25 was purchased by the Whitewater Valley Railroad in 1973 from the Cadillac & Lake City RR as our organization's first locomotive. It had been sold to the C&LC through W.E. Rogers from Cincinnati Union Terminal in 1969. 25 was one of six nearly identical Lima-Hamilton switchers owned by CUT. It is the only operable 750hp model in existence and one of only 6 Lima-Hamilton diesels to survive. 25 was stored by the CUT in the late 1960's as passenger traffic diminished. It is believed to have stayed in service until approximately 1967. 25 has never had a period of severe neglect (as many old locomotives do) and has essentially remained in service since built in Lima, Ohio.
Cincinnati Union Terminal, 25's original owner, is best known for its art deco headhouse, roundhouse, and auxillary buildings. It was one of the last Union Terminals built and the headhouse has been restored and is now used as the Cincinnati Museum Center. After World War Two, the terminal began to phase out its fleet of 0-6-0 steam engines and replaced them with diesel switchers from Lima-Hamilton and EMD. Since CUT was a major passenger terminal shared by several railroads on tight timetables, 25 and its sisters were constantly moving and arranging passenger trains. This would include setting up trains, moving mail and express cars to the loading docks, moving dining cars to and from the commissary, and switching Pullman sleeping cars from one train to another for the New York Central, Southern, B&O, Pennsylvania, L&N, N&W, and others. In order to pump up air brakes on passenger trains quickly, the CUT six cylinder Lima Hamiltons were built on the long wheelbase frame usually used for eight cylinder units in order to accommodate a very large six cylinder Gardner-Denver air compressor.
Lima-Hamilton locomotives were rare in their day with only 174 built before the merger of the Lima-Hamilton Corporation with the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1951. Lima Locomotive works was one of the big three steam builders known for high quality and innovative engineering. Though few realize this, the few diesels produced show these traits were passed on to the diesels as well. Careful attention to details and high quality components are evident on #25. The Hamilton T-69-SA diesel prime mover (bore 9" X 12" stroke) is a modern and efficient design based producing high power from a small displacement, use of smaller, lighter components, and innovative technical systems such as the dry sump lubrication system. The prime mover was built in Hamilton, Ohio in the former Hamilton Diesel company facility. The merger of the Lima Locomotive Works and Hamilton Diesel allowed the combined company to offer diesel locomotives along with their roadbuilding and crane products. Electrical power comes from a Westinghouse 499A main generator powering four Westinghouse 362D traction motors. The Westinghouse system was known for its strong pulling ability. Starting tractive effort at 30% adhesion is 65,100 lbs. with a max speed of 60 mph. It can negotiate a 57.5* curve and weighs 108.5 tons.
Many operators at the Whitewater Valley learned to run on engine 25 and it is favorite because of its smooth operation. The cab is modern and efficent though it lacks the old fashioned personality of our ALCO S-1. It makes up for this with excellent visibility through its large windows and well designed control stand.