Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Electric freight locomotives

1843 views
33 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 8 posts
Electric freight locomotives
Posted by Railking42 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:17 PM

I've been planning to make a freelance rail line called the Lake Superior and Eastern, a fictional Class 1 line starting from Duluth and heading through Chicago and into my fictional city (The railroad's main hub) and branching out onto many different lines, with some of them being shared trackage with other railroads. But since i've always liked electric locomotives, I want to incorporate electrification into my system. Since the USA never really adopted electrification like in Europe and Asia, they never really produced many electric locomotives, let alone electric freight locomotives. The E60s are an obvious choice, but are there any more electrics that would add a little more variety to my railroad's electric roster. My layout is set in the modern day if that helps at all.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,579 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:33 PM

I think I would try to "Americanize" a modern European electric locomotive for this project.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,465 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:59 PM

The immediate question is whether the electrification dates from a particular era; the secondary one is whether you want to stick with historical prototype.  I'm presuming this is heavy mainline service, not converted interurban-motor or tunnel type power (both of which would be options for you of course)

Personally I have no hesitation at all in telling you what to do: dust off the Conrail 'dual-mode lite' plans and modify some contemporary freight units with the switchgear, rectifier detail and pans.  Most sensible options would be overhead wire based, ranging from rudimentary structure for initial helper districts  (where the diesel constant hp is being boosted, so the whole of the horsepower doesn't have to come off the wire) or for urban use where the prime mover might be idled or off for air-quality or safety reasons, right up to high-speed 'European' constant-tension.

The use of this system to produce rectified DC to the link bus of an AC-motor unit is obvious, and it is the obvious choice for a 'new' electrification effort (with constant-tension cat).  A good excuse for running SD90s, I think, as their extra length easily accommodates the 'stuff' needed and at one time your road could have picked them up for about $100,000 apiece needing only some frame welding to be good locomotives...

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 10,848 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 4:13 PM

I don't have a clear photo of my E-33s but I think they make a nice looking (I like the E44 better but there isn't a decent model of one other than brass) freight motor.

 IMG_5577_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

The E-33 was built as EL-Cs for the electrified Virginian, went briefly to the N&W then sold to Penn Central.

Alternately, there's the Amtrak Swedish Meatball AEM-7 which you could, concievably, regear for freight.

 AEM_911-901_2k by Edmund, on Flickr

At least the E-33 and AEM-7 models can be found fairly reasonably from Bachmann and Atlas respectively.

Other ideas:

GE made a few varieties of electric locomotives, one comes to mind was for the Muskingam Electric Railroad E-50C:

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/705492/


 

 EMD was in the game then, too:

 EMD GM6C by Dave Witty, on Flickr

The EMD GF6C built for BC Rail also come to mind as a fairly modern electric freight hauler:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMD_GF6C

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    June 2005
  • 68 posts
Posted by elauterbach on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 4:47 PM

There are a few others out there depending on your time period. The GG1 did pull freight and so did the P5a. BLI makes the P5a and BLI among a number of others make the GG1. MTH made a Little Joe but it only pulls about a few cars and is one of the weakest pullers.

Eric 

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • 170 posts
Posted by Eric White on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:16 PM

If you want modern-era, you're going to have to adapt some European locomotives (that's what Amtrak keeps doing) Roco makes very nice models, but they can be pricey. Märklin is also pricey, and you need to confirm the models are DC two-rail, not AC three-rail. Europeans have developed eras or epochs to describe when the full-sized trains run. I'm not sure where we are currently, but the higher the number, the more recent.

For American freight motors, the last GG1 ran in the early 1980s, the last P5a in the early 1960s.

Eric

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 1,315 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:16 PM

Hello All,

Railking42
...a fictional Class 1 line starting from Duluth and heading through Chicago and into my fictional city...I want to incorporate electrification into my system....

Guess what!?!

You're in luck...

..."a fictional Class 1 line"...

That means you can do anything you want!!!

Electrification in Europe is the mainstay- -both prototypical and for the modern modeler.

I suspect IF a modern private American corporation was seeking an electrified line, it would not "reinvent the wheel". It would outsource to a proven system from overseas.

You might have to re-paint the European stock to fit your situation.

Do you want to power the locomotives from the track, the catenary or either?

In the June 2020 issue of Model Railroader magazine; pg. 28-29, shows a W-1 electric locomotive along with the pair of Y-1s, on pg. 37.

This particular modeler chose to only model the poles and not the wires for the catenary, drawing power from the rails.

Catenary in European modeling is abundant.

Every hobby shop I visited had display cases full of live and dummy types of overhead wiring.

The bottom line is if you want to run electrical power and any other form of motive power; steam or diesel, it's OK!

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    March 2011
  • 787 posts
Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:26 PM

The japanese actually have an electric steam locomotive.   Runs off the ctenary.   The one i saw was a small 0-4-0   Similar to the LGB stanz loco.  

you could take an E8 or 9.  Say it was rebuilt with a modern power plant leaving space where the second engine was.  In that space sits the switch gear for the pantograph   Of which you could cut in a flat spot on the roof to mount it

you could take CP rail cowl units like the sd50F's. And say they had the diesel pulled and electrical installed.  

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Kentucky
  • 9,981 posts
Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:32 PM

You might be interested in Broadway Limited Imports' announcement on their Facebook page. They will be selling PRR P5a boxcab electrics.  They have PRR paint schemes of course. Also, they have 3 fantasy schemes for NYC, GN, and MILW.  They look good in the photos. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 8 posts
Posted by Railking42 on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:20 PM

Thank you for all your suggestions, I will take them into consideration. I plan on "Americanizing" a Japanese EF66 Locomotive. The railroad could have picked up some while JR Freight was cutting a portion of the EF66 fleet. They could have been purchased cheap, reguaged, rebuilt, and Americanized for service on my railroad. I will probably also consider E33/E44s, AEM-7s, and European locomotives.

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,619 posts
Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:45 PM

There is a certain family resemblance to big boxcab electrics whether GN or PRR or New York Central or Milwaukee Road or Virginian, with their European and Japanese counterparts.  I recall back around 1960 there was an imported boxcab in HO, and a fairly large one, available painted PRR style and it looked highly probable and certain OK as a stand in.

Reynaulds has a wide variety of HO electric locomotives including some very interesting Italian ones from Lima and Rivarossi that could be Americanized.  

Bachmann has from time to time offered big electric locomotives of Chinese prototypes.  Since if some American railroad did decide to electrify these days I suspect the locomotives would be made in China, maybe look there.  

Dave Nelson

 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Potomac Yard
  • 2,201 posts
Posted by NittanyLion on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 7:06 PM

They'd be unlikely to look exactly like European or Asian counterparts. The various regulations between the two are different enough that even the ones that are imports have different looks.

Even the AEM-7 and the Rc4 have substantial differences. 

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • 494 posts
Posted by NHTX on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 7:53 PM

     Rapido is going to import HO models of the New Haven's EP-5.  The EP-5 was a double ended, streamlined, rectifier type passenger locomotive built by General Electric in the mid 1950s.  They rode on regular C-C trucks, much like a contemporary diesel.  It would not be too big a stretch to envision a freight version with freight gearing since, Amtrak's E-60s didn't appear until the early 1970s.  The enclosed carbody would be a plus on a railroad located in the snow belt.  That is why we have the cowl type diesels up in Canada.  Post Korean War, GE was the main builder of electric locomotives in the U.S, supplying units to such operators as Deseret Western, Muskingum Electric, Black Mesa & Lake Powell as well as the Pennsylvania, Virginian, and the New Haven.  Electrics seemed to have life spans two to three times longer than diesels so it would be conceivable that some units built in the 1970s could still be in service today.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • 199 posts
Posted by OldEngineman on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 10:41 PM

E60's? I've hauled freight with those things -- well actually Amtrak work equipment and rail trains. They were big, heavy, clunky machines... amazing horsepower but it was difficult to use all of it because the wheels would slip out from under you.

I think the e33 would be more interesting. I never ran one, but was ON one when I was a kid, wandering through the New Haven shops back in the early '60's. On Sunday nobody was there, and nobody chased me away.

For hauling freight on my own railroad, I decided to get a relatively modern electric, a model of the engine I probably spent more time on than all the rest. But it just wasn't going to look right in its "native colors" on a freight train. Luckily Atlas, the company that made the model, came up with an interesting variation:

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,465 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 9:54 AM

I believe there were Rc-4s used regularly on freight in Europe.  (Admittedly the running conditions were likely different, involving relatively high dash speed and shorter consists to suit the different operating model, but your operation could 'justify' electrification to facilitate faster operation of multiple short trains, on the general Perlman model, and use DC-motored four-axle electrics accordingly...)

There are some constraints on what a line would buy 'used'.  P5as, whether 'modified' cab or not, would not be among them.  They were not a particularly good design to begin with (which is a big reason they were taken out of passenger service so quickly) and the late-era frame-cracking follies would have continued to the despair of anyone thinking they were getting a 'bargain' from PRR or PC instead of getting the equivalent power in 'freight' GG1s.

Keep in mind that if you go the 3000VDC route you have a couple of interesting options: MILW extensively rebuilt several bipolars in the early '50s and (with a little care to fix corners cut with the later ones) these represent rock-simple 70mph-capable power that would pull any train making economic sense on your line.  Meanwhile there are ex-CUT motors that could have their 3000V switchgear and motors replaced (they were switched out and put in different locomotives in the '50s) and the ex-NYC engines that got the CUT stuff had subsequent life on South Shore, I believe, and are an interesting possibility closer to "home".  There are some 'multipower' European prototypes that might be brought in for 'testing' also...

A modern installation would almost certainly use some variant of a Siemens ACS-64, as that locomotive saw series domestic production and has effective North American support.  Simple regearing and a few detail changes (perhaps Draper tapers to prevent having to change cabs, and some better cooling for sustained slow heavy service)?would give you everything needed, and perhaps facilitate kitbash from Amtrak models easily.

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 2,508 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:13 AM

Overmod
A modern installation would almost certainly use some variant of a Siemens ACS-64, as that locomotive saw series domestic production and has effective North American support.

I was just about to suggest that as well. The ACS-64 is based on the Vectron family of electric locomotives, which are available in various executions and see both passenger and freight services. The ASEA built Swedish RCs have come of age in the meantime, but still are in service in Sweden, both in freight and passenger services.

A note to cetenary. There are a number of different systems available from various manufacturers with Sommerfeldt marketing the most comprehensive line, but none of them are really suitable for US purposes, as they do not allow double stack container cars due to low clearance.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,465 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:35 AM

NVSRR
The Japanese actually have an electric steam locomotive.   Runs off the catenary.   The one i saw was a small 0-4-0   Similar to the LGB stanz loco.

I was only familiar with the Swiss version of this (made practical only with cheap hydropower and wartime exigency) -- do you have links to the Japanese version?

You could take an E8 or 9.  Say it was rebuilt with a modern power plant leaving space where the second engine was.  In that space sits the switch gear for the pantograph...

A more interesting approach would be to put modular turbogenerators in place of one engine (these were actually designed for Amtrak in the early '70s, before the oil embargo business and decision to buy new 'freight-compatible' power).  This was explicitly done to give the option of a 60-Hz compatible transformer for dual-power in the 'remaining' carbody space for NEC service or other prospective mainline electrification (e.g. ATSF) instead of the full 8 turbines for powering Metroliner-style truck-mounted motors in the train...

The plan as I recall it was, as you note, using the flat top of the 'electrification module' to mount a pair of inward-facing Faiveleys, both of which could be raised to lessen peak current through the wire contact patch and shoes; I think this would have been largely common parts with equipment subsequently seen on the E60CPs...

You could take CP rail cowl units like the sd50F's. And say they had the diesel pulled and electrical installed.

The principal question then becomes 'where are modelers going to find cheap Red Barn shells' -- followed by why on Earth you would take out perfectly good engines to fit switchgear when the 'dual-mode lite' equipment would go even better in a cowl than on a hood unit... I'd go straight to the SDP45 family (of which there are many cheap examples in the used HO market!), put in Draper tapers and the ATSF mods for front-platform functionality, swap the 20-645 out for a modern 710 (going to a 12 if you want additional room or want to keep the '45s trucks and TMs) and figure how to place the pan on the longer carbody...

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 2,508 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 11:23 AM

NVSRR
The japanese actually have an electric steam locomotive

Actually, that is not correct. The engine is a Diesel powered replica of a Krauss steam engine. The cars pulled by this contraption have a kind of pantograph, not to collect power from the overhead lines, but to actuate the switches - see at the end of this video:

During WW II, the Swiss Federal Railway experimented with electrically heated steam engines and converted two class E 3/3 0-6-0 switchers, which was apparently not too successful.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,465 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:22 PM

Tinplate Toddler
During WW II, the Swiss Federal Railway experimented with electrically heated steam engines and converted to class E 3/3 0-6-0 switchers, which was apparently not too successful.

I don't know if 'not too successful' is quite the right description.  It was successful in the time and place required.  It was massively inefficient in any other respect and would make no sense in peacetime.

There is at least one detailed technical account of how this conversion was done -- as I recall, very sensibly by inserting self-resistance-limiting thermal elements either into or in place of the boiler tubes.  There would be a temperature of maximum thermal heat transfer to water in a convection-circulated boiler far below the external temperature that a Calrod-style sealed element could reach.  
Even if we were to treat the electric 'power' in this configuration as 'reheat' for typical fireless operation you can see that the thing would work for switching of the type expected; it would not be impractical to use electric 'superheat' to reduce condensation losses for maintenance.  In a country with extremely cheap hydropower and basically no access to domestic fossil fuel this approach might be workable in emergency conditions.

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 2,508 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:41 PM

Overmod
It was successful in the time and place required.

During WW II, the SBB still operated quite a number of steam engines, despite the effort which followed WW I to electrify (nearly) the entire network. The conversion of only two engines, which were scrapped in 1946, didn´t contribute much to saving coal, and, as the converted engines were notoriously short on steam, plans to convert more engines were given up.

I wouldn´t call that a sucess story - not even in times of shortages (Switzerland stayed neutral during the both wars, which didn´t stop the US Airforce to drop bombs on Zurich and Basel).

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 7,866 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:58 PM

What about the MILW Little Joes and Boxcabs in the early 1970's?  Now that would be cool!  

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    December 2014
  • 398 posts
Posted by Wolf359 on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:58 PM

I found a list of US electric locomotives that might be helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Electric_locomotives_of_the_United_States I definitely agree that E60s would be a good choice, but since your line is fictional, another good option in my opinion might be the Virginian EL-C, AKA the New Haven EF-4 or E33. Here's a link to some info on them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginian_EL-C You could probably even kitbash something into a unique locomotive found only on your line if you wanted to.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 13,465 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 1:39 PM

Tinplate Toddler
... as the converted engines were notoriously short on steam...

i still haven't quite figured out why they were short on steam.

Presumably it would take little more power to keep them 'idle with full boiler' than with 8055, which only uses about 35KW in element capacity to keep a much larger volume at full nominal pressure indefinitely.  And the only heat that should be required is make-up heat in the saturated water, as with charging a fireless locomotive with high-pressure industrial steam; surely not so much mass flow is needed in typical flat switching that a good set of elements couldn't provide 'as well as combustion gas in an equivalent tube area'.

Perhaps too few elements were used, at too high a temperature for effective heat transfer to water by mistaken analogy to radiant uptake with better circulation?

Certainly the elements could have been made like Besler tubes, which are passive re-radiators of heat in 'invisible' combustion gases; on test the Besler tubes about doubled the practical steam-generation output of a standard fire tube convection section when  equipped with them.

There must be at least something I'm overlooking, but I'm not sure there are objective reasons switching service could 'run out of steam' simply due to limits in electric heat delivery.   Perhaps the cost of power was being metered after all...

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Atlanta
  • 11,715 posts
Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 2:02 PM

This is a really great question.  It really is going to depend on if your fictional world has a lot of other RRs that are electrified, or is yours the "odd man out". If a lot of other US roads are electrified in your world, then there would be some more-or-less standard designs coming out of EMD and GE over the years.  They'd be the great-grandsons of the E44s and E60s.  

So, it would certainly be plausible to start with EMD or GE diesel locomotive and kitbash it into an electric.  In the place of the diesel engine and generator, you'd have a big transformer.  You wouldn't need the larger radiators and cooling fans, although you would need some much smaller cooling arrangement for the transformer.  You probably wouldn't have dynamic brakes - you would probably have regenerative braking.  Maybe the transformer cooling goes where the DB grids and fan are and the pantograph goes where the radiator and fans are.

Would be a fun kitbash.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 1,315 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 3:26 PM

Hello All,

Märklin is a major European manufacturer of scale trains. Their proprietary digital system is the 3-rail digital MFX+.

Trix is their 2-rail digital standard that is compatible with DCC.

Both Märklin and Trix run on HO 1:87 gage.

If you are considering electrified motive power Märklin/Trix are great resources for electrified motive power from its inception in Europe, at the turn of the last century, to today.

One of my current "shelf projects" is converting a "Sonderausgabe" Märklin 3-rail Class G 2000 BB Vossloh heavy diesel locomotive with symmetrical cabs to a 2-rail DCC compatible unit.

These units aren't cheap but I fell in love with this Class G 2000 BB when I saw it in a hobby shop in Aachen, Germany.

While traveling the European rail system last year; Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and France, diesel and electrified motive power shared the same rails.

Highspeed lines like the TGV and ICE run on proprietary rights of way. 

Small diesel-electric switchers run under the catenary in the yards while the long haul "Über Land" electrified trains move people and goods from point to point. 

Having a North American electrified freight line sounds exciting!

There are plenty of resources available to you to turn your aspirations into reality on any scale you choose.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 7,866 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 5:26 PM

jjdamnit
Having a North American electrified freight line sounds exciting!

The only thing I wouldn't be so excited about would be building the catenary.  Dead

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,348 posts
Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 9:01 PM

riogrande5761

What about the MILW Little Joes and Boxcabs in the early 1970's?  Now that would be cool!  

 

I agree, neat stuff. I'm not so sure about the business case for elctrification across the relatively flat Midwest, but hey, it's a fictional road. Maybe make the RR's origin as a subsidiary of a major electrical utility? Maybe even make the Milwaukee a connecting line with its electrification stretching into the Midwest. Afterall, the MILW made it all the way to southern Indiana and hauled a lot of coal from there north to Chicago, so could make a pretty good justification for the need for electrification.

Assuming this line has a history long enough to get it back to mid-20th century, picking and choosing among the many older models offered makes sense. Of all locos, electric power is easily the most updateable and modifiable. It's mostly about rewiring and changing out some auxiliary equipment once you've decided AC or DC. Pick them up cheap as other lines get out of the heavy el ectric business and rebuild them.

Before I got too far with an idea like this, I'd think it worth some trouble to invest in building a short test section of overhead just to see if that works for you and won't be something you regret the hassle of. Having lived in West Germany and spent some time railfanning there, I can understand the allure.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
    May 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
  • 2,740 posts
Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 9:26 PM

The New Haven was, of course, heavily invested in electric freight operations.  Here's an old website showing pics of NH electrics, just keep in mind that "EP" motors are passenger and "EF" motors are freight (and that freight motors did pull passenger trains on occasion):

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/electric11.html

Note that the NH was one of just two railroads to purchase electric yard switchers as their two yards in NYC (and a third on Long Island) were all electrified.

And if you're looking for North American catenary, specifically New Haven and Pennsylvania RR catenary (plus others!), the place to go is Model Memories:

http://www.modelmemories.com/

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 11,692 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:20 AM

Railking42
I've been planning to make a freelance rail line called the Lake Superior and Eastern, a fictional Class 1 line starting from Duluth and heading through Chicago and into my fictional city

The 'old' Missabe railroad, the Duluth Missabe & Northern, looked into electrifying Proctor Hill (the line from the ore yards up on the high bluffs down to the ore docks on the lake) back in the early 1900s, but then Mallets came along and they bought some 2-8-8-2s instead.

One thing to remember is electric locomotives seemed to be able to last a long time. The boxcab-type electrics used by CN thru the tunnel in Montreal lasted like 90 years IIRC. Many Pennsy and NYC electrics lasted from the early 1900s into the PC / Amtrak era. So even if you're modelling modern times, it wouldn't be impossible to have older engines around.

Since some real railroads (GN, Virginian, Milwaukee Road) ceased electric operations in the 1950's-70's, you could argue your railroad bought their old engines and repainted them into your railroad's colors.

 

p.s. A railroad coming into the Twin Ports from the southeast (i.e. from Chicago) would most likely terminate in Superior, not Duluth. To get to Duluth they'd have to build a substantial bridge to cross the St. Louis river / harbor. They'd probably choose to end in Superior, and interchange freight with an existing railroad that connects Superior with Duluth, like BNSF.

Stix
  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 7,866 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 28, 2020 1:18 PM

mlehman
I agree, neat stuff. I'm not so sure about the business case for elctrification across the relatively flat Midwest, but hey, it's a fictional road.

IIRC, the MILW out west was electrified until about 1974.  Very cool operations indeed. 

Bill Heiden, by the way, has a layout that sure demonstatates the appeal although it looks like his is set a little after the over head wires were removed.  But you get the idea!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU-qlY09_-o

Having lived in West Germany and spent some time railfanning there, I can understand the allure.

My first wife was very into all things German so I had a couple of extebnded trips there on 3 occasions and of course being a rail fan found it temping to model.

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!