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B&M Boxcar Reborn

Boston & Maine boxcar No. 77843 was purchased from Guilford Transportation Industries in 1988 and used for storage at the Railroad Museum of New England. In July 2014, the car was brought into RMNE’s Thomaston Shop for repairs. Holes were patched in the roof, and a rusted-out side body repair made by B&M in 1975 was replaced. The doors were straightened, fl oor boards repaired, and the brake system reconditioned. The body was prepped and painted by volunteers and released in April 2015. It is now on display outside the station at Thomaston, Conn., home of RMNE and the Naugatuck Railroad.


Boxcar Restoration

The Railroad Museum of New England has completed restoration work on former Boston & Maine steel boxcar No. 77843, which was returned to its 1975 all- blue appearance with a black door and intertwined “BM” logo. Part of a 1,000 car order, the 50-foot boxcar was built by Pullman-Standard in 1956 and updated by B&M at its East Deerfield shops in 1975, at which time its roofwalks and high ladders were removed. It was purchased from successor Guilford Rail Industries in 1998, and was used for storage. Over the years the body developed some leaks and had taken on a shabby appearance. Volunteers began working on the car in July 2014, making repairs wherever needed. It emerged from Thomaston Shop in April 2015 wearing fresh blue and black paint, and is now displayed at RMNE’s Naugatuck Railroad in Thomaston, Conn.

Cosmetic Restoration of C&O No. 701

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-0 No. 701, displayed since 1954 in Main Street Park, Covington, Va., has been cosmetically restored by the Covington Parks & Recreation Department with assistance from the Alleghany Foundation and the C&O Historical Society. No. 701 was built by the American Locomotive Company’s Richmond Works in May 1911 as Hocking Valley Railway No. 171, one of a group of ten Class C-12 2-8-0s purchased by HV for service in Ohio, and is the only surviving locomotive from that road. When Hocking Valley was merged into C&O in

Boston & Maine

1930, No. 171 was renumbered 701 and reclassified as a G-5. At slightly more than 107 tons, it and other members of the G-5 class constituted the largest and heaviest Consolidations on the C&O. In 1940 No. 701 was sent to Covington

and spent the next 12 years in service on C&O’s Hot Springs Branch running between Covington and Hot Springs, ferrying passengers to and from the Homestead Resort. It was in this service that it earned the nickname of “The Merry Widow,” as it was the only locomotive in service on the branch at that time. After its last run on December 12, 1952, No. 701 was replaced by a GP7; it was donated to the City of Covington on November 17, 1954. Number 701 was periodically repainted during its time in Covington, the last time by a Boy Scout troop in the 1990s, but after an asbestos abatement project was completed in 2010 (which included the removal of the boiler jacket) it became clear that six decades of outdoor exposure had taken its toll. In 2012 No. 701 was named as one of Virginia’s “Top Ten Endangered Artifacts” by the Virginia Association of Museums. In 2014 a large-scale cosmetic restoration was initiated using a $36,000 grant from the Alleghany Foundation assisted with $9000 raised locally. Work began last year, and included rust removal, a complete repainting, and replacement of the missing boiler jacket. As of mid-April 2015 the project is nearly complete, and No. 701 now sports working headlights, number boards, and classification lights. A roof has been erected to protect it from the elements and new wrought iron fencing is being installed.

Pickering Lumber Co. Heisler to Oregon

Pickering Lumber Company three-truck Heisler No. 1 was moved in April from its longtime home of Fremont, Calif., to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad shops in Tillamook, Ore., for restoration. Owner Pacific Locomotive Association traded the locomotive to OCS in 2009 exchange for boiler repairs to ex-Sierra Railway 2-6-2 No. 30, formerly Howard Terminal 2-6-2T No. 6, which PLA is restoring to its original appearance (with tender) when it operated on Sierra’s Angels Camp Branch. No. 1 is of just a handful of 85-ton Heislers ever built, and was delivered to the Sunset Timber Company of Raymond, Wash., in 1913. It later moved south to Standard, Calif., to work for Standard Lumber Company, which later became Pickering Lumber. It was overhauled in 1955 and kept in reserve when Pickering dieselized, but due to mechanical issues it was never used again in revenue service. In 1958, it and three other Pickering geared locomotives were sold to Connell Motor Truck Co., an equipment dealer in Stockton, Calif., who resold No. 1 to Richard O’Kane in 1966. O’Kane had the engine moved to Monterey for a proposed tourist operation that never materialized, and it was donated in 1985 to the Pacific Locomotive Association. The Heisler will eventually see service

on the Oregon Coast Scenic’s excursion trains that operate over the former Til- lamook Branch of Southern Pacific. The railroad is an all-volunteer nonprofit museum. You can visit their web site at for more de- tailed information.


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