What may have been the most unique pairing of diesel locomotives to ever ride
the Green Bay & Western: #312 in a one-of-a-kind "chevron"
paint scheme along with LR&W #102.
The Little Rock & Western Railway is an 80-mile Arkansas short line which
began operations on ex-Rock Island RR tracks in 1980. One of the largest
customers on the LR&W is a Green Bay Packaging
plant, so the railroad
had ties to Wisconsin from the very start.
The GB&W was using Alco ex-Erie Western #207 on
local trains during the late 1970s; when the LR&W began operations that Alco
C-420 was repainted and became Little Rock & Western's first engine,
#101 in early 1983.
Later that spring another Alco C-420 appeared in Norwood shops -- this time
it was ex- L&N #1306, destined to be LR&W #102. While this engine
was laid up in Norwood, GB&W leased #305 to the Arkansas line. After the shop
forces completed their work on the loco it was road tested on GB&W's westbound train No.
1 (and returned east on No. 2) before it was sent to the LR&W's home rails.
The paint scheme is clearly GB&W-inspired: the block lettering on the
long hood, the rectangular herald on the cab side, the checkerboard stripes on
the frame. The GBW shop crews has a good reputation for their work:
Besides the two Little Rock & Western engines, they also rehabbed an Alco
for the LR&W's other's large customer, Continental Grain.