New York, Susquehanna & Western (NYSW) has a challenging history during the diesel era. The road found its interchange partners begin falling on hard times in the 1950s. From the complete abandonment of New York, Ontario & Western in 1957, followed by the loss of Lehigh & New England and Lehigh & Hudson River, through Penn Central’s troubles in the 1970s. Toss in a destructive tropical storm in 1971, and NYSW was a railroad with its share of hurdles in the generally troubled New England region of the U.S. In 1980, NYSW began enjoying some good fortune with its takeover by Delaware Ostego Corp. The road expanded it system in the early 1980s with line purchases and hauling rights on Conrail and could boast a service route of more than 400 miles. A deal with SeaLand to haul containers in the mid-1980s was a big boost for the road and new power was needed.
ABOVE: NYSW 4024 is one of two road numbers in Atlas’ spring 2021 release of HO-scale Dash 8-40Bs decorated for Susquehanna. This 1989 view fins the nearly new unit partnered with the next roster member down numerically: NYSW 4022. The road selected even numbers its Dash 8-40Bs, meaning there was no NYSW 4023 in the roster between these two examples. – Kevin EuDaly collection
Until the late 1980s arrival of General Electric (GE) Dash 8-40Bs, NYSW had been a road of Alco switchers, a trio of Electro-Motive Division GP18s bought new in the early 1960s, and some secondhand power (ex-Burlington Northern F45s and SD45s and ex-Conrail C-430s), and a few other odds and ends. In mid-1988, NYSW bought four GE Dash 8-40Bs (4002-4008). No need to check that math, NYSW numbered these units evenly with no odd numbers. So, the four were 4002, 4004, 4006, and 4008. In 1989, more Dash 8-40Bs arrived (4010-4048)… again even numbered making the fleet numerically seem bigger than its actual 24-unit size.
The regular-cab four-axle Dash 8-40B was introduced in 1988 and sold through 1989 with 151 examples in service to U.S. railroads. Southern Pacific subsidiary Cotton Belt owned the largest fleet with 55 units (8040-8094), followed by Santa Fe’s 40 examples (7410-7449), then Conrail’s 30 roster members (5060-5089), with Susquehanna’s two dozen next, followed by single units in GE service (8002) and U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (107). These GE Dash 8s enjoyed long careers with units later serving BNSF (Santa Fe originally), CSX (former Conrail and ex-NYSW units), and Union Pacific (taking over Cotton Belt’s fleet). Other secondhand owners include Albany & Eastern, GE’s Capital Leasing (GECX), Pan Am Railways, and Providence & Worcester, who all can count ex-NYSW units among their fleets.
ABOVE: A member of the hobby company’s Master series, this HO-scale Dash 8-40B comes in a Silver sound-ready edition and Gold version with DCC and sound. NYSW 4040 is one of two road numbers reproduced in HO for this run.
Atlas Model Railroad Co. delivered a production of its Master-series HO-scale Dash 8-40Bs in spring 2021 with NYSW represented with two road numbers (4024 and 4040). The release also featured Albany & Eastern, Conrail, Cotton Belt, CSX, Providence & Worcester, Santa Fe, and Union Pacific. Atlas also produced GE variants Dash 8-4oBW in BNSF, Providence & Worcester, and Santa Fe; and Amtrak’s Dash 8-32BWH in “Pepsi Can” and Phase V liveries. Check your hobby dealer for availability on this release, which comes in Silver-edition standard DC version (sound-ready with 21-pin socket) and in Gold-edition offerings with Digital Command Control (DCC) and ESU LokSound.
Atlas plans a late 2021 arrival for N-scale Dash 8-40Bs with NYSW represented with three road numbers: 4004, 4012, and 4024. Other road names in this coming release will include Conrail, LMX leasing, Pan Am Railways, Providence & Worcester, and R.J. Corman. Atlas’ Pan Am, Providence & Worcester, and R.J. Corman models will come with deck-mounted ditch lights. Also coming in this production are wide-nose Dash 8-40BWs in BNSF, R.J. Corman, and Santa Fe (all with pilot-mounted ditch lights). Also equipped with pilot-mounted ditch lights, Atlas will release multiple road numbers for Amtrak Dash 8-32BWH units in “Pepsi Can” and Phase V (with and without white sill) liveries.
Wanna know more about New York, Susquehanna & Western Dash 8-40Bs? Check out Diesel Era‘s November/December 2017 edition (Volume 28, Number 6). In this issue, you’ll find a 10-page article with color pictures showing off these black-and-yellow GEs.
Atlas Model Railroad Co.