Black River Railroad Historical Trust selected McHugh Locomotive & Equipment as their qualified locomotive service contractor to make repairs to the heritage rail lines EMD SW-9 #438 diesel locomotive ready to provide motive power for the 2016 tourist train season.
New Jersey non-profit Black River Railroad Historical Trust contracted McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to provide repairs to its #438 EMD SW-9 diesel locomotive. The locomotive previously was owned by the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ, who leased it to a New Jersey short line freight operation for a period of approximately 10 years. When the #438 arrived at its new home in Ringoes, NJ at the Black River Railroad Historical Trust there were several issues with the locomotive that kept it from operating.
The Black River Railroad Historical Trust volunteer staff performed a visual inspection of the locomotive which lead to the discovery of several mechanical defects with its prime mover and other operating components. After these defects were found, the Black River Railroad Historical Trust decided they required the expertise of a professional locomotive repair service company and they contracted McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to make a complete inspection of the #438’s prime mover and operating components.
During the inspection by the McHugh service team, we found several critical mechanical defects that could cause catastrophic engine failure if these items were not repaired correctly. The engine had been operated with the lubricating oil being diluted by fuel oil leaking into it from defective injectors and had defective fuel crossover delivery lines. There were also several of the front 6 power assemblies leaking water into the crankcase. Another issue was numerous external water leaks and the bottom of the lubricating oil cooling tank was leaking due to it being rotted out.
The Black River Railroad Historical Trust approved the work to remove the front 6 power assemblies to investigate the water leakage on those units. We found #438 had several coolant water leaks, mechanical defects, and other engine issues. It was also discovered that the power assembly crab-nuts were welded to the engine crab-bolts. After making repairs to resolve that situation we also found that incorrect copper fire rings and incorrect power assembly head “O” rings where installed in the “B” engine block. This caused leaking of the coolant water into the crankcase oil. We corrected the engine issues along with other mechanical deficiencies, and the locomotive was returned back into service. McHugh Locomotive & Equipment had the SW1200hp EMD locomotive #438 repaired and back into service on time as scheduled to provide motive power for the Black River Railroad Historical Trust tourist trains in late May 2016.
In November 202 the Black River Railroad Historical Trust during contracted McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to install a engine block heating system in #438 for the coolant water and lube oil. If you have the chance, please visit the volunteer-operated Black River Railroad Historical Trust and take a ride on their heritage rail line.