«Previous    Next»
Want To Buy A Locomotive?
Ever wonder what happens to old locomotives when they are replaced with newer models? They often find new homes on short line railroads and on private tracks owned by businesses.

    Frank Nesbit of Bethel, Minn., started Independent Locomotive Service in 1979. He had 20 years experience as a mechanic for the Soo Line Railroad before he recognized the opportunity.

    "Major railroads don't want to bother with smaller lines," Nesbit explains. But they're happy to have a market for their old locomotives. Businesses such as grain elevators need them onsite to move cars around to load at their own plants.

    "We have 175 to 200 locomotives we provide maintenance for and another 43 locomotives on lease," Nesbit says. Customers include big companies such as Cargill and Cenex and are all over the U.S. - from Texas to Florida and Illinois to Montana.

    Some of the businesses use short line tracks that Nesbit purchased in 2000 near Hinckley, Minn., Crookston, Minn., and Grafton, N. Dak. Privately owned locomotives can run on those tracks and deliver cars to be transported on the major railroads.

    Independent Locomotive Service sells locomotives for $200,000 to $400,000 compared to the new price of $1.5 to $3 million. It's also often more efficient for businesses to hire Nesbit's company for regular maintenance than it is to hire a mechanic. Since a locomotive has a diesel that runs a generator, air compressor and electric motor, a mechanic needs a variety of skills.

    Locomotives are also available for lease with 1, 3 or 5-year contracts, which includes regular maintenance service.

    Nesbit's crew has traveled as far as Alaska to make service calls. In addition to the Bethel site, he has a New Folden, Minn., shop. The locomotive used in that yard is the first diesel that the Soo Line purchased in 1939.

    Nesbit welcomes inquiries from businesses interested in locomotives or maintenance services.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank Nesbit, Independent Locomotive Service, P.O. Box 79, Bethel, Minn. 55005 (ph 763 434-4661; ilsloco@qwestoffice.net.)

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3