D&SNGRR Expands Fleet with Acquisition of Four Diesel Engines from White Pass & Yukon Route Railway
Historic Colorado Railroad Doubles Diesel Locomotive Total for More Operational Flexibility, and Business Opportunities; Company to Enlarge Diesel Fleet Further with MPES Engine Delivery in Fall of 2020
By: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
The acquisition, finalized in January, increases the company's roster of diesel locomotives from six to 10, facilitates the pursuit of incremental revenue-generating business opportunities, and provides the railroad with greater operational depth and maintenance flexibility throughout multiple seasons of the year. Steam will remain the primary motive power on the D&SNGRR line.
Locomotives Nos. 101 and 107 began their multi-week journey to Durango on April 11, when they were loaded on a barge in Skagway. The other two units are slated to be selected later in 2020, with transportation to Durango scheduled for the second quarter of 2021. Initially, Nos. 101 and 107 will be used for maintenance of way (MOW) activities and on short-trip Cascade Canyon Express summer excursions.
"Reliable narrow-gauge diesels of this size, design and efficiency are few and far between, so the D&SNGRR jumped at the chance to acquire them when we were first approached last year by the WP&YR," said Jeff Johnson, general manager of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. "Upon their arrival in Durango, these locomotives will join the company's diverse roster of diesel and vintage steam locomotives, and be deployed in multiple operations-supporting and passenger-transporting capacities. Ultimately, the addition of these locomotives to our fleet gives us more operational depth for greater engine scheduling and maintenance flexibility, and the ability to develop and implement new excursions and special events specifically using these engines."
"These locomotives have served the WP&YR well over the decades, and we're delighted their story will continue at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad," said Mark Taylor, superintendent of the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. "These well-traveled locomotives built in Montreal performed exemplary at WP&YR, roamed the rails of South America, returned to work in Alaska, and now venture to Colorado where they'll continue doing what they do best: efficiently and reliably pulling heavy narrow-gauge trains, as they have for over 50 years."
The D&SNGRR's acquisition of the four WP&YR units follows the company's previously-announced agreement with Greenville, S.C.-based Motive Power & Equipment Solutions, Inc. (MPES) to purchase two of its MP2000NG repowered diesel locomotives, D&SNGRR Nos. 1201 and 1202, for $3.2 million. The fabrication of these two 41-foot, 75-ton, six-axle - A1A wheel arrangement - units, each equipped with 1350 HP CAT 32 gensets, GE 764 traction motors, and MU capabilities, is nearly completed, with the exception of the traction motors. The company expects to take delivery of these MPES locomotives in the fall of 2020.
Keith R. Pillow, APR, MBA