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Nevada Northern acquires Baldwin prime mover for restoration project

By | June 8, 2022

VO diesel, purchased from New Jersey, will aid in restoration of 1942 switcher

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Black crane lifting diesel engine off trailer
Black crane lifting diesel engine off trailer
In a screen capture from a video, Nevada Northern’s 1907-vintage steam crane lifts a Baldwin VO prime mover off a truck trailer. (Nevada Northern Railway, via Facebook)

ELY, Nev. — The Nevada Northern Railway has acquired a Baldwin VO diesel prime mover to be used in restoration of the railroad’s VO1000 locomotive built in 1942.

In a series of posts on the Nevada Northern Facebook page, the railroad says it found the engine, built in 1945, at a New Jersey firm that had purchased it as a standby power generator, thanks to SMS Railway, the New Jersey short line operator noted for its continuing use of Baldwin locomotives. The engine, which was no longer needed and was to have been scrapped if not purchased, is low in hours of usage.

After the engine was trucked from New Jersey to Ely, the railroad fired up its 1907-vintage steam-powered crane to lift the 34,000-pound prime mover from the truck trailer onto a flatcar.

The engine will aid in the return to operating condition of locomotive No. 801, built for Bingham & Garfield Railway and later used at the Kennecott Copper Co. Chino Mines before coming to Kennecott’s Nevada Mines Division in September 1963. The railroad says No. 801 is “in pretty good condition” but it had no spare parts.

For more information on the locomotive and video of the steam crane moving the diesel, visit the Nevada Northern Facebook page or the railroad’s website.

5 thoughts on “Nevada Northern acquires Baldwin prime mover for restoration project

  1. There are few places in North America where a steam wrecking crane, assisted by an Alco RS-3, is used to unload a Baldwin diesel engine in the course of what is otherwise a normal working day.

    1. Very few places in North America that have a working steam wrecking crane in use at all on a normal working day! I think that it’s quite neat!

  2. A straight-8 VO engine. That’s some serious lugging power. A VO-1000 or early DS-4-4-1000 is some 4 feet longer than any other 1000 HP shifter because the engine is so big. Redline is 625 rpm.

    Will the locomotive have four stacks? Early VO-1000’s had one stack at the rear and a 1943 update went to four stacks to improve back pressure. At idle you could see each cylinder exhaust.

  3. I’m thrilled Nevada Northern saved this engine from scrap, and can’t wait to see their VO-1000 running again. I’ve been to their facility in the past and would love to go back again. Wonderful people and a fantastic operation.

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