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Did these two Challengers share similar parts? The Rio Grande L-105 and Western Maryland M2s

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  • Member since
    March 2020
  • 290 posts
Did these two Challengers share similar parts? The Rio Grande L-105 and Western Maryland M2s
Posted by Engi1487 on Friday, February 16, 2024 8:54 AM

Hello everyone. So everyone is familier with the Union Pacific Challengers, but I learned of other classes and types American railroads used, such as the Rio Grande L-105. They where known for their large hazard striped pilot mounted sandboxs. There was also the Western Maryland M2s, as they where only challanger type used on the east coast where the WMs trackage was.

Both where built by Baldwin Locomotive works, so did they share a similar chassis or parts?

I product suggested these two to a well known manufacturer of steam locomotives in HO scale a few days ago. They where in made in brass long ago, so it would be good to see new RTR versions of them done.

The company I emailed are known for their models of the late style Union Pacific Challengers [same class/style that UP 3985 belongs too] with the centipede tender. Rio Grande & the Clinchfield RR owned the same style as well.

I feel the market is a bit oversaturated with UP style challangers. The market could use new variations of other 4-6-6-4s american railroads owned. The guy from the model railroad company I emailed replied back, thanking me. He said the L-105 was on the list but not in design yet.

He wants to know if the WM Challenger shares common parts/same chassis with the L-105. At first glance they don't, but if so, they could probably do both! This would make it easier to design both and possibly announce around the same time.


  • Member since
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  • From: Frankfort, Indiana
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Posted by Morpar on Friday, February 16, 2024 11:20 AM

So I'm bringing this all up from my occasionally faulty memory, so take it with a grain of salt. I started modifying a Bowser Challenger years ago to be a pretty close copy of the L-105, as these were the only Challengers I have seen with an Elesco feed water heater. As I recall the dimensions were all pretty close between the D&RGW and UP locos, same driver size and style, almost the same boiler diameter, almost the same boiler length, and the cylinders were the same. Again, this is my memory from over 10 years back. The main difference was the cab and firebox, which is where I stopped due to a job change. I know Mainline Modeler had drawings of the L-105 but not sure when. If nobody beats me to it I will try and get the magazine date and post it here.

Good Luck, Morpar

  • Member since
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  • From: From Golden, CO living in Puyallup (Seattle), WA
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Posted by Renegade1c on Friday, February 16, 2024 5:42 PM

The other major difference is the tender. The L-105's didn't have centipede tenders. They had two 3 axle trucks under the tender. They were similar to UP's early Challenger's that were used up in Idaho near Pocatello.


Colorado Front Range Railroad: 
http://www.coloradofrontrangerr.com/

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 1:23 PM

IIRC the Clinchfield and DRGW were trying to order locomotives during WW2, but the War Production Board didn't allow them to get what they wanted, and instead added their order to a UP order for additional Challengers. So the DRGW and Clinchfield engines were the same as the UP engines from that batch. Clinchfield liked them, Rio Grande didn't - in fact I believe Clinchfield bought the Rio Grande ones from them after the war.

Stix
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 1:40 PM

Yes, The D&RGW got rid of the UP style Challengers as soon as they could at the end of WWII.  Modeling the D&RGW steam era, say in the early 1950's would be a brass endevour for the steam engines.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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