Indiana Tourist RR Seeks to Restore Lima Switcher

An Indiana tourist railroad is raising money to restore a Lima diesel switcher.

The Whitewater Valley Railroad plans a mechanical and cosmetic restoration of former ARMCO Steel No. 709, which is one of just four surviving Lima diesels and the only 1,000-horsepower model left.

Best known for building steam locomotives, Lima built 174 diesels.

No. 709 has been at the Whitewater Valley since 1989 and operated for one year before being sidelined by leaking radiators.

Thieves later removed the copper wiring to its trucks.

Whitewater Valley has three Lima diesels, including the only known operational one, former Cincinnati Union Terminal No. 25.

One estimate of the cost of restoring No. 709 is that it will take between $4,000 and $5,000 for body work, lettering, and painting.

Built in March 1950, No. 709 worked at ARMCO plants in Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio, until the mid-1980s.

Whitewater Valley volunteer and former ARMCO employee Jerry Feicht persuaded the company to donate No. 709 to the Whitewater Valley.

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