By M.T. Burkhart
LOGAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. — On August 7, SMS Rail Lines test-fired its Alco 0-6-0 at its shop in the Pureland Industrial Park in southern New Jersey for the first time following an extensive decade-long restoration.
Locomotive 9 last steamed in 1981. Built by Alco in 1942 as United States Army 4023, it initially worked at the sprawling Fort Dix, N.J. base and was later renumbered 616 and transferred to Ft. Eustis, Va. Following its military career, it was sold to Virginia Blue Ridge Railway and renumbered 9, and later went to the New Hope & Ivyland. The locomotive ran off and on in the 1970s.
SMS purchased the locomotive in 2009 and has been restoring it as time and funds permit. Some work remains, including fitting the cab onto the locomotive and painting the tender. Once in service, the railroad said it will see freight duty.