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.
The West Chester Railroad, a Pennsylvania heritage railroad, selected McHugh Locomotive & Equipment to be their trusted locomotive contractor to assist them with major restoration work.
The West Chester Railroad owns a former Baltimore & Ohio RR 1950’s EMD GP-9 #6499. In 2014 it suffered a failure to its D-22 main generator with alternator assembly. The restoration work to the #6499 needed to be done on-site at the land-locked railroad. This work included replacing the main generator with alternator assembly, the two old engine blower assemblies, the auxiliary generator, electrical repairs, plus to also make repairs to the engine hood and cab roof. This work was completed safely and cost-effectively, getting the locomotive back in service.
On the morning of October 20, 2015 a convoy of McHugh equipment arrived at the West Chester rail yard, consisting of a: 40-ton lift crane, tractor trailer hauling the main generator and other component parts, a 36,000 lbs. GVW service truck with 10-ton capacity boom, and a 12,000 lbs service truck. Once the equipment was all in place, within an hour the McHugh service technicians had the 18,500 lbs main generator set in place. The main generator was then dial indicated for alignment, and also had a rebuilt auxiliary generator with blower assembly along with two rebuilt engine blowers installed. There were some additional electrical and mechanical defects that have also been repaired. The #6499 was successfully test operated on Saturday, November 7, 2015.
The West Chester Railroad offers tourist train rides on a scenic 90 minute round trip through Chester County. Vintage trains depart 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