Fresh Look for Ohi-Rail GP9

Small short-line railroads must by financial necessity shop the used locomotive market. This often results in a rag-tag locomotive fleet of units wearing Spartan liveries.

Or it might mean a “heritage fleet” of locomotives still wearing in whole or in part the colors and markings of a former owner.

Within the past month, Minvera-based Ohi-Rail Corporation has placed into revenue service a former Chesapeake & Ohio GP9 that has a fresh new look.

When the unit went into the shop for repainting, the C&O initials and name were bleeding through the black paint.

When it came out, No. 53 had a new coat of paint, an inverted V-shaped stripe of  gold and white on its nose and something you won’t see on many, if any, other locomotives.

The herald of the Future Farmers of America on the side of the nose is in tribute to the work put in by members of the Minerva FFA chapter in helping to restore the locomotive.

Thanks for a tip from Akron Railroad Club member Pete Poremba, who works for Ohi-Rail, I was able to photograph No. 53 shoving a cut of empty tank cars from Minerva to Bayard to interchange to Norfolk Southern.

Ohi-Rail uses tracks that were once branch lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. It also interchanges on occasion in Minerva with the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

A caboose converted to a shoving platform is used on the east end of trains headed for Bayard.

It comes with lights and a horn and from a distance you would swear that it was a locomotive horn, which it used to be.

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