DENVER– OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the fastest growing transportation companies in North America and an affiliate of The Broe Group, and its subsidiary Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad (STE) in Stockton, CA, completed the preservation of a historic locomotive that is currently travelling to its new home at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, PA. STE 678, an EMD SW1200 locomotive, was one of just 5 similar units that were originally manufactured for the Reading Railroad Company in 1963.
“Railroaders are, by their nature, students of history. It was important for OmniTRAX to do its part to preserve this unique piece of historical equipment that was so important to both the STE and the Reading railroads,” OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba said. “It would have been easy to scrap this locomotive, but we owe it to those who came before us, and those who will come later, to learn from our history. We’re delighted this locomotive will be appreciated by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society in its new home in Hamburg.”
STE, BNSF Railway and Norfolk Southern are providing reduced rate transportation to move this historic locomotive from Stockton to Hamburg. STE 678 is expected to be placed on display later this year.
“RCT&HS appreciates the amount of work in Stockton, Denver, Hamburg, Knoxville and Washington, DC that went into saving this locomotive. We thank OmniTRAX, and all of the government and corporate officials who came together to prevent it from being scrapped so railfans all over the world can enjoy it for generations to come,” said Duane Engle, President of RCT&HS and the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum.
STE 678 was replaced last year with a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly KLW SE10B T4L, EPA Tier-4 compliant locomotive delivering 1,050 HP from an MTU 2000 V12 prime mover built by Knoxville Locomotive Works (KLW) in Knoxville, TN. The new locomotive was purchased with the help of a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Central
This grant originally required STE 678 be rendered inoperable by destroying the engine block to ensure it would not create future engine emissions. This destruction would have reduced the historical value of this unit, so OmniTRAX’s government affairs team and counsel worked with several government constituents to preserve the locomotive and its engine while ensuring that the locomotive would not create future emissions.
About The Reading Company Technical & Historical Society
The Reading Company Technical & Historical Society (RCT&HS), was incorporated July 16, 1976 to preserve the rich history of a pioneering railroad. As an all-volunteer, non-profit, educational corporation, the RCT&HS is a repository for knowledge, artifacts, and memorabilia related to keeping alive the memory of one of America’s greatest transportation institutions. Now over 30 years old, the Society is composed of about 1000 members in many areas of the USA and even abroad. Additional information is available at http://www.readingrailroad.org/.