Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Life And Times Of RDG 492

When I first moved to Gloversville, NY in 1982, I instantly fell in love with the Fonda Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad.  The FJ&G was a shortline with two RS-Units on the property and had recently shipped out it's two ALCO S-2s, #20 and #21.  My walk home from school consisted of a mile of 'track' walking.  Most days it included a visit from Delaware Otsego 103 on it's way back from the COLECO Plant in Mayfield, New York.  I didn't know what the heck the Delaware Otsego System was, but I loved this engine!

The 492 in Reading, PA on November 1st, 1972 just before her service ended on The Reading.  (Photo: Kim Piersol)

Long before she arrived on the FJ&G, The 103 was Reading 492.  She was built in my hometown of Schenectady in July of 1952.  Her serial number was 80110 and she served The Reading for just over 20 years.

R&S 31 At Gloversville, NY. (Photo: John Sesonske)

Between her stint in PA and NY, the 492 worked in Canada on the Roberval And Saguenay as their #31.  She was sold to the R&S by the United Railway Supply Company in October of 1973.

R&S 31 At Gloversville, NY (Photo: John Sesonske)

Another view of the 492/31 in Gloversville, New York in November of 1979.

LASB/DOS 103 in Gloversville, NY. (Photo: John Sesonske)

Here is the new Delaware Otsego System's 103 fresh out of the paint shop.  She was originally intended for a DOS Shortline in PA called The Lackawaxen & Stourbridge.  Circumstances on the FJ&G made it necessary to stay in Gloversville.

LASB/DOS 103 Gloversville, NY in the Spring of 1980 (Photo: Eber Davis)

The 103 seen working the West Yard in Gloversville.  Notice the former B&M Snowplow right next to her!

FJG/DOS 103 in The West Yard at Gloversville, NY (Photo: Author's Collection)

By early 1982, the FJ&G's newest power was given a fancy set of 'hand-painted' marks!

FJG/DOS 103 In Gloversville, NY in November of 1984. (Photo: Eber Davis)

Leaving Gloversville Yard one last time, FJG/DO 103 heads south with a string of ex/Penn Central Boxcars.  The unit would sit in CONRAIL's Yard at Fonda, NY until she will be moved to the NYSW in Utica.  The late historian, David Nestle is seen between the piggy-back ramp and the engine.

FJG/DOS 103 in Binghamton June of 1987 (Photo: Joseph Smith/Ken Bradford Collection)

After the FJ&G folded in 1984, the last engine standing was sent to work the NYSW in Utica and Binghamton.  She was later sold to GE for parts.

The 492 in Morristown, NJ on 1/13/2006. (Photo: Anthony Paci)

Thankfully the 492/31/103 was never cut up for scrap.  The United Railway Historical Society of New Jersey acquired her from GE in 1989 and restored her in 1991.
RDG 492 In Boonton, NJ on 5/23/2009. (Photo: Brandon Kaback)

So much for being restored.  Some nice Graff artists and stone throwers have done a little customizing of their own.  

The 492 In Boonton, NJ on 6/2/2009.  (Photo: Anthony Paci)

Perhaps the new ALCO Museum in Schenectady would be a better place for the 492!  Please, post your comments and any other info you may have on this unit!

The 492 In Boonton, NJ on April 11th, 2012. (Photo: Trey Holland)

The most recent shot I've seen of the 492 and she's not looking any better!  I don't know what the purpose was for restoring her if someone was going to let this happen!

Special Thanks to Kim Piersol, John Sesonske, Anthony Paci, Brandon Kaback, Trey Holland and Ken Bradford for permission to use their photos!

To see more of the 492, please visit and the FJ&G Diesel Page.  Oh yeah, have a look at my Delaware Otsego System Page while you are at it!