An 80 ton General Electric locomotive built in 1937 is being restored and returned to service for use on the Essex Clipper Dinner Train. The locomotive was acquired from Pfizer several years ago and has been worked on as time and funds permitted. This summer a major effort has been made to complete the work and return the locomotive to service. A new oak tongue and groove floor was installed in the cab, all electrical components were cleaned, new batteries purchased and brake rigging rebuilt.
With all of the brake rigging removed, it was possible to reprofile the wheels using a specially designed machine borrowed from the Green Mountain Railroad. The machine is bolted and clamped to the rails, the wheels are jacked up and the traction motor hooked up to a welding generator. The welder powers the traction motor which turns the wheel, effectively the assemblage becomes a poor man's wheel lathe. It is hoped that the locomotive will be ready for testing by the end of September. Once it is placed in service, it is believed that it will be the oldest operable diesel-electric locomotive in the country.
Machinist Bill Wolf cuts down a high wheel flange on VRR No. 0901, August 2004.