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 and the 8408 would now 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 where removed, it unveiled that the cabs steel structural frame was compromised and not safe for operation. The Wilmington & Western Railroad then informed us that it did not have enough funds available to make a complete major repair of the cabs steel structure.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment stepped in an offered to donated that portion of the cab restoration 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 B&O 8408 restoration was preformed over a multi-year period to enable the Wilmington & Western Railroad the extended time that was required for the 501-C3 non-profit corporation to raise approximately 85% of the funds necessary for payment of 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 with roller bearings to 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.
The McHugh Company continues to assist the Georgetown Loop Railroad with many various projects. We support the Loop Route with mechanical component parts and traction equipment for their Diesel locomotives.
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 has intentions to some time in the future to once again operate full size trains over its rail line. 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 restoration 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 agreed to donate on-site inspections and provide technical services to assist the volunteer staff with their part of the restoration work. However, the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society volunteer’s did not complete the majority of the phase 1 repair work scope by its deadline of late November 2106. The organization came to the conclusion that it lacked the necessary facility, repair equipment, and volunteer resources, to properly preform and complete their part of the phase 1 on the GE 45 ton locomotive restoration.
Our service crew as requested by the MA & PA RR arrived on-site at High Rock PA with all of the required manpower and equipment to safely preform the task that we were hire to do. The McHugh Company loaded out the locomotive and various component parts onto tractor trailers, then we transported these items to our facility. The locomotive frame and the two truck assemblies were completely disassembled at our facility. During inspection of these parts and components various defects were found and they will also have to be repaired.
The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society volunteer’s during 2017 and 2018 planned to work on the some of their remaining not completed phase #1 repair items off-site at a members home shop. This work was to include rebuilding the two old Cummins HB type diesel engines assemblies with radiators, rebuilding the two air compressors, repairing the two engine hoods with exhaust systems, repairing various other miscellaneous parts and components.
Unfortunately, by mid August 2018 the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society volunteer’s had not started any of the necessary repairs to the two Cummins HB diesel engines at their off-site shop facility. The McHugh Company was asked if it would consider donating additional services to assist with the restoration of the 45 ton GE locomotive. We agreed to the society’s new request and two service technician’s with the necessary equipment traveled to the MA & PA RR off-site location. To futhure assist the society with their dilemma, some of the McHugh Company employee’s have agreed to donate their time of labor to help project lead Larry Freeman at our facility with making minor repairs to both Cummins HB diesel engines. However, we recommended that both of the two old Cummins HB diesel engines should not be placed into the rebuilt 45 ton GE locomotive and that they should be replaced with other rebuilt diesel engines.
The McHugh Company in early 2018 amended our contract with the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Society to assist with the overall cost of the project on certain defective items that would be necessary to be repaired in addition to the original work scope. This change-order to the contract also included too 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 will 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 supply a replacement power plant for 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 repair 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.
Unfortunately the Georgia State Railroad Museum did not complete all of its required work scope or repair other defects prior to shipping the locomotive to our facility per the terms of our original contract. It was necessary for the McHugh Company to repair those items and some other defects that where found during the project. The McHugh Company provided this service at discounted pricing to help assist the Georgia State Railroad Museum with the additional cost of those items. To accommodate the budget constraints set by the Georgia State Railroad Museum, the McHugh Company also agreed to spread the entire project cost out over a period of time.
The original contracted work scope for the GSRM 44 ton GE locomotive was for the McHugh Company 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 the following additional services and repairs as an extra to the original contract price.
This new additional extra service work requested by the Georgia State Railroad Museum now included the McHugh Company to install 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 due to its 2017 budget restrictions, that the GSRM would be providing these items directly to the McHugh Company, and we accepted those terms.
The McHugh Company also assisted the Georgia State Railroad Museum on the total over all cost of the GE 44 ton locomotive restoration by providing a $6,000.00 donation of parts and services towards the project. The #7069 arrived back at the at museum complex in Savannah, Georgia on May 23, 2018. The locomotive was painted by the Georgia Railroad Museum staff over the next 5 months and the 7069 returned back to service on 10/30/18.
Geigertown Central Railroad & Museum has the McHugh Company return a 1930’s Plymouth mechanical drive locomotive back to serviceable condition.
The Geigertown Central Railroad & Museum a 501-C3 non-profit corporation desired to have an antique 1930’s built 30 ton Plymouth locomotive repaired so the unit could travel the rails again. The small mechanical drive locomotive had previously been in storage untouched for well over 35 years. On 28th January 2019 the locomotive was placed into the McHugh facility so an inspection of the unit could be made and it was found to be in relatively fair used condition. The GCRM then approved for us to preform some minor repairs and adjustments to the locomotive that included servicing the old gasoline pony motor and CAT 170000 diesel engine. On 4th February 2019 the antique locomotive was fired up and successfully moved under its own power.
The little Plymouth locomotive nicknamed “Tinkerbell” has been painted in a red and black paint scheme with “GEIGERTOWN CENTRAL RR” placed on each side of the engine hood. Dave & Paul Shirey had a special request of that we were very happy to help them with by placing “In Memory of D.J. Shirely” on each side of the cab and to number the locomotive 7767 representing the late D.J.’s birth date. The McHugh Company has also been contracted to transport “Tinkerbell” to Geigertown, PA and then place it onto the rail at the property with a crane in April 2019. The Shirey’s desire to operate #7767 coupled to a small 4 wheel railcar on special occasions to provide passengers a ride over the short distance of track.
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 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. The McHugh restored 1929 Ford model AA truck is owned by a private collector who has it on display at a museum in Silver Plume, CO.
Historic Mack Truck Boxcab Locomotive #4 was scheduled to be scrapped by its former tourist line owner. However, JC McHugh saved and restored Mack #4 in 2008.
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. 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 during March of 1970 was moved to the NH&I where it was briefly used until its departure in January 1971. Mack #4 & #5 would both eventually find their way to a faltering tourist line located in Kempton PA. Unfortunately, this former owner stripped the units of valuable parts, and they were scheduled to see the flames of the scrapers torch. However, during March of 2008, JC McHugh saved Mack #4 from this fate. He and the employees at the McHugh Company, quickly restored the rare boxcab. Mack #4 was transported to an historic equipment / antique truck show south of Pittsburg PA in August 2008. Since that time, Mack #4 has been proudly on display at the entrance of McHugh Locomotive & Equipment.
Geigertown Central Railroad & Museum, will become the new caretakers for the Mack 4 locomotive. After the restoration of Mack #4 in 2008, JC McHugh has been approached on several occasions to sell or donate the rare boxcab locomotive to various railroad museum groups or private parties. During late 2018 an offer made by Dave & Paul Shirey to purchase Mack #4 for the amount of one dollar with specific terms and condition of sale that were acceptable to both the McHugh’s and Shirey’s. The terms of the sale pertaining to Mack #4 stipulates that the locomotive can not be: sold, leased, traded, or loaned to any: corporation, non-profit organization, or private party, nor can it be scrapped. This agreement also includes that if the GCRM or Shirey’s no longer desire Mack 4, that the locomotive will be sold back to the McHugh family for the amount of one dollar. The McHugh family plans to display Mack #4 one final time at the Antique Truck & Historical Equipment show located in Macungie PA on the 14th & 15th of June 2019. The old boxcab locomotive will then be transported by the McHugh Company to the Geigertown Central Railroad & Museum and the Shirey family will become the new caretakers of Mack #4.