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PRR #4483 I1sa Journey to Buffalo

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BALDWIN I1sa "Decapod"

The Journey to Buffalo Diary
September 1982 - January 1983

by Tom Stackhouse

LATE SEPTEMBER, 1982 - WNYRHS member Gary Merrifield informs our Accession Committee of a rumor that Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotive, #4483 and the business car "Ohio," are availible for donation. They can only be donated to a non-profit organization that is capable of moving the equipment from a display at the Westinghouse Air Brake Company (WABCO) in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania.

OCTOBER 5, 1982 - WNYRHS President Tom Stackhouse calls some acquaintances and gets the name of a person to contact at WABCO. Calls were made to determine if rumor is true and to express our interest in the equipment. Torn speaks with Mr. Earl M. O'Connell (Administrator of Community Relations for WABCO) and finds that the rumor is true. The locomotive and car must be off of the property within a couple of months!

OCTOBER 9, 1982 - Letter is sent by Tom Stackhouse confirming our interest In acquiring #4483 and the Ohio.

OCTOBER 10, 1982 - Accession Chairman, Stephen J. Kocsis, begins preparation of a project proposal as a follow up to our initial contact.

OCTOBER 18. 1982 - #4483 Project Coordinator (Stephen J. Kocsis) reaches an agreement with Winter's Railroad Service of North Collins, New York to move the locomotive and car to an active Conrail siding.

OCTOBER 18, 1982 - Letters of support are received from Salamanca Mayor Ron Yehl and Buffalo Mayor James Griffin.

OCTOBER 18, 1982 -The 20 page proposal is completed and two copies are sent by priority mail to WABCO.

NOVEMBER 4, 1982- WNYRHS Trustees Tom Stackhouse, Stephen J. Kocsis, Dave Nowakowski, Joseph V. Kocsis, Jr., and Members John Gbur, Mel Bluhm and Edwin Winter of Winter's Railroad Service travel to Pittsburgh and meet with Mr. Earl M. O'Connell to discuss our proposal and inspect the locomotive and business car.

NOVEMBER 4, 1982 - Inspection reveals engine and car to be intact except for the bell (which was stolen during WABCO strike), the whistle, tender markers, main steam gauge and the speedometer from the Ohio which were stolen less than two weeks previous to our inspection.

NOVEMBER 4, 1982 - WABCO cannot offer any commitment as they are waiting until the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum Group inspects the equipment over the weekend (Nov.6-7). Mr. Winter confirms that we are able to move the engine and car over the long Thanksgiving weekend while the plant is shutdown. WABCO's decision will be made by November 12, 1982.

NOVEMBER 4, 1982 - It was a long trip back to Buffalo with the knowledge that the Altoona Group was still preferred by WABCO. Our hope was that our ability to commence the move immediately would swing the decision in our favor. Meanwhile, all we could do was wait...

NOVEMBER 9, 1982 - Tom calls WABCO, "Is it ours?" The answer, no decision has been made yet as the Altoona Group had inspected the engine but never met with Mr. O'Connell. We will just have to wait...

NOVEMBER 11, 1982 - Tom calls WABCO again, "Is it ours?" The answer..."YES!"
Phone lines throughout Western New York lit up as word was passed along. Now the real work was about to begin.

NOVEMBER 12, 1982 - Preparations are hurriedly made. Lubricants are located and the essential tools are loaded for the trip to Pittsburgh to lubricate and repack the bearings on the locomotive and the car. The WNYRHS work party departs Buffalo at 6:00pm.

NOVEMBER 13, 1982 - Inspection plates are removed from the driving boxes. Sand is found In nearly every driving box (the result of sandblasting through the years by ' WABCO) As much of the sand as is possible is removed and fresh grease is applied to get the locomotive through the initial movement from the WABCO display track. The driving boxes will have to be thoroughly purged of the sand before the locomotive can return to Buffalo.

NOVEMBER 14, 1982 - Broken windows are boarded up on the "Ohio" and the entire cab on the locomotive. The drumhead is removed from the Ohio and packed. "railfan" items such as builders plates, boiler number plate, headlight and engine markers are removed to prevent further loss in transport to Buffalo. Unfortunately, as this is done, it is discovered that since our trip to Pittsburgh 10 days earlier, a builders plate, a siderod bearing cap, a lubricator, an oil dispersion ring, a Timkem bearing cover from the "Ohio", a union link and a retaining ring have been taken. A report is filed and measurements are made to determine the type of replacement parts that will be needed.

NOVEMBER 19, 1982 - Operations Chairman, Dave Nowakowski and Joe Kocsis,Jr. travel to Pittsburgh to meet with Conrail's Central Region Mechanical Department Supervisor's to determine what work will be necessary to make the equipment acceptable for transport over Conrail. If the lubrication problems with the sand can be corrected, the equipment can be moved.

NOVEMBER 22, 1982 - Its official, WABCO and the WNYRHS sign the agreement donating Pennsylvania #4483 and the business car "Ohio" in Pittsburgh. Despite rainy weather, a ceremonial air brake handle is presented to WNYRHS President, Tom Stackhouse standing next to #4483.

NQVEMBER 23, 1982 - Mr. Edwin Winter flies to Pittsburgh to arrange for track materials and permission to cut into the Conrail siding.

NQVEMBER 25, 1982 - Winter's Railroad Service leaves at night with the necessary heavy equipment and tools for the WABCO plant in Wilmerding, Pa.

NOVEMBER 26, 1982 - WNYRHS members arrive in Wilmerding at 10:00am. to find Winter's men hard at work. Crew rechecks locomotive and continued greasing and boarding up windows and cab.
Trackwork has progressed with the rails laid and roughly ballasted across the plant entrance. The "Ohio" is moved onto the driveway and blocked as the steady rain that hampered work all day long continued. With darkness came quitting time and a well deserved rest by all.

NOVEMBER 27, 1982 - At 6:00am. We found everyone at breakfast and at the worksite by 7:00am. Track crews worked on completing the connection to the active Conrail siding. By 2:30pm. the connection was complete and the track properly aligned. Using a block and tackle hooked to the end of the "Ohio," (which was chained to the rails) #4483 was inched along. By 5:00pm., the locomotive was on the Conrail siding and our track gangs began to remove the temporary track (it came up a lot faster than it went down) and by 8:00 p.m. the locomotive and car were safely back on a WABCO siding inside the plant.

NOVEMBER 28, 1982 - Tools are packed up, rails and ties are stacked and the siding is reworked by Conrail crews. The siderods are removed from the locomotive and placed inside the tender. Although the drivers will be out of quarter, it is felt that it would cause fewer problems in getting Conrail to accept the locomotive. By noon, Winters Railroad Service and the WNYRHS head for home.

DECEMBER 10, 1982 - WNYRHS members Dave Wood, Terry Sprague, Joe Rafter, Edwin Carpenter, Mike Michailof and Jim Szymanski travel to WABCO to steam clean the driving boxes, repack the pony truck and apply fresh grease in each grease cellar. 8 of the 10 driving boxes are completed, however, the # 1 driver is inaccessible. The locomotive must be repositioned over a dugout area to complete the greasing.

DECEMBER 12, 1982 - Work party heads home with the job almost complete.

DECEMBER 18, 1982 - Terry Sprague, Tom Boldt and Joe Kocsis return to lube #1 driver, secure rods in the tender and recheck the "Ohio."

DECEMBER 20, 1982 - Equipment is inspected and accepted by Conrail Central Region Mechanical Department.

DECEMBER 22, 1982 - Price quote is received and accepted by WNYRHS for movement to Buffalo.

DECEMBER 27, 1982 - Quote is officially issued.

DECEMBER 30, 1982 - Telex sent to Philadelphia confirming waybill, shipping order and authorizing immediate movement of equipment.

JANUARY 5, 1983 - Holidays are over. Paperwork finally makes it through Conrail.

JANUARY 6, 1983 - Dave Nowakowski, Joe Kocsis Jr., and Tim Vaught arrive in Wilmerding to await Conrail. Move is ordered for 2:50pm. Conrail engine #1649 (GP15) three gondolas and a transfer caboose arrive.

JANUARY 6, 1983 - Departed the WABCO plant at 3:50pm. through WING Interlocking to Port Perry Branch to Perry Tower and arrived at Thompson Yard in Duquesne, Pennsylvania at 4:20pm. Locomotive and car remained at Thompson Yard through the night.

JANUARY 7, 1983 - Crew called for 4:00am. Conrail engine #1934 (B23-7)  made up the train consisting of 25 idler cars, #4483, the "Ohio" and a caboose. Left Thompson Yard at 9:30am. from Perry to Conway Yard via the Monongahela Branch and the Scully Branch across the Ohio River on the Ohio Connecting Bridge via the mainline to Conway Yard. Arrived in Conway at 12:56am., Crew and motive power were changed, engine #8246 and train left Conway at 1:10pm. to Rochester Tower to Wood Tower where a switch over to the Koppel secondary track to Youngstown took place. Passed Wood Tower at 2:35pm. Stopped in Lowellville for greasing by Tim Vaught. Arrived in Youngstown at Valley Street Tower at 5:40pm. Greased locomotive, left Valley Street Interlocking at 6:10pm. on Youngstown branch. Arrived at Ore Dock Tower Ashtabula, Ohio at 10:40pm. Greased locomotive in front of the depot. Crew change, crew called at 10:30 from Collingwood and arrive at 11:30pm. Left Ore Dock Tower at 11:58pm.

JANUARY 8, 1983 - Passed Conneaut, Ohio at 12:45am. Stopped at Westfield, New York at 4:00am. for complete greasing. Stopped in Dunkirk, New York at 4:45am. for short greasing. Terry Sprague flagged the train at Silver Creek on account of excessive speed. #1 driver was warm. Orders called for 15 mph. but Lines West engineers never go that slow. Arrived at Lake Ave in Blasdell, New York at 7:03am. Arrived at "BC" Tower by 7:30am. The train was delivered to Buffalo Southern Interchange at 9:00am.

PRR #4483 Turns 60!
Birthday party June 4th, 1983

by Ronald R. Dukarm


#4483 was outshopped in May 1923. So it was only fitting that on Saturday, June 4, 1983, the Soclety held a 60th birthday party for our locomotive at the Westend Hotel in Hamburg. The hotel was filled to capacity, as everyone enjoyed a delicious buffet and the entertainment of Lee Forster and Ruby Lee.

Earlier in the day, the Hamburg police closed off part of Union Street so members and the public could view the locomotive and our other nine pieces of rolling stock. A night photography session was also held. A special program was prepared on Pennsylvania railroading by program chairman Devan Lawton. Featured were unbelieveable color movies of Pennsy steam presented by John Prophet. Ken Kraemer provided the still shots with color slides or Pennsy steam in later years.

The locomotive was decked out in its finest, having just received a new paint job the week before. All railfan parts were on the locomotive: headlights (front & rear), marker lights, builder's plate, number plate, whistle and bell. #4483 appeared as if it had just come out of the builders shops.

Special thank you's are due for Dave Nowakowski, who chaired the event, and to Ed Winter, who provided the know-how, manpower and machinery to get #4483 ready for the celebration.


A highlight of the I-I birthday party was the dedication and naming or our steam locomotive. In recognition of the extremely generous support received from Mr. Thomas H. O'Neill Jr. of Orchard Park toward the restoration of the locomotive, the Board of Trustees have named the I-I the "Sam W. Jack", in honor of Mr. O'Neill's close friend and business associate.

Mr. Jack is a resident of Indiana Pa., through which the Pennsylvania Railroad ran and the ex. Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway. Mr. Jack arrived in Buffalo for the dedication with family members and friends. Also on hand for the ceremony were: Stan A. Buczkowski, Councilman-at-Iarge, representing Buffalo Mayor James Griffin, whose support was instrumental in securing the I-I, Thomas H. O'Neill Jr., Ed Winter, president of Buffalo Southern RR, without whose help the I-I would never have moved out of Pennsylvania and our own president, Thomas Stackhouse.

Mr. O'Neill presented Mr. Jack a cast replica of the number plate along with an "0" guage brass model of the I-I, beautifully painted and detailed by John Marriott. Also presented was a large, framed black & white photo of the I-I, under full steam . Mr. Jack's name was placed on the locomotive on the front pilot beam in Pennsylvania prototype fashion; lettered "S W JACK".

Later in the evening, after dinner, our president Tom Stackhouse presented life memberships to Mr. O'Neill and Mr. Jack. In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Jack thanked the Society for the honor of his name being on the 1-1 and expressed his appreciation ror the efforts the Society has made in preserving our valuable railway heritage.


On June 13, 1983, William J. Purdie Jr., a retired Steam Master Mechanic for the Southern Railroad, visited Buffalo to inspect our I-I locomotive. Bill has vast experience in steam locomotives and has overseen the restoration of a good number of locomotives in the Southern shops.

Bill did a thorough inspection, inside and out, and found the locomotive to be in good condition. The tires and wheels were in especially good shape. Bill stated the locomotive is definitely restorable to working condition, and estimated a price tag of abouL $250,000. This is not uncommon for a locomotive of this size.

We would like to thank Bill for taking his time to inspect the locomotive and for his offer of advice and assistance in proceeding with our restoration efforts. We also want to acknowledge the yeoman efforts of Terry Sprague in preparing the locomotive for inspection. Assisting Terry were Joe Rafter, Steve & Joe Kocsis, Tom Markert, Gerry Bertoldo and Bud Ralabate.

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