Diesel Era Rail News

Pair of Unique EMD BL-2s Headed to the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

Originally built for Bangor & Aroostook Railroad, these two EMD BL-2s will be headed for Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Ind.

Pair of Unique EMD BL-2s Headed to the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

NORTH JUDSON, INDIANA – The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is very pleased to announce the impending arrival of two unique diesel locomotives. BL2 locomotives 52 and 56 had previously operated on the Saratoga & North Creek Railway in New York and have been acquired by the museum through a lease arrangement with a private owner.

The pair of 1,500-horsepower BL2 diesel road switchers were built in 1949 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad in Maine. The locomotives were intended for use on branch lines, lending to their “BL” designation. Only 59 units were built for a handful of railroads with 7 being preserved. The locomotives have an unmistakable appearance and could be used in both freight and passenger service. They were a common sight in the Hoosier State, with the Monon Railroad operating the second-largest fleet of any original owner.

“There has been a great deal of speculation online about these locomotives,” said Kyle Flanigan, museum secretary. “At this time, we have no plans to repaint them. Railfans will get the opportunity to photograph the units in their current paint scheme.”

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum EMD BL-2

The locomotives are moving on their own wheels from New York to North Judson. The pair will join the museum’s existing fleet of switchers for use on its tourist trains. However, both locomotives will need some attention from the museum’s mechanical department before entering service.

“Number 52 should be in service early this summer and we even have something special planned for when they arrive,” Flanigan said. “I think the railfan community is really starting to take notice of our operation. This year is going to be the biggest year in the museum’s history, if not one of the most memorable. Stay tuned!”

Founded in 1988, the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation of railroad history in northwest Indiana. The museum educates the public through interpretive displays and its tourist railroad operations.

—via Press Release