NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – A 77-year old Electro-Motive Division SW1 is en route to the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in far western Massachusetts, saved at the last minute from the scrappers. The locomotive, originally Boston & Maine No. 1113, is one of three B&M SW1s to survive.
Now painted bright yellow with the number 1849, the unit served for nearly 60 years switching hopper cars of coal at the Mount Tom Station power plant at Holyoke. Owner First Light closed the facility in 2014 and demolition began in 2017. Berkshire Scenic negotiated the sale of the unit from salvage company Environmental Remediation Services Inc.
With assistance from former Mount Tom workers, the museum was able to acquire the 600-hp, 99-ton unit, which has had only minor modifications in the past seven decades. It was last used in 2014, and museum personnel learned the locomotive had received substantial mechanical work at Pan Am Railways' East Deerfield shops shortly before the power plant closed. The unit needs only new batteries and a bell, to replace the original one stolen after the plant closed, to be ready to go.