Okefenokee Technical College is getting a really big donation: a fully operational 68-foot lot, 390,000-pound locomotive.
Progress Rail Services Corporation, the Rail Division of Caterpillar, is donating the locomotive to the college to enhance its locomotive courses. The locomotive, an Electro-Motive Diesel SD40, six-axle engine. Progress Rail Services logo teamed up with CSX and Utilco Railroad Services to support the college's program and to get the locomotive relocated.
EMD locomotives routinely last 40 years or more, and can be rebuilt reusing 80 percent of the core components to extend locomotive life. The locomotive was restored to operational state by Progress Rail employees at the Patterson manufacturing site.
College officials say the addition of this locomotive will enable the college to offer unique customized training solutions to rail industry partners throughout the region and beyond.
The college and the donors, along with Waycross city officials and Georgia Power Company formed a relocation team in December 2012 to begin preparations for the move. Beginning at 6 a.m. July 1, Utilco will use four 85-ton cranes or pipelayers to lift the locomotive and swing it into position before placing it on track laid on Carswell Avenue. The locomotive will then make the 0.6-mile trip to to the college.