this: I have amassed, over the years, a considerable collection of locomotive manuals from various builders and years. In every single case, I check the BLW or B-L-H materials to ensure that they bear no marking whatsoever pertaining to the Escanaba & Lake Superior. Many years back, I decided that if I ever acquired anything with their label inside or out that I would simply eat the cost and mail it to them, along with a letter indicating from where I received the material.

This has, as I stated, not yet happened, but should it ever, my plan will be the same, and so should it be for everyone who collects and studies such things. Whatever was stolen is "out there" somewhere; whether it ever sees the light of day again remains unknowable.

-Will Davis


  by Engineer James
Well, if Larkin has it down so help me god I'll keep him alive myself. I mean, geez, they should not keep as a grudge as you have all said. But, why does larkin want them to be melted?? Why can't he try to restore them, or hey, even donate them to the B&O Museum, or even the Henry Ford Museum! I'll bet that those two are the only 2 RF16's left in America still on a live rail! Too bad... is there anything we can do?? Maybe ask The State of Michigan to put a histroical marker on them or something so they do not get scrapped?? How old is Larkin anyway???

  by AmtrakFan
We could all start a collection to save them and donate them.

  by Komachi
Rumors, ladies and gentlemen, RUMORS. Let's not get whipped into a frenzy over nothing. Maybe he does have plans for them, but just hasn't gotten around to doing anything.

One of the units, can't remember which one off hand, suffered a crankcase failure or something like that, which left it inoperable. So the question is, how plentiful are parts to rehab them mechanically? Since there are only two left, It would also take a bit of effort in fabricating new body panels and whatnot for them, much like Doyle MacCormack and his restoration of the two ALCo. PAs. Does the railroad have the time and resources to put into such a project? If they did, would they just be preserved, used for an executive/inspection train or would they be put back into regular service? I would almost say the latter, as the E&LS probably wouldn't sink that much into two locomotives, unless they were going to get some use out of them. But then again, Larkin is a Baldwin nut, so who knows what he'll eventually do with them.

It's also that fact that he's such a Baldwin man that makes me discredit that RUMOR about them being cut up upon his death. He knows what he has and probably has plans for them, but I a.) don't work for the railroad and b.) don't know him personally, so I can't say for sure. But I highly, HIGHLY doubt that they're destined for the scrapper's torch.

  by Typewriters
If I recall correctly, one of them suffered a scored crankshaft while being started -- at least, that's what the railfan press reported at the time. I seem to remember that there was something wrong with the other one already. Vague, I know, but that's what I recall -- basically that both were (at the time of the story) inoperable but not unrestorable or unfixable.

-Will Davis

  by Engineer James
Hey, Cant we get the State of Michigan to put a historical marker or some other thing so that they won't be left alone or scrapped?? I have an Idea.. lets start a fund, the Friend of the D&H RF16's. Our mission will be to preserve the RF16's and get them into running order. I say we should set a goal of $15,000,000, for the restoration and running of the locomotives.


Give Mr. Larkin a deal he would not refuse.

There is one idea atleast.

Post others below!!! :P :P :P

15 MIL ? That;s kinda steep. I would bet you could scratch build a pair, for that kind of money, and still have enough left over to buy, and refurbish some coaches, then you would still have enough left to go buy/lease a shortline. All the important locos rusting away today, outside, in the weather, and nobody is coming up with anywhere near that kind of "jack", to fix them. At least Larkin has kept them under wraps, inside the roundhouse. Thats a lot better than what 90% of the rest of the historically significant stuff is subjected to, as it slowly rusts and rots away, right under the noses of the very museums, and historical societys, charged with their care, and/or preservation. (sigh.....) :( Larkin has them under wraps, so how about something more deserving. I bet you wont have to look too far...... regards :wink:

  by n01jd1
[quote="jmp883"]I echo the sentiments.....let's get them restored to operating condition, and <<most importantly.....LEAVE THEM IN THEIR D&H COLORS!!>>

While leaving them in D&H colors would be nice, if they are ever restored they should be painted in their as delivered NYC black with lightning stripe scheme. Its only proper since they spent most of their service lives on the NYC and only a year or so on the D&H.