Peter Elwin.......moving NEMCO No. 1000 out of the house.......
Posed for a portrait.....in the diminishing light of later afternoon is...........ex-NYO&W No. 130!
All is reasonably original...............front steps are gone and FRA mandated uncoupling levers are installed. A sealed beam headlamp was added sometime since 3-29-1957 and it now rides on roller bearings; -- the latter installed when Conrail rebuilt the engine in the mid-1980's. The center front cab windows are blanked out to cut the glare through the high arched center windows; -- not unlike in service photos on the O&W where crews made cardboard "curtains" to cut down the entering light (and EMD took notice with later switcher cabs and employed the smaller and lesser square center front windows in place of the high arched lights).
The lettering is "NEMCO"............for New England Milling Company, which has since become "Horizon Milling Company." This firm once did the majority of the milling (if not all) for the Prince Spaghetti Company, but now mills flour for a number of different customers.
Peter Elwin is an acquaintance and friend who belongs to the same HO club I attend and is, by profession, a trained diesel locomotive mechanic and maintainer (who also has an FRA hostler certification). He works a "day job" for Guilford - Pan Am Railways, but has his own "gig" as a contract maintainer for Horizon. In reviewing the history of this engine backwards through the ownerships of NEMCO - Conrail - Penn Central (#8698) - New York Central (#9515)..............Peter traced the custody of this locomotive all the way back through maintenance records to the O&W................as ex-No. 130!
He mentioned several times that I should meet him out at the Willows to take some photos.........now especially since the appearance is about to be altered. Always quite safety - liability - insurance conscious (as are many large industrial firms) Horizon has just mandated that "cabbage stack" spark arrestors are to be shortly installed. Explosion is always a hazard around and about flour mills, so the added protection of flying bits of "glow" from the stacks is a concern of the Horizon safety department. The stacks will soon be cut down and the new spark arrestors will be added. The brackets for an earlier "biscuit" flat cylindrical style of spark arrestor are still atop the stacks (and some O&W NW-2's are seen in service images with these types of spark arrestors in use........back then).
Peter reports that this engine is in good operating condition, with but a few of the normal oil leaks representative of an engine of this age. All of the leaks attract the flour flying about and then accumulating, as Peter says, in little mounds and "growths" of "Hydrocarbon Pasta" which must be periodically and regularly cleaned away.
All sorta interesting.............since this may be very close to the last of the O&W NW-2's still in regular revenue use and service. Peter told me that Horizon looked into replacing this engine with a "car mover" or "trackmobile" but neither have the requisite power for the intended use. On some days as many as 17-20 loaded grain cars are pulled in a string through the unloading bay and, as Peter says............"then still need a locomotive............"
Soldier on.......................old No. 130!