Railfans in North East, PA and the surrounding area have been waiting for the Lake Shore Railway Museum to reopen and they don’t have to wait too much longer, June 4th is the day and preparations at the museum are under way. The freight house is in the midst of a long planned renovation (The west end of the museum grounds remains off limits due to construction) and more locomotives have been added to the collection.
The newest addition, donated by Wabtec of Erie, is a 212 ton locomotive built in 1998 for Union Pacific Railroad as their #7511. Shortly after delivery to Union Pacific, it was returned to Erie GE to become a member of the engineering test fleet. It’s one of only two remaining General Electric 6ooo horsepower “AC6ooo” locomotives in nearly as-built condition with all original equipment present and intact, GECX #6002, the first modern AC traction locomotive to be preserved in a museum anywhere.
The donation of this modern AC traction locomotive marks a unique milestone in North American locomotive preservation and we’re happy that this AC6ooo will represent another chapter in Wabtec/GE locomotive product history as part of the Lake Shore Railway Museum collection.
~ Steve Gerbracht, Wabtec’s Director, Locomotive Architecture and Concept Development
The AC6000 is just one of the many locomotives at the museum along with all of the other rolling stock, passenger cars, freight cars and cabooses plus the displays and gift shop inside the train station/museum building itself, where anyone interested in railroad history will find all sorts of fascinating items, much of it focused on GE products because of the nearby Wabtec, formerly GE, assembly plant where many members of the North East community have had generations of family members employed and where some still are today.
North East is very fortunate to have a railroad history museum like this right here in our community. As the weather warms, why not make plans to visit? Remember, mark your calendar, opening day is June 4th.