In less than one month, a second small locomotive arrives at Lake Shore Railway Museum. One of only 7 reportedly constructed, Plymouth Model JHG dating to the 1940’s, joins other rare locomotives.
Since 2006, this small 18 ton Plymouth Model JHG locomotive sat at the edge of a field with a companion locomotive – declared surplus and irrelevant. The companion locomotive, a 1939 General Electric diesel electric boxcab, just arrived at Lake Shore Railway Museum at the end of April. Now the two are reunited and will be restored.
Small locomotive researcher and author Jay Reed notes in his works that seven (7) model JHG Plymouth locomotives were built in the 1940’s. Reed notes that the JHG was an ‘in-between’ model that included older design aspects of earlier Plymouths with some of the new design features of more modern Plymouths. Plymouth Locomotive Works was located in Plymouth, Ohio, and at one time was second only to General Electric in the productions of industrial locomotives.
This JHG Plymouth was built for and saw service at the ACF Erco Nuclear Division in Buffalo for many years. At some point, the locomotive was sold to other business concerns in the Buffalo area, eventually ending at the Tonawanda Terminal of Commerce complex. Terminal of Commerce successor DKP Steel retired the locomotive, and companion 1939 Boxcab GE in 2006. After a protracted effort to acquire the JHG Plymouth and the 1939 Boxcab GE, author and Buffalo Area Rail Fans Association President Steve Koenig identified Lake Shore Railway Historical Society and its North East, Pennsylvania, museum as a safe haven for the two locomotives. Plans and work to move both locomotives to North East began in January, but were hampered by the unusually cold and snowy winter that plagued the south shore of Lake Erie this season.
Steve Koenig notes that the long process of saving the Plymouth and the GE locomotives was painful at times. “I visited the locomotives nearly every week for eight years while the process of acquiring them dragged on,” Koenig noted. “I am glad that they are finally saved and are going to be restored. I hope that the two locomotives will foster more cooperation between the people at Lake Shore and the railfan and preservation groups in and around Buffalo,” he added.
It has been an interesting winter/spring. Two locomotives arriving in less than a month, phenomenal! Those days when Steve and I worked in the cold biting wind in Buffalo have finally paid off.
The JHG Plymouth is already on display at Lake Shore Railway Museum.