RDG Co. EMD NW2 Switcher, Class OE-9, #103

#103 gleams in the early morning sun at Leesport, PA, December 1992. (photo: Paul Ganter, MP&RE Collection)

Background & History

Locomotive #103 represents the dozens of small switcher locomotives the Reading bought from the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (EMD) before and after WWII. This particular unit was actually ordered during WWII, but delivery was delayed by War Production Board restrictions on materials, and it was not built and delivered until 1947. The Society acquired the engine in 1991, and restored it in 1992. It is restored to its original paint scheme and is currently the Society’s yard switcher.

Switcher #103 was part of the third order for this model locomotive on the Reading. These NW2’s were given Reading class OE-9 (Oil Electric-9), and assigned to various yards on the Reading sytem. Number 103 spent most of its time in and around Philadelphia, and was assigned to the Erie Avenue (EA) engine house in that city for maintenance. After new switchers were delivered in 1973, most of the NW2’s were sold to shortlines and locomotive dealers. None of the Reading's NW2’s went to Conrail.

Number 103 was sold to Andrew Merrilees Ltd., a Canadian locomotive rebuilder and leasing firm. It then went to work at US Steel’s Fairless Works in Fairless Hills, PA. The unit was sent from the steel plant to the nearby Warner Sand & Gravel facilities for repair, where it remained for several years. After being spotted by a Society member, the 103 was donated to our organization by Merrilees. The unit was moved to the Blue Mountain & Reading RR, where it was used for some time in freight service. In 1992 the unit was painted into its original Pullman green scheme. The locomotive has been used regularly as a yard switcher at Leesport since its restoration.

Archival Photos

Sister #101 rest between asignments at Philadelphia, PA, July 1960. (photo courtesy David Nyce, Gary Stuebben Collection)

EMD NW2 Switcher Specifications (as-built):
Builder: Electro-Motive Division, LaGrange, IL Engine model: 12V-567A
Date built: July 1947 Type: 2-stroke diesel
Builder’s #: 4943 Aspiration: Roots blower
Horsepower: 1000 Cylinders: 12 (Vee)
Top speed: 60 m.p.h. Bore x Stroke: 8.5" x 10"
Weight: 248,120 lbs. Displacement: 6804 c.i. (567 per cylinder)
Tractive effort: 62,030 lbs. Idle Speed: 300 r.p.m.
Length: 44' 5" Max. speed: 800 r.p.m.
Fuel: ? gallons Transmission: DC generator, DC traction motors
Lube oil: ? gallons Brake system: 14-EL
Water: ? gallons Braking: Air
  (last updated: 4/03)