Preservation Group Acquires and Will Restore Lehigh & New England Locomotive


Railroad & Industrial Preservation Society is seeking donations to restore S2 to working order


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Black and white builders photo of diesel switch
The builders photo for Alco S2 Lehigh & New England No. 611. (Railroad and Industrial Preservation Society Inc.)

The Lehigh & New England Railroad’s last intact diesel has been acquired by the non-profit Railroad & Industrial Preservation Society Inc. and will be refurbished.

The L&NE No. 611, an S2 built by Alco in 1948, helped make the Lehigh & New England one of the country’s first all-diesel railways. He then worked for Ford Motor Co. at its steel mill in River Rouge and for a flour mill in Emporia, Indiana, before being returned to Pennsylvania in 2016 by the Lehigh & New England Preservation Society and the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. He is currently located at Allentown & Auburn, a 4.4 mile line between Kutztown and Topton, Pa., On the former Reading Allentown branch.

Railroad & Industrial Preservation completed the acquisition of the locomotive on October 31, the 60th anniversary of the abandonment of most of the L&NE. The organization is seeking to raise $ 150,000 to put the locomotive back into service and provide good stewardship once it is operational. The organization expects the restoration to be completed within 36 months. Information on donation and volunteer opportunities is available on the organization’s website.

“Previous efforts by the Lehigh & New England Preservation Society and the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the NHRS to save No. 611 have made its future preservation possible,” said Robert John Davis, head of marketing for railway preservation. and industry, in a press release. “We are grateful for all the work that has already been done to save # 611 and are honored to be the next stewards of this historic locomotive.”

Orange locomotive with barricaded cabin
L&NE n ° 611, as it exists today. (Society for the Preservation of Railways and Industry)


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