The McHugh family in 1966 began assisting heritage railroads, rail transportation museums, and trolley preservation groups, with on-site services of re-railing wrecks, transporting railway equipment by truck, rigging and crane service. In 1973 we began rebuilding locomotives and equipment for heritage railroads, short lines, and in-plant industrial railroads.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment continues to provide those services and also has the capabilities to provide museum quality restorations to historic diesel locomotives and vintage equipment. The world class work that is preformed by our experienced and skilled multi-craft people at our modern facility is hard to replicate in our industry.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment is an innovative leader who provides solutions to the ever changing challenges of operating historic diesel locomotives and vintage equipment at heritage railroads or rail transportation museums in today’s demanding operating environment. We can assist your organization with an evaluation and cost analysis for your next equipment restoration project. We will provide you with a detailed approach of how the restoration should be preformed and can also work with you on a production schedule that is tailored to fit your budgetary requirements. We can address any technical questions concerning a restoration and also provide you with proven methods to solving some unique challenges that we have overcome. There are some cases when we believe a proposed project may not be worth the cost involved for a full restoration, and we will truthfully inform you of your equipment inspections.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment can preform your entire restoration project from the time your old worn-out piece of equipment begins the journey to our facility, until it arrives back at your location fully restored. Our team members have a vast experience of providing the proper rigging to safely hoist locomotives, railcars, machinery, and equipment, by a crane. We can also assist you with the transportation logistics of shipping your equipment by either rail or truck, and provide the proper securing of it during shipment. You can be assured with the McHugh Company handling the entire project for your organization, that this will ensure a harmonious outcome for your next restoration or repair job.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment preforms a complete frame up restoration to the historic 1940 built Baltimore & Ohio #8408 EMC SW1 600hp diesel locomotive for the Wilmington & Western.
The Wilmington & Western Railroads original scope of work was to replace the old obsolete “U” style engine block because it was problematic with leaking water into the crankcase and lube oil system. The Wilmington & Wilmington Railroad also desired to have the following other components rebuilt: air compressor, main generator, radiators, and to replace the old electrical system with a modern upgrade. The Wilmington & Western desired to have a “B” style engine block rebuilt and placed into the 8408. However, McHugh Locomotive & Equipment recommended and supplied a re-manufactured 6 cylinder 567-C, because the “B” style engine block over time can have the same defective issues occur as on the old “U” or “A” type engine blocks.
After the 8408 arrived at the McHugh facility the Wilmington & Western Railroad decided to have a complete overhaul preformed to the locomotive. The result it that the 8408 would now receive a “total frame up restoration” to provide the corrective measures required to repair all of the remaining defects so the locomotive would be fully restored back to safe operating condition. This work now included major structural and mechanical repairs, along with rebuilding both of the old worn out truck assemblies. The 6-1/2″ x 12″ roller bearing axle wheel sets where reconditioned and the four traction motors were repaired as necessary.
When B&O 8408’s cab interior walls and floor where removed, it unveiled that the cabs steel structural frame was compromised and not safe for operation. The Wilmington & Western Railroad informed us that it did not have enough funds available to make a complete major repair of the cabs steel structure. This is when McHugh Locomotive & Equipment stepped in an offered to donated that portion of the work. However, a condition set by JC McHugh was that the 8408 locomotive would not be repainted into its former paint scheme and lettered Wilmington & Western. JC McHugh’s requirement for this donation was that the historic SW-1 locomotive would be painted back into its heritage railroad paint scheme and lettered Baltimore & Ohio.
The 8408 restoration was preformed over a multi-year period to enable the Wilmington & Western Railroad the time that they required to raise approximately 85% of the funds necessary for the entire project. McHugh Locomotive & Equipment agreed to assist the Wilmington & Western Railroad with approximately 15% of the total overall cost of the project by donating numerous components and a portion of the labor on the 8408 restoration. The historic SW-1 was officially dedicated back to service on May 26, 2016 and today 8408 provides motive power for most of the W&W Railroad tourist trains over the former B&O Landenberg branch in Delaware.
History Colorado’s / Georgetown Loop Railroad operated by: Historic Rail Adventures LLC contracts McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to rebuild a very unique diesel electric locomotive.
The historic Colorado 1884 built 3 foot narrow gauge rail line operates between Georgetown and Silver Plume, a distance of 2 miles. The railroad loops around the sides of the mountains and crosses over Clear Creek four times during the 3.1 mile journey. The train traverses grades over four percent while climbing 640 feet in altitude to reach Silver Plume. The Georgetown Loop RR contacted the McHugh Company because they desired to acquire a rebuilt diesel electric locomotive that would be an efficient and reliable piece of equipment to supplement motive power for their expanding tourist trains operations.
The McHugh Company was contracted to rebuild a 1951 built GE center-cab diesel electric locomotive for the Georgetown Loop RR. The units two Cummins 855 turbo-charged diesel engines where remanufactured to provide the essential horse power required to operate at the high altitude of 9,116 feet. The traction systems two main generators and four traction motors where also rebuild. The complete electrical system was upgraded with all new wiring and modern electrical components. The mechanical parts and components where either rebuilt or replaced with new materials. The 3 foot narrow gauge truck assemblies had the old friction bearing axles converted to roller bearing and new wheels supplied. The special triple gear reduction drive gear boxes where also upgraded at the axle support areas with roller bearings, that replaced the old split bronze bushing type friction bearings.
The McHugh Company was also contracted by the Georgetown Loop RR to provide transportation of the number 1934 locomotive from our facility in Fairless Hills, PA to Colorado and to assist with the assembly of the unit at its new home. This very unique 3 foot narrow gauge diesel electric locomotive that was supplied by McHugh Locomotive & Equipment has proven to be a very efficient and reliable source of motive power for the Loop Route. The Georgetown Loop RR now has the opportunity to operate private charter and various specialty themed trains when it is not practical to operate the two antique steam locomotives over the historic Colorado rail line. If you would like to visit History Colorado’s scenic tourist rail line more information can be viewed at: GeorgetownLoopRR.com
Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society decided that a “partnership of restoration” with the McHugh Company was the best way to have the organizations 1947 built diesel locomotive restored back to operating condition.
The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society plan to operate full size trains once again over its rail line required the assistance of the McHugh Company. The 501-C3 non-profit organization best solution to have its derelict GE 45 ton diesel electric locomotive back into operation was to contract the work out to a qualified locomotive rebuilding company. When selecting a contractor the all volunteer group wanted to work with a company that has extensive knowledge of vintage diesel locomotives and that also has a good reputation of working well with heritage railroads and rail transportation museums. An agreement was made that had the locomotive restoration to be preformed in two phases. This would allow the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society to provide certain repairs by utilizing their volunteer staff on phase one of the locomotive restoration project so it could meet their organizations budgetary requirements.
The first phase of this project was started at Muddy Creek Forks PA by the volunteer staff of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society during March 2016. The organizations work scope included: rebuilding the two diesel engines and radiators, replacing the steps and handrails, replacing the damaged sheet metal on the cab and doors, repairing the two engine hoods and doors, building a new steel battery storage box, and repairing the fuel tank. The McHugh Company was also commissioned to provide technical services to assist the volunteer staff with their part of the restoration work. However, the organization came to the conclusion that they lacked the necessary equipment to preform their part of the locomotive restoration.
The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Society unfortunately did not complete the majority of the Phase 1 repair work scope and the organization decided that the best method to have the restoration completed was to ship the locomotive to the McHugh Company. Our service crew arrived at the railroad with all of the required equipment and we transported the locomotive to our facility. The McHugh Company also assisted the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Society with the overall cost of the project by amending our restoration contract to allow a qualified volunteer member of the organization limited access to our shop facility. This provided a very unique opportunity to the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Society that enabled the organization to complete their part of the locomotive restoration by having access to our equipment and specialized tools, along with assistance of the McHugh staff when necessary.
The second phase work scope of this project began in June 2018 and is being preformed by the staff of McHugh Company. This work will be the heavy repairs that include: rebuilding the two truck assemblies, recondition the axles and bearings, remove the old scrap wheels and replace them with new, recondition the gear boxes, rebuild the side-rods, recondition the traction motors and main generators, preform a complete upgrade and rewire of the electrical system, and supply other reconditioned components.
The Roebling Steel Company purchased the 45 ton side-rod locomotive new from GE in 1947, and it continued to move steel products around the New Jersey site until the plant closed in 1983. The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society acquired the locomotive in 1999, and moved it to Muddy Creek Forks PA. When the restored locomotive returns back to the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society it will be the first motive power of a full size train to depart the historic Muddy Creek Forks PA village and travel over the line since 1984.
West Chester Railroad a heritage tourist rail line with “big EMD & ALCO motive power” has selected the McHugh Company to assist them with major restoration work.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment over the years has assisted the West Chester RR with various major repairs to their fleet of big ALCO & EMD road locomotives. The lines 1950’s built EMD GP-9 a former Baltimore & Ohio RR locomotive #6499 during the year of 2015 suffered a failure to the main generator with alternator assembly. The restoration work to the #6499 was necessary to be done on-site at the land locked WC RR. This work included replacing: the main generator with alternator assembly, the two old engine blower assemblies, the auxiliary generator, and to also make some steel repairs to the engine hood and cab roof.
The West Chester Railroad operates big ALCO, and EMD, vintage road locomotives at their heritage rail line. The tourist train ride is a scenic 90 minute round trip and departs from the town of West Chester, PA. The historic right-of-way is a former Pennsylvania Railroad branch line, and you will travel 8 miles to the Glen Mills station. The train has a 20 minute layover stop there. The all volunteer WCRR also offers several specially themed trains and Christmas trains during the operating season. If you would like to visit the West Chester Railroad, more information can be viewed at their website: westchesterr.com
Pennsylvania Railcar Restorations contracted the McHugh Company to provide heavy repairs to #9206 an EMD 1949 built SW-1 diesel locomotive of PRR heritage back to service.
Pennsy Railcar Restorations desired to obtain a former SW-1 type EMD diesel locomotive of Pennsylvania Railroad heritage. The firm was seeking a locomotive that was not a total basket case or a unit that would require a total frame up restoration. It was an important factor to Pennsy Railcar that the total overall cost of the project remained within their allotted budget to purchase a SW-1 locomotive and to include the restoration. The firm also requested that the project be preformed as a joint venture to restore the SW-1 locomotive with McHugh Locomotive & Equipment preforming the heavy repairs and Pennsy Railcar to then preform the light duty and cosmetic repairs.
The first phase of the project was for McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to locate a former Pennsylvania R.R. SW-1 locomotive. We inspected several units across the USA, and the #9206 was selected because it was in satisfactory condition and required the least amount of repairs to have it back in service. The McHugh company supplied two sets of reconditioned truck assemblies with four reconditioned traction motors, that replaced the old friction bearing truck assemblies. The old draft gear assemblies and coupler assemblies where replaced with alignment control couplers. We also updated the brake system and made the necessary repairs so the locomotive could be shipped over the class I railroads to it destination.
The second phase of the project began after the #9206 arrived at its new home on September 04, 2012 at the Black River Railroad Historical Trust. Pennsy Railcar Restorations over the next 3 years performed the light duty mechanical and electrical repairs, along with some operational adjustments. Once those items where completed the firm painted #9206 into the units former Pennsylvania Railroad color scheme.
The McHugh Company restored a rare 1929 Ford model AA truck with wood stake bed that is posed with PRR #9206.
Georgia State Railroad Museum contracted McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to preform specific repairs to their 1944 built GE 44 ton diesel locomotive.
The Georgia State Railroad Museum had previously spend a large amount of funds with various other locomotive repairs firms trying to keep the old obsolete Caterpillar D-17000 diesel engines operating in their GE 44 ton diesel locomotive. That approach proved to be an extreme challenge with parts no longer being manufactured and when qualified used parts where available the prices for those rare items were exorbitant. The GSRM began a search of the locomotive industry and found that most rebuilders were not interested in their one-off vintage diesel locomotive project. The McHugh Company was contracted to preform specific repairs to the 44 ton GE locomotive and it arrived at our facility in November 2016.
To accommodate the budget constraints set by the GSRM, we agreed to spread the projects cost out over a period of time. The contracted work was for McHugh to provide a power plant with reconditioned Cummins 855 diesel engine and reconditioned GE 558 main generator, to reconditioned two GE 733 traction motors, upgrade of the electrical equipment, and a complete rewire. After the locomotive was at our facility, the GSRM during 2017 decided to have the McHugh Company preform additional services and repairs as an extra to the original contract price. This extra service work included the installation of the following items: a replacement air compressor, updated air brake equipment, air brake gauges, new fuel tank with piping, new batteries, and to change out the rubber seal gaskets on the FRA window glazing. The GRSM informed us as part of this extra service that it would be providing these items to us directly due to their 2017 budget restrictions, and the McHugh Company accepted those terms.
Unfortunately the GSRM was not able to complete all of their required work scope or repair other defects prior to the locomotive arriving at our facility per the terms of our original contract. These items, along with some additional defects found during the project, where repaired by us at agreed discounted pricing. The McHugh Company also assisted the Georgia State Railroad Museum on the total over all cost of the GE 44 ton locomotive restoration project by providing a $6,000.00 donation of parts and services. The #7069 arrived back at the Georgia State Railroad Museum on May 23, 2018.
Historic Mack Truck Boxcab Locomotive #4 was scheduled to be scrapped by its formed owner. We saved the rare MACK and #4 is now displayed at the McHugh facility.
Mack Truck Inc. between 1905 and 1939 built 21 locomotives and sold 19 of them. The Mack Company produced 19 locomotives that where all direct gear driven units except for two boxcab’s #4 & #5. During 1939 boxcab’s #4 & #5 were retrofitted at the Mack Truck factory with two six cylinder EP Mack gasoline engines. The engines were connected to two 1503 General Electric 300 volt generators that where wired in series to provide DC electric to power the 600 volt traction motors for travel. The #4 & #5 where never sold and they where used at the Allentown 5A & 5C plants. Mack #4 departed the company 5-C plant in 1967.
Mack #4 preformed the last switching duties at the historic dual 3 foot narrow and standard gauge rail yards in Mount Union PA at the East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Co during November & December of 1969. Mack #4 was again moved to a heritage rail line in 1970 where it was briefly used. It was rumored in late 2007 that both #4 & #5 were scheduled to see the flames of the scrapers torch by their former owner. However #4 was saved in March 2008 and the rare boxcab locomotive has been restored to its Mack Truck Inc. heritage. Mack #4 now proudly rests at the entrance of McHugh Locomotive & Equipment.
Assisting Private collectors with restorations of vintage diesel locomotives or historic railway transportation equipment, and various other types of equipment.
Our talented staff at McHugh Locomotive & Equipment over the past 33 years has assisted private collectors with complete world class restorations or making repairs to their historic rail transportation equipment and various other types of vintage equipment. This has included; vintage construction equipment & cranes, antique trucks & tractor trailers, and historic standard or narrow gauge locomotives & railroad cars.