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Final end of Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton?

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  • Member since
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Final end of Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton?
Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, November 1, 2021 8:30 PM

The exit from locomotive production is well known and conventional railfan wisdom is that everything ceased to exist in short order and customers were on their own, reliant on 3rd party vendors and retired locomotives to scavenge for parts. Reality though was much different and I was wondering if anyone actually knew when the last vestiges of parts support ended?

As far as I've been able to gather through the years, they directly survived into the early 1970's (As late as 1969, I've seen Baldwin advertisements for complete factory rebuilds of Baldwin power in trade journals), with Baldwin's parts business then sold off to Ecolaire in the fall of 1971.

That was rebranded as the Baldwin-Hamilton Company and had sales offices and warehouses in Delaware, Illinois, and California. They marketed full support for the Baldwin locomotive line, Whitcomb, and Lima-Hamilton as well as stationary and marine Baldwin engines.   

Things get a bit hazy after that, but thanks to Trains Magazine, I know that they remained a going concern into at least the 1980's. The July 1984 issue of Trains tells of a factory overhaul on an Escanaba & Lake Superior Baldwin. With the assistance of the last remaining Baldwin field representative, DS44-660 #101 received a brand new Baldwin prime mover, new traction motors, and a new electrical system among its upgrades. And after that rebuild was wrapped up in June 1980, another was later initiated, also with Baldwin support.

And then in the August 1987 issue, there's a story about Sharon Steel and their Baldwin fleet. The author toured the mill in December 1985 and was told "Sharon gets most Baldwin parts from Baldwin-Hamilton Corp. in Malvern".

Does anyone know when the final end of these last remnants came about?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 10:04 AM

That might be a tough question to answer because of the various non-railroad uses for railroad-sized diesel engines such as marine power, stationary power, peaking plants, skid rigs, etc.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rixflix on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 12:53 PM

See railroad.net under "Baldwin Corporate Remains". It's the complete story from someone who was there 'til the end. It's a convoluted tale, but a lot of money was made from the bones. I always salute the Eddystone office building when passing on the NEC.

Rick

rixflix aka Captain Video. Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!! Hooray for 1939, the all time movie year!!! I took that ride on the Reading but my Baby caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 7:00 PM

Thanks guys.

That thread was well worth a look. September 1991 was the final end.

https://railroad.net/baldwin-corporate-remains-t28116.html#p280700

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