The Return of the PA?
After an absence from the U.S.A. of about 20 years, two Alco PAs may soon be back on American soil. If all goes as planned, former Delaware and Hudson (ex-Santa Fe) units #16&18 will be shipped from Mexico to Portland, Oregon by late summer. There they will be fitted with new trucks (the originals were lost) and prepared for restoration. Doyle McCormack, a well-known railfan that restores both steam locomotives and diesels, will take ownership of #18 and rebuild it for occasional excursion service. It will be fitted with an Alco 251C prime mover (12 cylinders) from a M420B road switcher. McCormack plans to repaint #18 in the attractive "Bluebird" scheme of Nickel Plate #190. D&H #16, on the other hand, is in worse condition than #18 and will only be restored cosmetically. But what a restoration it will be! Once again, after a 30 year wait, we will get to see a PA painted in Santa Fe warbonnet colors. D&H #16 will revert to its original road number (#58) and paint scheme. It will then be put on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Finally, we will all have a chance to see two beautiful PAs back were they belong. Now if we could just get former D&H PAs #17&19, currently operable but displayed in Mexican museums, back in the country. Not to mention the one or two units in Brazil!
UPDATE 11-23-02 : The "Incredible Hulks" are back in the U.S.
They are now in the Brooklyn Roundhouse in Portland, Oregon. In
July of 2001, the PAs were placed on their trucks. The slow process
of restoration has begun. (It is hoped that former D&H #18
can be up and running in about 3-4 years.)
More info, and pictures, here at the NKP 190 website.
If anyone has PA restoration news, or can provide more up-to-date photos and info, please let me know!