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Most Useful Loco (US, and Canada Locos only)

  • That's when you...take the...steel ballast out..??

    I fail Sad [:(] 

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    Building the CPR Kootenay division in N scale, blog here:

  • Shay
  •  IRONROOSTER wrote:

    I think the 4-4-0 was the most useful steam locomotive.  Through the 1800's they pulled passenger and freight.  Most if not all railroads had them and some lasted into the 1950's.  It's hard to see now, but the railroad was a vital part of passenger travel and mail.  Passenger fares and mail contracts were significant for the railroads



    So far you're the only one here who clearly acknowledges railroads existed prior to 1900 and had to prove themselves and develop a continent.  I completely concur -- the 4-4-0, the universal, practical, economical, and powerful locomotive upon which the industry was founded and expanded from coast to coast.  Everything since is an evolution.


  • GP-9/7, SD40, H-16-44(4 axle) tonner series, and RS3
    -Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!!
  • My vote is going to be on the favor of the SD45. I mean, the SD40-2 is nice, and has been used for a long time. But back in the late 60s and early 70s, almost every mountain RR had some sort of fleet of SD45s. They hauled in the Cascades on BN, in the high Serria passes with SP and its tunnel motors, NW and SOU had a large fleet for hauling coal up the Appalachian Mountains. ATSF also had a large fleet of SD45s, and SD45-2s. Back in the nineties alot of these "Junkers" wound up on shorts line such as MRL, and WC. Some even wound up on some larger class ones like CNW. Now, 30 years after some of the first ones where made, a few are still kicking it.

  • Canadian Steam

    CN - 4-8-4 - these streamlined units were the mainstay of the CNR fleet, CN had a large number of these.

    CPR - 2-10-4's - used throughout the rockies - Revelstoke to Calgary - both freight and passenger service, there were streamlined versions as well.

  • Lets see its so hard to only pick one but here I go...

    Diesel: SD40-2, It the loco that did it, Killed 1st generation diesels...

    Runner up: Any GP series loco

    Steam: Any Y series N & W steam. I know most of you are scratching your heads on this one so let me explain. For their size these loco pound for pound arguably were the best of the really big steam locos. Sure UP had Big Boys and Challengers, and Chessie had the Alleghany but these locos never lived up to their full potential like the Y series. Yes these locos were slow and wouldn't work on most other RR but they did work and worked well for N & W long after other roads began to dieselize.

    Runner up: Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 or SP GS-4 4-8-4's.

    Electric: GG1 Best ever hands down.

    Runner up: NONE

    Cool site to visit - local site, very cool - Conrail site, also cool
  •  swknox wrote:

    Runner up: NONE

    What about E44s or Little Joes' as runner ups?

    -Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!!
  •  wyomingrailfan wrote:
     swknox wrote:

    Runner up: NONE

    What about E44s or Little Joes' as runner ups?


    Ok Ok E44 it is lol.

    Cool site to visit - local site, very cool - Conrail site, also cool
    -Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!!
  • Font size big enough?

    Steam: 4-8-4 Northerns, Poconos, Greenbriers, Golden States, whatever you prefer.

    Diesel: SD40-2

    Electric: GG1

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
  • Stean:

    1. 4-4-0

    2. 4-8-8-4 Big Boy. Couldn't think of anything better not being a steam guy...


    1. F units.

    2. F40PH It really did help Amtrak a lot, plus a lot of commuter agencies wouldn't have enough locos to power their trains.


    1. AEM-7/ALP-44. They replaced the GG-1s.

    2. GG-1 and GG-1/2. The classic motor.

    Go NJT, NJ Transit, New Jersey Transit. Whatever you call it its good. See my pictures and videos here:
  • I disagree with the F unit not very versatile, you ever tried to switch with one of those not fun, however they were the first truly successful diesel freight locomotive.

    My votes:

    Diesel: GP38 reliable and 4 axels for tight switches yet is just as comfortable on a hot coal train plus no turbo to have to maintain.  

    Steam: 2-8-2 (not a steam buff so it's a blind guess)

    Electric: Milwaukee Bipolar