Maine Central GE U18B Locomotives (MEC 400 - 409)

Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

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Re: Maine Central U18Bs

Postby KSmitty » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:57 pm

Sorry to dig an old up an old topic...

Out of curiosity, what happened to NIAX? Wikipedia is of little help, other than to say that they ran only in 2002. If I remember right, the leased units returned from NIAX service and were basically put right up for sale, even though they were working before and after the lease. (I assume Guilford saw the chance to rid themselves of 2 of the last few GE's and took it.)

How did the last 2 U18B's wind up in New York? Why would NIAX choose them?
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Re: Maine Central U18Bs

Postby MEC407 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:03 pm

The story I heard at the time, assuming I'm remembering it correctly, was that NIAX lost their lease on the tracks they were operating on, which are owned by the Falls Road Railroad.

To the question of "Why U18Bs?" -- why not? :-) They were good, affordable, economical power.

I asked one of the NIAX guys why they chose a derivative of the Maine Central paint scheme, and he said it was because it was an attractive and well-known paint scheme and they liked it.
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Baby Boat livery

Postby villager57 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:09 pm

The U18B baby boats were delivered in yellow and green. They called them the independence class, but...
why do I see them with two different liveries:

Here's the 404 in:

1975 (MEC yellow):
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2748302

1987 (Guilford black):

2008 (Guilford black):
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2773123

2009 (Back in MEC yellow, lettered RTEX):
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1691330

Have they been repainted or the RTEX are not the same units or the black ones are not from the Independence class?
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby MEC407 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:36 pm

Before 404 and 407 were sold to RTEX, they were leased to the Niagara & Western New York Railroad (NIAX). NIAX asked for the two units to be repainted in MEC-inspired colors. NIAX was only in business for a year. 404 and 407 were returned to Guilford, and Guilford sold them to Rail Trusts Equipment (RTEX).

407 in 1975 (fresh from the factory): http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=2748310

407 in 1992 (fresh Guilford paint): http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=2671920

407 in 2002 (fresh NIAX paint): http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=198520

407 in 2003 (after NIAX went out of business and unit was returned to Guilford): http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=308562

407 in 2011 (being cannibalized by RTEX): http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=2620788
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby Piyer » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:38 pm

MEC407 wrote:407 in 2011 (being cannibalized by RTEX): http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=2620788


Where's the *dislike* button when you need one? Cannibals!
~AJ Kleipass
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby MEC407 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:14 pm

Seriously. :-( That photo makes me sad.

What's strange is that the last time I exchanged e-mails with someone at RTEX, they denied owning those two locomotives and denied even having any knowledge of them. It was very odd. The photos don't lie...

I'd love to have one of the numberboards from 407 and would happily pay for shipping/postage, but how do you make an offer to someone when they claim to not know what you're talking about and then refuse to answer subsequent inquiries? :-\

sigh...
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby villager57 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks. That also explains why/when they painted over the cab side windows and the road number was moved below the cab window.
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby BigLou80 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:05 pm

MEC407
It's easy just send them the above caption picture and tell them you want the number board off of that locomotive, I bet that gets a reply
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby CFD125 » Mon May 21, 2012 6:58 am

What a shame...

I stayed in Lockport, NY for a week when the 404 & 407 were on the NIAX, and my girlfriend and I got a cab ride in each unit to Medina and back.

I had contacted the owner via phone when I saw the Loco's in Trains magazine, and told him how I was a big fan of the baby boats, and that I had custom painted two old Lionel H.O. U18B's in the MEC scheme. He invited us out there and I brought the H.O. models to show him....404 & 407.

The 404 was facing west, and the 407 had a Hancock air whistle on the roof. They were in great shape then, and the owner was in contact with with someone in Erie, Pa. that had two of the original Eagle decals for the nose, Alas, it never happened.

BTW, they also had the low nose 692 Geep on the property painted in gold/greeen, but not lettered.

EDIT: Ooops, I thing the Geep was the 592, not 692.
Last edited by CFD125 on Mon May 21, 2012 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby MEC407 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:06 am

Thanks for the memories, CFD. That's amazing about the eagle decals. I wonder if they still exist?
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby jwhite07 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:30 am

404 and 407 have recently been moved from where they were stored for several years, according to the CRO article below:

http://www.canadianrailwayobservations. ... oworks.htm

Nobody seems to know where they were relocated to... hopefully this doesn't mean they were scrapped.
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Re: Baby Boat livery

Postby MEC407 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:52 am

Thanks for the update, jwhite.
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MEC U18b Eagle logo

Postby jadebullet2 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:03 pm

I was wondering if anyone had a good close up picture of the eagle that was applied to the short hood of the MEC U18bs. I am really having a hard time finding a good picture of it for a modeling project.
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Re: MEC U18b Eagle logo

Postby Narrowgauger » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:48 pm

jadebullet2 wrote:I was wondering if anyone had a good close up picture of the eagle that was applied to the short hood of the MEC U18bs. I am really having a hard time finding a good picture of it for a modeling project.


Hope this helps. If not you can goole MEC u18b and look thru hundreads of shots.
Ted


http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2754869
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Re: Maine Central U18Bs

Postby jadebullet2 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:34 pm

That is perfect, thanks.
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