The McHugh family started in the service industry back in 1896 with the C.J. MCHUGH CO. located in Philadelphia, PA as a hauling, rigging, and service company, that was assigned Pennsylvania hauling authority certificate #87. After the turn of the century in 1916, the C.J. McHugh & Son Co. was formed and the business expanded with motorized trucks and hauling trailers. The E.P. McHugh Co. was established in 1929, and a 10 ton lift capacity crane was purchased from the Insley company in 1931. In May of 1945 the E.P. McHugh Co. purchased the worlds largest truck crane, a 20 ton lift capacity machine from the Baycity Company. The E.P. McHugh Co. in 1950, again purchased another of the worlds first largest truck crane, a 45 ton lift capacity machine from the Lorain Company.
Several of the American Hoist & Derrick Co. cranes built between 1962 and the mid 1970’s, were developed because of the innovative concepts of Jimmy McHugh.
The McHugh family business diversified and expanded under the direction of Jimmy McHugh. In 1962, Jimmy was instrumental in the design and development of the worlds first 6 axle truck truck crane carrier that had 3 steering axles and 3 drive axles. Jimmy McHugh decided that his new 6 axle crane carrier would be of a fabricated welded construction built with the newly developed USS T-1 steel, another one of the McHugh’s and worlds first. Jimmy McHugh was able to convince Bill Hendrickson of his idea and the crane carrier was manufactured by Hendrickson Truck of Lyons IL. Jimmy McHugh was also able to convince John Carrol the president at the American Hoist & Derrick Company, to supply a new 700 series American crane upper for Jimmy’s new crane carrier. This made Jimmy McHugh’s machine the world’s first 6 axle truck crane with a 100 ton lift capacity.
Because of the great success of Jimmy McHugh’s 6 axle carrier, Bill Hendrickson of Hendrickson Truck and John Carrol of American Crane continued to work closely with Jimmy on the design and development of other never before built 6 axle cranes. In 1967 the first 6 axle truck crane with a 175 ton lift capacity was built, and in 1969 the first 6 axle truck crane with a 200 ton lift capacity was built.
The McHugh’s also had other first built American cranes in their rigging and crane fleet that included. The first 900 series crawler crane with a 225 ton lift capacity, that had long Costalo type boom capabilities., and the first two 8440 model 4 axle 150 ton lift capacity truck cranes. Another innovative crane industry design of Jimmy McHugh is the McHugh Tip Head Section of crane boom. This boom is still sold today by the former American Hoist & Derrick Co. ( now TEREX ) when an order for this type of new OEM factory boom is placed.
Over the decades, Jimmy McHugh also design several large heavy haul tractors and trailers that were build in the McHugh shops. One particular innovative McHugh large heavy haul project was moving a 610 ton Nuclear Reactor in Ohio for a power plant with a trailer that had 196 steer-able tires.
Jimmy McHugh and his family become associated with railroading and begin repairing locomotives along with various other types of rail equipment.
Jimmy McHugh in 1966 began assisting a newly formed all steam locomotive powered freight and passenger heritage rail line. Then in 1973, Jimmy became president of this Pennsylvania short line railroad. The McHugh’s in 1974 also began leasing locomotives and locomotive cranes along with providing on-site repair service of these units to short lines, industrial plant rail operations, and rail contractors. JC McHugh joined the business in 1979 and his duties also included being superintendent of the railroad operation.
The McHugh family railroad equipment included: 10 diesel electric locomotives, 500 new box cars, 8 flatcars, 4 gondola cars, a side dump car, 1 tank car, and over 500 pieces of maintenance of way other equipment. The MOW equipment consisted of hi-rail cranes, tampers, ballast regulators, and a host of other track maintenance machines.
McHugh Railroad Maintenance Equipment, Inc. – d/b/a McHugh Locomotive and Equiment.
M.R.M.E., INC. was incorporated in late November 1985 with the philosophy of being committed to build relationships with our customers on; trust, integrity, and to provide the correct solutions to their equipment challenges. It has always been the goal of McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to provide; expert service and high quality parts, at competitive pricing, for motive power and railroad equipment. The new McHugh Company under the leadership of J.C. McHugh has continued to grow expanding its product lines and services.
Our dedicated staff over the past 33 years has assisted short lines, regional railroads, industries that operate in-plant rail operations, and heritage tourist lines, that are very satisfied with the McHugh Company. We have deliver our high quality products and services in a professional safe manner that continually meets or exceeds our customers expectations. The McHugh Company takes great pride in our business as being a source that you can depend on, because you have our name on it.
The innovative thinking at the McHugh Company continues today, as it has in the past.
McHugh Locomotive & Equipment, under the leadership of JC McHugh began a partnership with a new equipment manufacturing company and together both firms jointly developed a specialized hydraulic knuckle boom material handler. These machines were introduced in 1989 and are operated at industries with rail operations such as; steel mills, scrap recycling yards, lumber, and paper mills. J.C. McHugh continued to work with the equipment manufacturing company’s engineering staff and in 2013 a new machine was developed with a self elevating operators cab. This new proto-type material handling machine could now also be operated at railroads.
“Hands On Experience” provided the knowledge of the industries that the McHugh Company serves.
J.C. McHugh, CEO & president of M.R.M.E., INC. had the unique opportunity of growing up in a family who operated a business that covered so many different industries. This enabled him to learn the intricacies of those industries at a very young age. J.C. in 1979 became qualified to work on and lead a team of machinist, and other craftsmen to rebuild locomotives, rail cranes, and other railroad related equipment. Their extensive overhauls included the upgrading of the units to the safety standards, set forth by OSHA, the United States Department of the Federal Railroad Administration and Association of American Railroads. J.C. has also operated many various types of locomotives and other railroad related equipment. This has been at the McHugh facilities or at class I & regional railroads, short lines, transit systems, and industrial plant rail operations.
J.C.’s crane industry experience since 1979, is from when he maintained and operated many types of, locomotive, conventional truck, hydraulic, & crawler cranes. J.C. has also been involved with many critical multi-crane heavy capacity lifts such as the lifting of derailed 450 ton special 8 axle railroad ladle cars full of molten hot steel, and then to place them back onto the tracks. J.C. has operated cranes up to 225 ton lift capacity, and also driven tractor trailers hauling large over-dimensional loads weighing over 250 tons.
The McHugh’s have a long history of supporting various preservation operations that continue the heritage of America’s rail transportation industry.
Jimmy McHugh in the mid 1960’s began assisting several heritage railroads and trolley museums, with donations of supplying: cranes, rigging, and hauling of historical rail equipment.
J.C. McHugh since 1979 has continued the McHugh family tradition of providing donations to heritage railroads and rail transportation museums. These donations of materials and services have assisted in saving numerous vintage diesel locomotives from the scrapers torch.
The Georgetown Loop RR in recognition of the McHugh Company providing donations on several projects, bestowed the McHugh’s with an honor that they are very proud of. The Georgetown Loop Railroad’s new diesel electric locomotive on September 10, 2017 arrived in Silver Plume, CO in a McHugh inspired color scheme. The unit’s identification number 1934 is the birth year of James C. McHugh and the locomotive also has his name on the cab as a tribute to the McHugh family.