NEB&W Guide to Other Steam Locomotive Models - G-L

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Loco Models Table of Contents
Locos Table of Contents
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A.C. Gilbert

For years, the A.C. Gilbert Company made the famous Erector construction sets and produced the American Flyer brand of toy trains, which were made to "S" scale (roughly half-way between O gauge and HO scale). In 1938, while their bitter rival Lionel was producing OO scale trains, Gilbert recognized HO was going to win out in the long. Gilbert came out with some HO scale equipment, including a model of the NYC Hudson. (The NYC Hudson, in O scale, had represented the epitome of Lionel's O gauge line and I think it was deliberate on Gilbert's part to beat Lionel with this model in HO. And the Gilbert r-t-r version was only $12.50, while other assembled loco kits were sold at upwards of $75, big money in those days.)

  • PRR 0-6-0 Switcher - This was advertised in 1949, and proudly proclaimed a Pennsy switcher, not just an 0-6-0 which was recognizable as PRR. The first B class switchers, I believe, were built in 1902, and these were built through 1924. Driver diameter was 56 inches, which is a little bigger than the typical 51 inch diameter of most switchers. (Wouldn't be surprised is Gilbert used a 51 inch driver which due to the deep flanges of the time, would look bigger and pass for 56 inches. But I'm just guessing.)



  • NYC 4-6-4 Hudson - First offered in 1939, for a couple of decades this was one of those locos everyone got, because it was a ready-to-run heavy duty loco in a sea of complicated kits. (Yes, most models of that time were available in both kit form and r-t-r, but I'm not sure of running quality of these. The Gilbert model only came r-t-r and like its tinplate cousins, could be relied on to run.)



HObbyline

John English at first offered cast metal loco kits. (See English.) Around 1960 - '70, they marketed a line of very cheap non-working plastic kits. (Because the models are so different, I'm listing them separately.)

  • 0-4-0 Saddletank



  • 0-4-0 Switcher - Clearly a PRR based model, probably the A5 switcher. In the English line of cast-metal working locos, they also had an A5, which I understand was later converted to plastic. (Don't know if the working plastic model became this non-working plastic version.



  • NKP 2-8-4 Berkshire - Until AHM came out with their version, this was a highly desirable model. At one time, there was a company that offered a working mechanism to power this.

The original 2-8-4 loco was basically a super powerful version of a 2-8-2, a freight engine. The pony truck did not track as wheel as the four-wheel version so it couldn't run as well at speed. I understand by the time of the NKP version, they had improved the two-wheel lead truck to where such a loco could be used on passenger and other high speed service. The first 15 were built in 1934.

No. 779 was the last steam locomotive built by Lima, in 1948, one of 10 engines, S-3, nos. 770-779, and one of 65 Berkshires total for the NKP. Nearly identical locos were built for the Pere Marquette and very similar to a few other roads.

InterMountain

InterMountain has been around for awhile, mostly doing freight cars, but also diesels. Was surprised to find they had branched out to steam.

  • SP AC-12 4-8-8-4 Cab Forward - These were locos on the SP that were built to run cab first, because of the many and long tunnels and snowsheds. This kept the crew in front of the exhaust, not trailing it. These engines burned oil which could be piped to the firebox. Otherwise they couldn't have separated the firebox from the tender.
    According to the review in the June '66 MR, there were several classes of cab forwards, AC-4 through AC-12. The first three series (AC-4 through AC-6) had a flat front to the cab, while the rest had a rounded front.
    The classes are as follows:
  • AC-4, nos. 4100-4109, built in 1928.
  • AC-5, nos. 4110-4125, built in 1929.
  • AC-6, nos. 4126-4150, built in 1930.
  • AC-7, nos. 4151-4176, built in 1937.
  • AC-8, nos. 4177-4204, built in 1939.
  • AC-9, coal-burning "cab backwards" locos.
  • AC-10, ?
  • AC-11, nos. 4245-4274, 30 locos built by Balwin in 1942-'43. The AHM model was based on the plans of AC-11 no. 4272 in the June '48 MR and reprinted in Steam Loco Cyclopedia.

The first cab forwards were the MC-2 class ("Mallet - Consolidation) built in 1910. "AC" stood for "articulated - consolidation", probably meaning they were not compound engines. The SP had a total of 256 cab forwards and no other road is known to have had any.

There was the AC-9 class, 12 locos built by Lima in '39, which being coal burning locos, had to have the cab back by the tender. These locos looked like backwards cab forwards - the article in a '39 Railway Age even mentioned this. (And one could suggest these with the model turned around, although these had a streamlined skyline casting). These locos were used in the southwest, burning low grade bituminous coal from Dawson Field, NM. The driver diameter was 64 inches on these.



International Models

  • 4-4-0 - A brass kit from the early days of the hobby of an 1870's loco.



Kemtron

Company was founded and run by Levon Kemalyan from 1958 until 1972, a few years before his death in 1976.

  • Wabash 2-6-0 - Class F-7 with 64 inch drivers, similar also to the Wabash's F-4 class. No. 573, built by Rhode Island in 1899, has been preserved at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. In the 1950's, Mel Thornburgh did a 6-part scratchbuilding article on a model in Model Railroader (1959), which is where Kemtron probably got their inspiration.
    The Wabash kept four of these locos in service until 1956 for due to weight restrictions on the bridges of an Iowa branch, even as they dieselized the rest of their system. These four were the last Wabash steamers in service.



Kitmaster

A line of inexpensive non-working plastic models of steam locos (and passenger cars) from around the world. I think the Hudson model was later marketed under the Monogram label. They were marketed by AHM around 1962. (I'm only discussing the models of American models.)

  • K1 Stephenson Rocket -

  • K3 American General - The General was a loco built in 1855 and used by raiders during the Civil War for the "Great Locomotive Chase". Sometime after the War, the loco was modernized. It is preserved as modernized at Kennesaw, GA. It is this 1870's or '80's version that Mantua copied.



  • K34 NYC Hudson - For years, Lionel made freelanced O gauge steam loco models, but around WWII, they took a brief plunge into scale by producing a model of the NYC's J3a Hudson, a class just recently produced and a loco from Lionel's neck of the woods. While this foray into scale went no further, this particular model was drooled over and thus bringing this specific prototype into the public spotlight.
    The first Hudsons were the J1, built in 1927. Basically it had a straight boiler. The J2 class (20 locos) were built for the hilly Boston & Albany and had 75 inch drivers instead of 79 inches.
    Alco built 50 of these J3 Hudsons in 1937-'38, nos. 5404-5454. No. 5344 was the first loco to be streamlined, given a "bathtub" shroud in '34, but five years later, in '39, was rebuilt to have the same type of streamlining as the other J3's. In 1945, after a grade crossing accident, the shrouding was removed. This loco was the prototype of the famous Lionel O-gauge scale model.



Knapp Electric

  • 4-8-2 - This Indianapolis, IN company produced this model in both ready-to-run and kit form, c. late '30's. While they produced other rolling stock, this might be their only loco. The loco was composed of mainly bronze castings. Seems to be of generic design.



Laconia

In 1939, this Laconia, NH company was advertising itself as a new "line". Their rolling stock was branded the same "Laconia" but their locos were under the name "Conover-Laconia". Conover (of Tarrytown, NY) had been advertising just a year earlier under their own name, so Laconia must have taken them over.

  • 0-6-0 Switcher - Advertised in 1939 as coming in a few months, but don't know if it was ever produced. Nor do I have any idea what it looked like.

  • B&O 2-10-2 - Apparently the same prototype as the AHM model three or four decades later.

According to the review in the Dec. '67 of the AHM model, the B&O got their original "Santa Fe's" from Baldwin in 1914, class S-1. Subclass S-1a were built by Lima (unknown date), series 6175-6199 and series 6200-6224 were built by Baldwin in 1926. (I assume the Lima engines were also built in '26.) I would think the AHM model is based on the later S-1a which were essentially the same as the original engines, but with a larger tender. The last engines lasted until 1959.

The loco had a Vanderbilt tender. There were two sand domes and I think they were unusual in being split in two (because the loco boiler was so close to vertical clearance, there wasn't much room left for the full dome across the top). The engine also has a characteristic B&O-style cab.

  • 4-4-0 American - Conover advertised such an engine the previous year, which appeared to be based on a Pennsy prototype and I would assume this was the same kit.



Lionel

Lionel made O gauge equipment for years, including the 0-27 line which was capable of getting around the 27 inch diameter circle of track (13-1/2 inch radius, or the equivalent of 6 or 7 inches in HO). At one time, they tried large "Standard" gauged models and smaller OO scale (1/76 vs. 1/87 of HO). In the late '50's, they tried to break into the HO market with a whole big line of products. I think these were all items from other makers, marketed under the Lionel name. This apparently was not a great success as the whole line quickly disappear. (At this time in the hobby, there as a phase of trying to appear to the "grandma" market, who were looking to buy a train set for their grandchildren, so many HO companies tried for cruder, toy-like products). Finally, in the mid-'70's, they realized HO was here to stay and tried again with products for this market.

  • 0600 Saddletank 0-4-0 - Yet another version of the B&O Dockside, inspired (copied) from the Varney model.
    The prototypes were four rather heavy saddletank locos (nos. 96-99) were built by Baldwin for the B&O in 1912. They were nicknamed as such because they were intended for the very sharp curves along the Baltimore dockside. In 1921, two were converted to regular type locos with tenders. (AHM at one point offered the rebuilt tender-equipped version.)



  • 0605 Saddletank 0-4-0 - Different saddletank than the B&O version, above.

What's the deal with the pilot? And the model was advertised as having a working headlight, but why is the light coming out of the number plate on the center of the smokebox and NOT the headlight up top?

  • 0615LT Pacific 4-6-2 - This was one of their late '50's products. It would seem to simply be the Fleischmann loco, which was basically a European style steam loco with a few cosmetic changes, like a pilot. The sloped-in cab is very much a distinctive European feature (although I think I've seen ONE American loco with this feature, a Lehigh Valley Pacific.



  • SP 4-8-4
  • American Freedom Train 4-8-4
    One of the famous Southern Pacific streamlined 4-8-4's, which had been maintained in working order for fan trip service, was repainted red, white, and blue to pull the "American Freedom Train" for the nation's bicentennial in 1976. (The train consisted of a bunch of smoothside passenger cars filled with historical artifacts and toured the country.) Lionel decided to cash in on the national frenzy with the American Freedom Train model, and also produced the same loco decorated in steam-era "Daylight" colors. I believe this model was inherited by Bachmann.

Lima built 6 4-8-4 streamlined locos to the Southern Pacific about 1937 to haul the new Daylight between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with another 14 engines the next year. The second batch had 80 inch drivers. Don't really know which class is being modeled here, but I would suspect it would be the most modern one. (The first versions had a single headlight, not the twin headlights.)

The second batch had 80 inch drivers. (Pretty sure they all did, but I only know about this second group.) The following were said to all be similar:

  • GS-3, nos. 4416-4429.
  • GS-4, nos. 4430-4457, built by Lima 1941-'42. (Should be 20 locos if the above is right, 6 and 14.)
  • GS-5, nos. 4458-4459. (Bet the "GS" stands for "Golden State")
    The Western Pacific got 6 locos built to this design, due to the wartime restrictions on new designs. I believe these would have been painted black. (These might have been copies of the SP's GS-6 built in '43, nos. 4460-4463 with less streamlining and only 74 inch drivers. They were painted black and used intended for freight. Might be interesting to use this model to represent this class. Just repainting the loco would go a long way to suggest this class, even if you didn't swap out the drivers for smaller ones.)