A generous financial donation to Steamtown National Historic Site in Pennsylvania is helping fund the restoration of the Atlantic Coast Line #1901, a steam-era diesel locomotive in the park’s collection. Steamtown was one of six railroad museums identified to receive funds from the estate of Eric J. Yankovich, a longtime rail enthusiast.
The Atlantic Coast Line #1901 is a SW-1 class switching locomotive manufactured by the EMC Division of General Motors Corporation in 1939. Its restoration will help enhance the live railroad experience, a key component of the mission of Steamtown. In addition to carrying out switching operations, #1901 may be used to provide short distance passenger rides throughout the rail yard.
“On behalf of the National Park Service, I would like to thank the family of Mr. Yankovich for his generosity and support of these treasured and historic places.” said Steamtown Superintendent Cherie Shepherd. “I’d also like to thank the Iron Horse Society for helping fulfill Mr. Yankovich’s wishes and facilitating the transfer of funds to the park for this important restoration work.”
After graduating from Drexel University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Yankovich took a position with the United States Navy as an engineer. While employed by the Navy, he continued his studies, attained a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and became a licensed professional engineer. Yankovich eventually left the Navy and formed a structural analytics consulting firm that he managed until retirement.
The contract for the restoration was awarded to McHugh Locomotive & Equipment. The work is expected to be complete by the end of 2025. The park’s philanthropic partner, the Iron Horse Society, also supported this project by choosing a Lehigh Valley Railroad paint scheme for the #1901 restoration.