R&GV 1654, a GE 80-tonner, was originally purchased by the U.S. Army for use at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (home of the 101st Airborne Division). Later, it was turned over to the Defense Logistics Agency, renumbered DLA 90628, and assigned to Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna in New Cumberland, PA. It was never repainted and retained its all-black Army paint scheme after being transferred to DLA. When all DLA rail operations ceased in the 1990s, some locomotives were reassigned or sold off, and the museum was fortunate to be able to purchase this from the U.S. Military via the Federal Surplus Property program.
At the time of its sale in 1999, the engine was located at the Mechanicsburg, PA facility. Like many other military 80-tonners, this unit was rebuilt in 1989 by Chrome Locomotive. The rebuild included all new engines, electrical gear, roller bearing trucks and whisper cab. At the time the museum bought the engine, it had under 4000 post-rebuild hours on it. The museum hoped (and still hopes) to make this our year-round workhorse, thus allowing us to take out of service and do some restoration work on EK6 and RG&E 1941, our current workhorses.
Sadly, this engine suffered heavy running gear damage in rail transit to the museum and spent over two years in the storage in Northumberland, PA while the museum attempted and failed to gain payment for the nearly $80,000.00 damage done to the engine. This included the destruction of two of the four GE 747 traction motors, two gear boxes and one wheel set. Eventually, the locomotive was shipped to the museum and arrived on the property on December 30, 2001.
Currently, we are seeking leads and hopefully donations of replacement parts for the engine along with tax deductible cash donations to help us repair the engine. If you have any leads or would like to donate the repair fund, please feel free to contact us for more details.
In the meantime, our electrical department in conjunction with our motive power department has worked to rewire the engine so it can function on the one good traction motor and gear box left on each truck. So far, it appears their work was a success. At the same time, we have decided to make this engine the first marked for our railroad. Thus it has become R&GV1654 and will soon be lettered as such.
- General Electric 80-ton
- Rebuilt 1989 Chrome Locomotive
- Ex-United States Army 1654
- Ex-Defense Logistics Agency 90628
- Departing Industry Yard
We find R&GV 1654 idling in the Industry Yard during the June 2003 Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum membership meeting. After two horn blasts and to the sound of the bell, R&GV1654 lifts itself and Erie caboose #C254 out of the yard.
- Passing Scanlon's Curve
R&GV1654 exits Scanlon's Curve and accelerates toward Reid's Crossing on the museum's railroad heading timetable north. We hear the horn and bell as we cross Reid's crossing, a farm crossing along the way, and continue to accelerate upgrade.