CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Roster Review: D&H low-nose RS11s in 1984

I have previously documented the D&H's high-nose RS11 engines that were on the roster in 1984, but hadn't researched the low-nose engines until recently.

As was mentioned earlier, the low nose engines (#5000-5005) were originally built by Alco for the New York Central (in early 1960) and were later purchased by the D&H. The low nose engines (#5006-5011) were ordered directly by the D&H (in May of 1961) who specified low noses. Whatever was stored in the high-nose wasn't needed by the D&H, or perhaps Alco figured out another location on the engine to hold those internals. The advantages of greater sight lines for the engine crew had resulted in nearly all new engine builds by the major locomotive manufacturers having low noses, a trend that continues to this day. The low nose units actually weighed a little bit more than the high-nose engines, likely because the D&H ordered them with additional ballast for adhesion.

All of the engines were originally delivered in the lightning stripe scheme with the words "Delaware & Hudson" in small letters along the upper sides of the hoods and road numbers in the same size font below them.

#5006 (May 17, 1881)
In 1984, engine #5006 still had the lightning stripe scheme with the lettering "Delaware & Hudson" in small font centered on the hood, and no road numbers on the side. Engine #5008 also still had the lightning stripe scheme and it didn't appear to to have been patch painted with the larger numbers, but the sides of the engine are so grubby that it is impossible to determine how much of the original "Delaware & Hudson" lettering or small numbers remained. Meanwhile, engine #5009 had the lightning stripe scheme but with the distinctive the large numbers on the side of the hood and the lettering "Delaware & Hudson" in smaller font below it.

#5007 (August 12, 1985)
#5007 - this engine received the plain "Altschul blue" dip scheme in 1977, which it kept through 1984. In my opinion, considering it never received the yellow sills or chevron stripes on the ends it it one of the most simple, and perhaps unattractive, of all of the engines on the D&H. The shields on the front of the hood and on the sides of the cab also weathered to a near-white appearance which did nothing to help things. However, it is very easy to pick out this engine in pictures of the D&H trains. If there was an engine to practice skills such as custom-painting (and weathering), this surely would be the one to start off with!

#5010 & #5011- were later repainted in the more involved blue scheme with yellow chevrons and yellow sill stripe sometime after August 1979, which it kept through 1984.

By all accounts, that means the six low nose engines above were displaying at least four different paint schemes in 1984! Most of these engines survived until the end of the Guilford period of ownership of the D&H, but several were then scrapped. Engine #5010 still operates in western New York on the Buffalo Southern Railroad, and I read online that #5011 went to a museum in Kentucky. Beyond that, I am unaware if any of the other low nose RS11 locomotives survive.

#5004 (October 1982)
One other engine that I am including in this post even though it probably doesn't belong here is #5004. In 1973, the unit was involved in an accident and during the rebuilding and repair work by the D&H its nose hood was replaced with a cut-down tall hood. This resulted in a unique engine as the corners of the now short hood had the angled cutaways where the sand boxes access hatches were. The visible sandbox access hatches make identifying this engine easy. In 1984, the engine was still in the lightning stripe scheme with large numbers on the sides and the words "Delaware and Hudson" below them... likely ghosting through from the earlier paint scheme. 

Atlas offers a model of the #5004 but it isn't clear from their website if it has the cut-down short hood with sandbox notches or the original high nose. Meanwhile, the Walthers site lists the engine but has a picture of the high nose 5003, so I can't rely on them either. Who knows?

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