Rahway Valley Railroad #16
|Type:||B=B (70 tonner)|
|Engine:||Cooper-Bessemer FWL-6T Prime Mover. Six cylinder|
|Notes:|| Purchased new in 1951 for $68,770.00. |
Sold to Delaware Otsego Corp. 12/1986.
Removed from the RVRR in 1989 to work for the NYS&W.
Donated in 1995 to United Railway Historical Society.
On display at the Whippany Railway Museum in Whippany, NJ.
#16 , a GE 70-tonner, was the first diesel purchased by the Rahway Valley Railroad. After pondering his options, including Baldwin diesel switchers, George Clark placed the order for #16 at the end of 1950. The locomotive was churned out by General Electric's Erie, PA plant in January of 1951 and arrived via the DL&W on January 29th.
The locomotive arrived in dark red paint, with yellow striping and lettering. Eventually white safety markings were added to the sides. #16 would keep this paint scheme until around 1975, when Bernie Cahill had #17 repainted in their identical maroon and white paint schemes.
Davis had been put "in charge" of the new diesel, he even had to travel to Erie, PA to learn the 'ins and outs' of the new engine. According to correspondence between Clark and Davis, the locomotive was in service on the RVRR by the end of March, 1951. Apparently Clark was none-to-pleased about Engineer Froat's handling of the new engine (See letter from George Clark to George Davis dated 3/31/1951, page 1, page 2 )
With #16's arrival the RVRR's old steamers were essentially put out to pasture. #14 was immediately put on the chopping block, and was scrapped by the end of 1951. #13 was kept in service, but she was never really used again. #15 was kept on standby for a few years, for days that #16 received repairs.
#16 was joined by another GE-70 tonner, #17, on February 2, 1954. The last fire had been dropped on #15 in November, 1953 and the locomotive was subsequently sold in 1959, then after the RV was a diesel only line.
Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, these two little switch engines more than paid for themselves on the little Rahway Valley, hauling ton after ton of freight over the line. They even hauled a special passenger train to Baltusrol for the US Open in 1980 .
After the RVRR lost its liability insurance, operations over the railroad were assumed by the Delaware Otsego Corporation in April of 1986. The new operator went on to purchase the line that December. #16 and 17 went on to serve their new owner, on home rails, for a few more years.
By the end of 1989 #16, as well as #17, were removed from their old home to perform other duties for Delaware Otsego. Both #16 and 17 were subsequently donated to the United Railway Historical Society in 1995.
Today #16, as well as her sister #17, can be seen on display at the Whippany Railway Museum in Whippany, NJ.
See what Engine #16 looks like today.
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