We are pleased to announce that Alco no. 801 has joined the Nene Valley Railway as a permanent resident. Built in New York in 1949, 801 along with its 4 sisters 802-805 operated in South Wales where it worked until the last of the fleet was withdrawn in 1983. The loco has been under restoration in Northumberland for the last five years and is expected to haul passengers trains for the first time ever in 2014.
The locomotive will be maintained by The International Railway Preservation Society who also have award winning Swedish Y7 Railcar no. 1212, Wagons-Lits 3916 and 2975, and Danish E Class Pacific Steam loco no. 996 in their fleet.
There is still considerable work to do to restore the locomotive to immaculate condition, but we hope to have the locomotive will be operational in a relatively short period of time.
The S1 Switcher’s are common in the US, but rare outside North America. Alcos no. 801-805 were built in Schenectady, New York in 1949 and 1950.
Bought new by the Steel Company of Wales for their Port Talbot & Margam Smelter, they were the first new post-war bo-bo locos to run in the UK, and the first standard gauge post-war American diesels to operate in Europe.
When new, their original livery was overall Maroon, then wasp stripes were added soon afterwards. Painted into light blue with wasp stripes in the late 1950s, they worked until 1983 when they were withdrawn as they needed 2 members of staff to operate whereas the other locos could operate using only a driver.
801 was bought by her current owners, (who also own the Swedish Railcar) from EMR Kingsbury scrap yard in 2008 and so far has had many hours of meticulous restoration spent on her.
Please check back for further updates about completing the restoration and the first running day hopefully in 2014.
Alco 804, currently displayed at Railworld is still up for sale, get it touch with IRPS for more invomation, but she will be broken up for spares/scrap at the end of 2013 if a buyer cannot be found before then. See here for further details.
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