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. We have the experienced and are well qualified to provide the proper rigging of equipment so it can be safely hoisted by a crane along with securing the equipment for shipment. We can also assist you with the transportation logistics of either shipping by rail or truck. This will ensure a harmonious outcome for your organization’s heritage railroad or historic rail transportation museum equipment restoration or repair project.
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. Today #8408 provides motive power for most of the W&W Railroad tourist trains over the former B&O Landenberg branch in Delaware.
B&O 8408 was officially dedicated back to service on May 26th 2016 at the Wilmington & Western RR. Ann & JC McHugh along with their family, friends, and the dedicated employees of McHugh Locomotive & Equipment, were invited to be a part of that celebration. The W&W RR also had Ann McHugh place the B&O herald onto 8408 during that event.
Georgetown Loop Railroad / History Colorado operated by: Historic Rail Adventures LLC contracts McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to rebuild a 80 ton diesel electric locomotive for the historic 3 foot narrow gauge scenic rail line.
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 mountain sides, and at one point crosses the infamous “Devils Gate Bridge” that is 101 foot in height over Clear Creek. It takes 3.1 miles to make this railroad journey as the train traverses grades over 4 percent while climbing 640 feet in altitude to reach Silver Plume. The Georgetown Loop RR desired to have a reliable diesel locomotive on its roster to supplement their winter operations when it is not practical to run steam locomotives on the line.
The McHugh Company was contracted to rebuild a 1951 built 80 ton GE diesel locomotive for the Georgetown Loop Railroad. The 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 rebuild. The complete electrical system was upgraded with all new wiring and modern components installed. The mechanical components and parts where also rebuilt to like new condition.
The locomotives two 3 foot narrow gauge truck assemblies where also upgraded. This work included converting the axles from friction bearing to roller bearing and to install new wheels. Another upgrade provided was the installation of special triple gear reduction drive boxes that will provide plenty of tractive effort to climb the historic scenic tourist lines grueling mountain grades. The special 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 also assisted the Georgetown Loop RR with transportation of the locomotive from our facility in Fairless Hills, PA along with set-up of the unit after it arrived in Silver Plume, CO.
This very unique diesel locomotive that has been supplied by McHugh Locomotive & Equipment will be a very efficient and reliable source of motive power for the Georgetown Loop Railroad. This diesel locomotive will now allow the railroad to operate private charter or special themed trains during the non-peak tourist season when their two antique steam locomotives are not in operation.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment has donated certain labor and parts towards this locomotive restoration. The Georgetown Loop Railroad in recognition of these donations has given our family the honor to number the locomotive 1934 the year that Jimmy McHugh was born, and to place his name “James C. McHugh” on the side of the cab. The locomotive arrived at the Silver Plume, CO rail yard on September 10, 2017.
If you would like to visit History Colorado’s scenic tourist rail line more information can be viewed at their website: GeorgetownLoopRR.com
Pennsylvania Railcar Restorations contracted the McHugh Company to provide their firm with consulting services and heavy repairs to restore #9206 an EMD 1949 built SW-1 diesel locomotive of P.R.R. heritage back to service.
Pennsy Railcar Restorations desired to obtain a former SW-1 type EMD diesel locomotive of Pennsylvania Railroad heritage. The firm wanted a locomotive that was not a total basket case and did not 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 including 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 where Pennsy Railcar began their work scope. This included light duty mechanical and electrical repairs, along with preforming some operational adjustments. Once those items where completed the #9206 was painted into the units former Pennsylvania Railroad color scheme. The #9206 can be seen operating during special PRR photographer heritage freight trains at the Black River Railroad Historical Trust.
The McHugh’s restored rare 1929 Ford model AA stake truck with wooden bed and the restored PRR #9206.
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 determined the best solution for their organization to have its diesel locomotive back in operation was to contract a locomotive rebuilding firm that had extensive knowledge of vintage diesel locomotives and who also has a good reputation of working well with heritage railroads and rail transportation museums. An agreement was made with McHugh Locomotive & equipment to restore the locomotive that also allows the MA & PA RR to provide certain repairs by utilizing their volunteer’s talents and too also meet its budgetary requirements. This method of a multi-year joint locomotive restoration will provide the best value to MA & PA RR and the necessary time for the Preservation Society to fund the project.
The first phase of this project will be preform at Muddy Creek Forks, PA by the volunteer staff of the MA & PA RR Preservation Society. This work will include: 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 MA & PA RR also contracted McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to provide technical services to assist the volunteer staff with their part of the restoration work while the locomotive was at Muddy Creek.
The second phase of this project will be preformed by the experts of McHugh Locomotive & Equipment at our facility in Fairless Hills, PA. McHugh was also contracted to load out the locomotive at the MA & PA rail line and transport it to our facility.
The work at the McHugh facility 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, rebuild the air compressors, and other 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 501-C3 non-profit Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society acquired the locomotive in 1999, and since that time has made some repairs to it. However, there were numerous other restorations that required attention before the locomotive would be necessary to operate. The last train to travel over the line was in 1984 and the volunteer group was able to save a part of the MA & PA RR in 1986. The restoration plan was to rebuild the very deteriorated remaining 3-1/2 mile segment of the railroad and then to preserve the historic buildings in the village of Muddy Creek Forks PA. The public over the years when visiting the historic village is also offered mini-train rides with converted track inspection cars to haul tourist over the scenic rail line.
The MA & PA RR 45 ton GE locomotive after being restored will depart the McHugh facility and return to Muddy Creek Forks PA. The locomotive will return to service providing the motive power of the first full size train to depart the historic Muddy Creek Forks PA village and travel over the line since 1984. The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society will hold its 30th annual meeting in October 2017 and with the assistance from the McHugh Company to restore the locomotive trains will once again operate over the MA & PA RR to celebrate this event.
The Georgia State Railroad Museum has contracted McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to preform major repairs to their 1944 built GE 44 ton diesel locomotive for its Savannah, GA heritage rail operation.
The Georgia State Railroad Museum / Coastal Heritage Society over the past several years has spend a large amount of funds with other locomotive companies in the industry trying to keep the obsolete Caterpillar D-17000 diesel engines running in their GE 44 ton diesel locomotive. That approach has proven to be a extreme challenge with replacement parts no longer being manufactured for decades, and when qualified used parts are available the prices for those rare items were exorbitant. The GSRM / CHS then searched the locomotive industry and found that rebuilders were not interested in their one-off vintage diesel locomotive restoration project.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment worked with the Georgia State Railroad Museum / Coastal Heritage Society to design a restoration plan that would be best suited for the museums demand on this piece of motive power for their rail operation. The work will include: a remanufactured Cummins diesel engine, a reconditioned GE 558 main generator, a complete rewire, a upgrade of all electrical equipment, reconditioned GE 733 traction motors, a reconditioned air compressor, a new fuel tank with all pluming, and new windows. The restoration is currently in progress and the GSRM / CHS 44 ton GE diesel locomotive is scheduled to return back to Savannah, GA during the late summer of 2017.
West Chester Railroad a heritage tourist rail line with “big EMD & ALCO motive power” in 2015 selected McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to assist them on some major equipment overhauls.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment has be contracted to assist the West Chester RR with repairs to their fleet of ALCO & EMD road locomotives. One of the larger projects is the replacement of a failed main generator with alternator assembly on a 1950’s built EMD GP-9 former Baltimore & Ohio RR locomotive #6499. This work will also include replacing the two old engine blower assemblies, to replace the auxiliary generator, and also to make some steel repairs of the engine hood. We have also assisted the mechanical department at the WC RR with some general maintenance on their locomotives.
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: westchesterrr.net
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment can provide a restoration to any vintage diesel locomotive or piece of historic equipment.
The McHugh Company has assist heritage railroad tourist lines, railway transportation museums, and preservation groups, with complete rebuilds of vintage diesel locomotives and various types of historic equipment. We can also preform major repairs on-site at your location for association.
Historic Mack Truck Boxcab Locomotive #4 was scheduled to be scrapped by its formed owner. McHugh Locomotive & Equipment 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 historic or vintage rail transportation and other types of equipment.
Our talented staff at McHugh Locomotive & Equipment over the past 32 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.