After acquiring 13 pieces of railroad equipment in a September 2020 donation, Operation Toy Train has ensured the future of three historic locomotives from the collection by
getting them into the hands of railroad preservationists and operators. Two of the diesel-electric locomotives have been acquired by Klarr Locomotive Industries (KLIX)
of Utah. GP9 #1268 was built in 1957 as Northern Pacific #317, while FA-1 #7375 was built in 1949 as Spokane, Portland & Seattle #860A prior to being rebuilt by the Long Island Rail Road
as power car #606. Since both locomotives have historic ties to the Pacific Northwest, KLIX is in negotiations to move them to the Inland Northwest Rail Museum in Reardan, Washington (just
west of Spokane) for eventual restoration to their original schemes for static display. KLIX recently spearheaded and worked with Western Rail on the well-publicized restoration of Great Northern GP9 #657 for display in Kalispell, Montana, and owner Derrick Klarr led the discussions for the 2020 BNSF donation of ex-Great Northern SD9 #598 to the Inland Northwest Rail Museum.
Meanwhile, the third historic locomotive has been acquired by DeAndre Walters of CRail 21112, based in New York state. GP9 #1267 was built in 1957 as Great Northern #718, and the 64-yearold locomotive is getting another lease on life. Walters, a locomotive electrician tech by trade who also owns a former Conrail caboose, has the skills to restore the diesel-electric locomotive to
operation for use on the Adirondack Railroad. “The locomotive will be getting an extensive rewiring to replace what was stolen over the years,” says Walters. “With this work, it will be electrically upgraded to a GP9M with newer switchgear, and I plan on reinstalling the dynamic braking system (needed for the grades of the Adirondacks). Additionally, it will receive a 26L brake system upgrade and a new Adirondack paint job.” Walters plans to base the locomotive on the Adirondack Railroad’s Utica Division and use it to operate the line’s excursion trains to Tupper Lake. “I cannot thank Operation Toy Train enough for taking action to save this locomotive and affording me this opportunity,” says Walters. “We’re very pleased to see all three locomotives going to good homes,” says Rudy Garbely, a representative of Operation Toy Train. “While preservation isn’t directly a part of our mission, the fact that we have been able to save these historic engines and get them into the hands of preservationists is a fantastic side effect of our toy collection efforts.”
Besides the three locomotives, the three boxcars acquired in the 2020 equipment donation have been acquired by the Tioga Transportation Society, a Pennsylvania non-profit group affiliated with
the Stourbridge Line. These cars will be used for maintenance-of-way service along the route, putting them back into active railroad service after nearly a decade of use for storage space.
Seven pieces from the 2020 equipment donation remain under Operation Toy Train’s ownership. A former Long Island Rail Road P72 commuter coach is currently available for sale, while the fate
of a heavily deteriorated former Canadian National/Grand Trunk observation car is undecided. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to Rudy Garbely at firstname.lastname@example.org
to inquire about either of these two cars. “We’d like to see both of these cars preserved,” says Garbely, “and that means finding the right groups to preserve them, given the realities of their
The remaining five cars are being retained by Operation Toy Train. An ex-Canadian National baggage car will be retained and specially outfitted for use on the organization’s annual Toys for
Tots collection train. This car will allow Operation Toy Train volunteers to sort, pack, and stow toys while the train is en-route between collection stops. Additionally, three historic Erie Railroad
cabooses (C121, C262, and C340) and a former TTX flatcar will be retained for display at the new Port Jervis Transportation Museum in Port Jervis, New York. These five cars have joined
Operation Toy Train’s existing eight-car railcar fleet consisting of four boxcars, three cabooses, and a baggage car. More information on the history and plans for each of these railcars is
available at www.OperationToyTrain.org/equipment.
-via Press Release