Museum is open on Sundays 12-4 PM

Whitcomb Switcher

Cargill Manufacturing graciously allowed the Museum to store the Whitcomb on one of it sidings at its Cedar Knolls, NJ facility until the M&E could pick up the engine and tow it down to Whippany. Upon arrival at the Cargill plant, the low-boy trailer was set in place and the ramp was rebuilt, this time for the off-loading process.

By 4 PM, everything had been cleaned up, the tools and supplies stored away, and the Whitcomb itself sat safe and secure… only a few short miles from its new home. But another surprise awaited the Museum just a few days later.

Morristown & Erie No. 18 pushes
the Whitcomb into the Whippany yard

In a kind gesture, the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey turned full title of the Whitcomb locomotive over to the Whippany Railway Museum at the end of October 2001. After the locomotive arrived at Whippany, just prior to the onset of the winter of 2001-2002, the engine was stabilized and protected from the elements. With the return of milder weather in 2002, the old paint was stripped away and a coat of primer was applied. Throughout the Summer, the restoration continued, and in September 2002, a newly-christened Locomotive No. 151 emerged in the 1940s maroon and gray paint scheme of the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad.

NYS&W No. 151 is a Whitcomb Model 20GM24 Industrial Switching Locomotive. The first two numbers in the Model designation is the weight (20 tons), the next two letters signify the engine/drive combination (Gas Mechanical), and the final two numbers stand for a design number; in this case, the 24th revision of the model. The change in design revisions could have been minor, like a change in the clutch style, or major, such as a different prime mover. Whitcomb apparently used this nomenclature for their entire locomotive line.

No. 151 is another unique piece of New Jersey transporation history being preserved for future generations to enjoy at the Whippany Railway Museum. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes to everyone who had a hand in bringing the Whitcomb Locomotive to Whippany: the members of the Military Transport Association of North Jersey; the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey; the Morristown & Erie Railway; the New York, Susuqehanna and Western Railway; the Delaware Otsego Corporation; Peter Cargill of Cargill Manufacturing; and a special word of thanks to John Sobotka, President of the MTANJ, who made this entire move come together and worked non-stop for several months to ensure that everything would go according to plan… safely and efficiently. Thanks to all of you!

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