A locomotive purchase goes terribly wrong!
(Engines painted by Scott Lupia)

(Engine painted by Scott Lupia)

The Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Transportation Department is screaming for motive power as traffic builds to unexpected levels.  A call goes out to purchasing to scour the country for usable used locomotives to quell the backlog of freight cars sitting in yards unable to move due to the lack of locomotives to haul them. Fortunately the lead purchasing agent has contacts in the used locomotive business and makes a call using his speed dial to his old college roommate who, after drifting from job to job, has landed in the office of a used locomotive reseller. Unfortunately, the locomotives that were proffered (along with a blatant cash payoff to the chief purchasing agent) were three ex-NYS&W RS-1s that were such poor shape that two wouldn't start because mice had built several nests among the contactors in the electrical cabinets and the third had a traction motor catch fire when they tried to move it. The reseller's shop guys routed the mice families, cleaned the dropping out of the electrical cabinet, extinguished the traction motor fire, and threw some mud on the traction motor to hide the scorch marks. Once all three engines would move under their own power the reseller changed the brake hoses and sent the poor little engines to Buffalo.

Unfortunately, the three little engines were switched out in Scranton by an overstressed yardmaster and sent west as the lead units on a through merchandise freight that needed power to leave the yard. Unfortunately, the three little engines failed miserably before they reached Clark's Summit and died a pitiful death accompanied by billowing smoke and raucous alarm bells. Now, instead of enhancing the bottom line they tied up the line and freight trains started to back up for miles behind them. Fortunately, a Dispatcher with more brains than the average Yardmaster grabbed a couple of engines off an eastbound freight and dragged the three little engines and their charges all the way to Buffalo where this picture shows them, now under the care of the East Buffalo shop forces being drilled our for a return to Scranton for mechanical evaluation with the strong possibility of scrapping as a result. 

As for the lead purchasing agent, the nephew of a Lackawanna Terminal Railway Senior Vice President, he was given a letter of reprimand for his personnel file (which, thanks to his uncle never arrived at the file drawer) and the reseller's salesman was given a bonus for unloading those three pieces of scrap iron that were taking up needed space in the weeds behind the shop.  

Proving once again, it is better to be connected than smart.

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