Information on Erie Western #207, which spent several years on
the Green Bay Route in the early 1980s. Thanks goes out to Bob Welke
for information on the engine, and Bob Schoneman
for the image of ERES #207 at Green Bay.
The Erie Western (ERES) acquired a high short hood Alco C-420 (ex-LIRR
#207, builders number 84729, build date 1964.02). In 1979 it came to
the GBW for repairs that the ERES couldn't handle, but the ERES proved to
be another "every one we know we owe" railroad.
So the GBW placed #207 in service to work off the repair bill, but it
proved to have additional problems that required work, so it was actually
adding to the bill quicker than it was working it off!
It stayed close to Norwood Yard for a while, but as the problems were
cured and it became reliable it headed over to Wisconsin Rapids and
became fairly regular on those jobs, including the Plover local.
The crews didn't care for the unit because the passenger gearing made
it slippery (although it could really run on the road!) and of course it
had a high hood. The shop boys didn't care for it as mechanically it had
many differences from the GBW units. (The shop crews had reworked the home
road units to make as many things interchangeable from unit to unit,
despite model differences, as they could.) But the debt was there
and the ERES was on it's last legs by this point so a deal was made to
acquire the unit.
At this point the stories seems to differ. Some say the GBW planned to
rebuild it and make it #324 on their roster; others maintain that Green
Bay Packaging was already planning the Little Rock & Western operation
and talks were underway for the GBW to supply power and this was the
reason they acquired #207. The timeline was pretty close so either
scenario could be correct. (The #207 was on the GBW in late 1979 and the
LRWN started operations April 1, 1980, so by the end of 1979 Green
Bay Packaging would have been in serious about creating the LRWN. In
any event, GBW# 305 and #307 headed to Little Rock until the GBW could
rebuild the ERES #207 and another Alco C-420, ex-L&N #1317, which
Green Bay Packaging purchased directly for the LR&W.
The Norwood shops did a very simple chopped short hood, painted it in
GBW style but with green paint instead of red, "LRW" initials in
yellow on the long hood, and renumbered it #101. It was completed at
the end of 1982 and shipped to the Little Rock & Western in early
The engine is still in operation on the LR&W with a sister Alco