McHugh Locomotive & Equipment engineers and manufactures a solution to a failed main wheel bearing for the West Chester Railroad’s ALCO RS-18.
The West Chester Railroad had a total failure to one of the obsolete style oil bath SKF bearings on an axle assembly of rare ALCO model RS18 #1803. This failure also ruined the axle requiring it to be replaced. To restore the locomotive back to service McHugh Locomotive & Equipment manufactured a new axle to AAR standards that would accept Timken 6-1/2” x 12” class F roller bearings. The new axle was machined to accept the GE traction motor support brass and the used bull gear from the old #1 axle set. The used qualified bull gear and the new Timken bearings were installed onto the replacement axle. The two old SKF axle journal box were modified to accept the new Timken roller bearings. The #1 and the #2 axles sets also had the wheels re-profiled. After the truck assembly received various other repairs at the McHugh shop it was reassembled. The old SKF covers where applied to the modified journal boxes with Timken bearings to have the truck assembly appear to be historically correct.
When the reconditioned truck was completed, it was placed onto a McHugh tractor trailer and delivered to the rail yard in West Chester, PA. At West Chester we supplied a crane to safely lift the locomotive and then installed the reconditioned truck assembly back under the #1803.
This is a great example of how McHugh Locomotive & Equipment can provide safe, innovative, cost-effective solutions to all of your railroad equipment problems. Our highly-talented staff has the experience to engineer and manufacture custom replacements allowing older equipment to operate with off-the-shelf parts.
The #1803 ALCO RS-18 is a favorite of the West Chester Railroad crew members and it was placed back into service during the 2017 operating season. The West Chester Railroad is operated by a all volunteer membership and is a 501-c3 non-profit corporation.