Baldwin Shark and FM "Erie-Builds" Retirement Dates

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Baldwin Shark and FM "Erie-Builds" Retirement Dates

Postby XC Tower » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:04 pm

When were the retirements of these types of units? (I remember a conductor who worked on the "E & A out of Erie, PA, telling me that they referred to the Baldwin Sharks as "Spaceships"......Also ALCO RS-3's were "Black Cats")

Thanks for any help.

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Re: Baldwin Shark and FM "Erie-Builds" Retirement Dates

Postby philipmartin » Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:36 am

Off topic, but the Jersey Central had an XC tower in Cranford, NJ. I was working there in 1992 when it closed; part of NJ Transit by then.
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Re: Baldwin Shark and FM "Erie-Builds" Retirement Dates

Postby NorthWest » Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:15 pm

I am not sure, but since no one has taken a shot at your question, I will guess.
The lifespan of most non-EMD first generation diesels was about 15 years. With the large amount of train discontinuances and cancellations, I suspect that the Erie Builts and DR-6-4-2000s were retired by the mid 1960s. Freight Sharks may have lasted a little bit longer, but not much.
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Re: Baldwin Shark and FM "Erie-Builds" Retirement Dates

Postby jr » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:49 pm

I have a couple of books with build and retirement dates for these units.

The Baldwin (freight) sharks were retired in large blocks, starting on 12/31/63, with the last batch leaving the roster on 1/13/67. As suggested by NorthWest, the retirements were generally within a few months (and in some cases, within a few days) of the units' 15th birthdays.

The Erie Builts followed a similar pattern, with the first retirements on 9/27/62, and the last on 12/30/63. All were approximately 15 years of age at the time of retirement, as well.

I don't know specifically about these units, but I've read that it was a common practice to finance units like this, with 15-year equipment trusts. From a financial perspective, they were easier to dispose when the trusts expired, and they were considered depreciated at that point.

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