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Photos by C. Zeni
Aberdeen & Rockfish Power
Photographs by C. Zeni

Aberdeen & Rockfish GP-7 No. 205

Aberdeen & Rockfish 205 was built in October 1951 and is the last GP-7 to be owned by its original purchaser.

Aberdeen & Rockfish 205 in the snow... I photographed 205 in February 2000 shortly after the Dumpzilla 2K snowstorm, idling outside the shop in Aberdeen NC and looking a bit worn in her paint. I don't believe this is the factory paint, but am not certain of this. While getting out my camera to make this Snow photo, I spoke with the shop foreman, who told me that they were planning to repaint the 205 and repaint it in its original livery.

So this info was filed away for future reference, keeping me planning to keep an ear to the ground about the repaint. Sure enough, while passing thru Aberdeen in April I saw the long hood removed from the unit, with evidence of paint preparation going on.

I had learned that the unit was finished and so when a business trip on 26 June 00 took me thru Aberdeen again - well not really but I went that way - my detour paid off.

Aberdeen & Rockfish 205... Glorious in her 1951 style livery. During her repaint, she received a five chime Nathan horn...this is the third horn she's had - first was a single chime on the short nose side, second was a three chime.
Aberdeen & Rockfish 205... The bell is original to the engine, but was originally located under the front walkway. The Rockfish moved it up high at some point in the past. 205 still has her steam generator (long deactivated), her water tank, and her fuel tank skirting. Sadly, local urchins have already dinked up the paint and hand lettered road name by hurling bottles and rocks over the fence at the engine.
Aberdeen & Rockfish 205... During her rebuild, she got sixteen new power assemblies, which replaced the ones with which she'd left the factory 49 years previously. The engine bearings are still the originals, for as the shop foreman told me, "It makes 49 psi oil pressure hot, so why take it apart?"
Aberdeen & Rockfish 205... Some days it's better to be lucky than to be good - we found 205 sitting out uncoupled and facing into the sun one Sunday afternoon. Note the presence of the original builder's plates - they are no longer on the engine, having been removed to keep some slimeball from stealing them.

A big word of thanks goes out to the A&R President, Ed Lewis, for taking the time and expense to restore the 205 to her original glory. It would have been very easy to chop the nose and simplify the scheme for economic reasons, and I for one am very grateful this was not done.

Aberdeen & Rockfish GP-18 No. 300

Aberdeen & Rockfish 300 at Fayetteville NC... The second oldest engine of the A&R's three is GP-18 No. 300, also purchased new by the A&R. Not long after her trip thru the paintbooth in the fall of 2000 we photographed her waiting by the yard office in Fayetteville NC. She had three cars in tow - two destined for an ag dealer in Upchurch Siding NC and the third for the cosmetics plant in Raeford. Save for the ditch lights, cut levers and removed footboards she's a pretty much as built GP-18. Note the one piece windshield...another note is that F3A No. 200 was traded in to EMD on the 300's purchase and it's for this reason that the 300 has four small fans rather than the two large fans of other GP-18s.

Aberdeen & Rockfish GP-38 No. 400

Aberdeen & Rockfish 400 at Fayetteville NC... The third and newest engine in the stable is GP-38 No. 400, purchased new by the A&R. Painted in summer 2001, she was the one most in need of a paintjob. Her typical duty is working at a chemical plant in Fayetteville where the atmosphere is pretty vile and tough on paint jobs. But here she is, a couple of weeks out of the shop, working the small yard adjacent to the chemical plant.
Aberdeen & Rockfish 400 at Aberdeen NC... A couple months later on a trip down to the old Seaboard yard at Hamlet we made the obligatory swing past the A&R shops in Aberdeen and were very pleased to find the 400 sitting outside the fence, a rare occurence. We later learned that the 400 was laid up waiting for a spare part and that the shop floor and trackage was being replaced, so the 400 had to sit outside. Between the shot of 205 of Raeford and this one, there was a lot of film used THAT day.

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Updated 16 July 2002. All rights reserved - you copy deese pictures without our permission, we gets you.