MOCs: Pennsylvania RR K4s Class Steam Locomotives #3750 & #1361
Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:41 AM
These two LEGO models of Pennsylvania RR class K4s #3750 and #1361 are perhaps my most ambitious project to date. I've spent months intensively researching and studying the K4s in order to make the most accurate and detailed engine I've built to date. The boiler design was inspired by my friend and fellow train builder in PennLUG, Nate Brill. What has turned out to be the most difficult part of building these models is the working Walschaerts Valve Gear. My goal was to try and build working valve gear with out modifying any parts, and to keep it as small and proportionate to the rest of the locomotive as possible. This required several weeks of trial and error but I'm reasonably happy with the final result.
Video of my K4s #1361 running at BrickMagic 2012 taken by Bob Hayes
#3750 and #1361 both represent the K4s class late in their careers. Both engines are virtually identical with the exception of their tenders. #3750 is equiped with a PRR 110P75a class tender while #1361 is equiped with a slightly longer PRR 130P75 class tender.
PRR K4s Class Flickr Gallery
The Pennsylvania RR's K4 class Pacifics were one of the cornerstones of their passenger service for 41 years from when the first engine entered service in 1916 through the final active K4's retirement 1957. The K4's performed their duties with a superb combination of speed, power and grace. K4's pulled the fastest and most prestigious trains of the Pennsylvania Railroad for many decades, with 425 being built between 1914 and 1928 by both Baldwin Locomotive Works and through Pennsy's own Juniata Shops in Altoona. In the mid 1930s, as the passenger consists grew longer and heavier, Pennsy would double and even triple head the K4s. The K4s class has become an icon of the Pennsylvania RR.
There are only two surviving K4s class locomotives, #1361 and #3750. Number 3750 is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. # 3750 was a typical workhorse, with only two unusual events in its long and productive life.The first came early in its lifewhen it pulled President Harding's funeral train.
The second was more unusual. After its retirement from active service in 1957, it remained in storage, first at West Philadelphia enginehouse, then at Northumberland, along with other historic equipment that was destined to become the core of the Museum's holdings. However, the Pennsylvania Railroad, apparently chagrined that the first K4 ever built, #1737, had been scrapped because it was worn out, and decided to "undo" history by placing #1737's number plates onto #3750. #3750 in its masquerade avoided being sent to the scrapper's torch along with hundreds of other K4 locomotives.
Upon the PRR's historic collection being acquired by the newly commissioned Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania it arrived at the Museum along with other historic equipment in 1968 as a "ringer" for No. 1737. This was rectified when the newly formed Friends of the Railroad Museum performed the first of several laborious restorations of this beloved locomotive in the 1980s. Subsequently, the true No. 3750 plates were obtained, and this wonderful locomotive is now secure for future generations to admire.
Number 1361's fame came after her retirement in 1957. For nearly 30 years, #1361 stood on display at the top of the world-famous Horseshoe Curve In Altoona PA. In 1985, the City of Altoona, Conrail, and the Railroaders Memorial Museum made arrangements to move the locomotive from the Horseshoe Curve to the Museum. The engine was moved to Altoona on September 5, 1985, and work to restore the locomotive began in April of 1986. With the help of teams of volunteers, #1361 was restored to working order in just one year's time. In April 1987, #1361 pulled its first passenger train in over thirty years. In May 1987, Altoona City and Conrail named the steam locomotive the "Spirit of Altoona". The engine later encountered extensive problems of age and wear, requiring major rebuilding. #1361 is under ownership of the Railroaders Memorial Museum at Altoona who is currently working to restore the engine to operation once more.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey signed a bill proclaiming the K4 to be Pennsylvania's Official State Steam Locomotive in March of 1988.
l#3750 At the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg PA
#1361 at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona PA
I'll be happy to answer any questions.
Posted 10 June 2012 - 04:31 AM
I'd love to have that on my railway.
Keep on brickin, Rail Co
Indeed. I have quite a few engines in my stable but this is the first time I've made an almost identical pair. It's a great sight when they are both sitting together.
Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:12 AM
I'am indeed working on some passenger cars for the K4's to pull. Hopefully I'll have them done soon.
Posted 11 June 2012 - 01:44 PM
Especially the valve gears are great, I always find them the hardest part on the engines.
The build a frigate tutorail!
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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:01 PM
Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:31 PM
Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:37 AM
Passing by the Dowtown on our PennLUG Train layout
Passing Chris Edward's awesome train station
Passing my York Tower
I don't have photos of the individual cars yet, the B60b baggage and the coaches need a little more work, but hopefully I'll have them done soon.
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