Saturday, October 26th, 2013

motive power on the LoCo RwyMotive power on the Lost Continent Railway is a hash of electric, diesel and steam. Until I started building the layout in its current incarnation I wasn’t sure what era I wanted my railroad to look like, so for the longest time I collected just about anything that came along at the right price. Later I realized that the locomotives I most loved watching were steam engines and the passenger cars that were most interesting were the old heavyweights, and that’s what I’ve gravitated towards these past years. Yet I still have all sorts of motive power in the engine shed and so far haven’t been able to bring myself to part with any of it.

The steam locomotive in this photo is one of a pair I bought on sale almost fifteen years ago. Dressed in the colors of the New York Central, it’s meant to represent a Niagra class 4-8-4. I haven’t painted it in the livery of the Lost Continent yet. A smooth runner, it’s way too large for the Lost Continent, a railroad that I have always envisioned as a regional line that spanned no more than a couple states, but this steamer looks so good that I know I won’t be able to leave it out of the regularly scheduled lineup. It’ll always be one of the two flagship locos in the fleet. In case you’re wondering, the second one’s still in the box, although I’ve brought it out once or twice to let it get some air and stretch its legs, just to make sure it’s still working.

I bought the electric just five years ago when I was planning a shelf layout that was going to be nothing more than a passenger station in the modern era. I’ve always been just as fascinated by electric locos asI have with steam engines, and this AEM-7, a small electric, felt just right for a small layout. I kept it even after my shelf layout metamorphosed into J-shaped round-the-room layout because it’s such a smooth, strong runner and is easy to set down on the rails with just one hand. I use it all the time to try out newly-laid stretches of track.

The diesel, an E-8, has been on the Lost Continent’s roster less than two years, I think. I bought it at the same time I snatched up the rake of sleek streamline cars behind it. Streamlined passenger cars didn’t come along until the 40s and the E-8s were built in the early 50s, so it doesn’t fit the late-20s era of the Lost Continent, but I love streamline passenger cars, especially the ones with domes, and when I saw a stack of them on sale at a cut-rate price I couldn’t keep walking. After narrowing my choices down to a half-dozen I thought, Now what I really need is an engine to pull these, and that’s how I ended up with a train that really doesn’t fit my railroad but which I love just as much as the big steamer pulling the old heavyweight passenger cars.

horsepower | 9:21 pm CDT
Category: hobby, LoCo Rwy, play
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