OmniTRAX, Inc., an affiliate of The Broe Group and its subsidiary Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad (STE) in Stockton, Calif., completed the preservation of a historic locomotive, STE 678, which is currently travelling to its new home at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Penn.
STE 678, an EMD SW1200 locomotive, was one of just five similar units that were originally manufactured for the Reading Railroad Company in 1963.
STE, BNSF Railway and Norfolk Southern are providing reduced-rate transportation to move this historic locomotive from Stockton to Hamburg. STE 678 is expected to be placed on display later this year.
STE 678 was replaced last year “with a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly KLW SE10B T4L, EPA Tier-4 compliant locomotive delivering 1,050 HP from an MTU 2000 V12 prime mover built by Knoxville Locomotive Works (KLW) in Knoxville, Tenn.”
The new locomotive was purchased with the help of a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Central District (UAPCD). The grant originally required STE 678 be rendered inoperable by destroying the engine block to ensure it would not create future engine emissions. This destruction would have reduced the historical value of this unit, so OmniTRAX‘s government affairs team and counsel worked with several government constituents to preserve the locomotive and its engine while ensuring that the locomotive would not create future emissions.
“Railroaders are, by their nature, students of history,” said OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba. “It was important for OmniTRAX to do its part to preserve this unique piece of historical equipment that was so important to both the STE and the Reading Railroads. It would have been easy to scrap this locomotive, but we owe it to those who came before us, and those who will come later, to learn from our history. We’re delighted this locomotive will be appreciated by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society in its new home in Hamburg.”
“RCT&HS appreciates the amount of work in Stockton, Denver, Hamburg, Knoxville and Washington, D.C. that went into saving this locomotive,” said Duane Engle, President of RCT&HS and the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum. “We thank OmniTRAX, and all of the government and corporate officials who came together to prevent it from being scrapped so railfans all over the world can enjoy it for generations to come.”