I think I’ve built my masterpiece, I doubt I’ll ever be able to top this one. Just over a year ago, after the Emerald Night came out I decided to build a better Pacific. My chosen subject was the Southern Pacific Railroad, 4-6-2 ‘Pacific’ type steam locomotive. Several of these locomotives survived into commuter service and were preserved at the twilight of steam in the US. Two were operational in the past decade (2467 and 2472) and a third is under restoration (2479).
I had planned to use the banded drivers from the Emerald Night and finally power a steam engine via the drive wheels. But then I saw Cale’s PF Y at Brickworld and pffft, now I had better propulsion to pursue. I stuck with the SP pacifics though.
I finished the model a few months back and have been waiting for something special for the public debut. Since I will not make NMRA this year, what better reason than Brickworld?
On the surface this model captures many distinctive details from the prototype- opening cab windows, boiler arch between the domes, cab roof vents, the roof tapering at the rear, curved hand rails around the nose, Vanderbilt tender with running boards, three axle tender trucks, and much more. Under the surface the two XL-PF motors deliver a lot of pull and the suspension under the engine can handle very bumpy track.
A quick (and incomplete) list of the highlights, first the brilliant tricks blatantly borrowed from others,
- pilot/cow catcher- Tony
- main rod- EN (yeah, it is bulky, but is it any worse than pinning together half beams? I wanted to do something more decorative, but decided to go with functional for this model)
- cylinders- Cale (with tweaks)
- propulsion- Cale/Swoofty/Tony/et al
- front cab windows- Garret
- marker boards- Jayhurst (hey, why aren’t you in COLTC)
- cab steps- Garret
and the tricks/features I came up with on my own (some wheels have likely been reinvented)
- curved grab irons on nose
- smoke box door- it is safely secured
- five chime whistle (repurposed crystal- bonus points for use of useless part)
- 3 wide steam domes (okay, I stole that one from myself on an update of my NP tenwheeler)
- arch in the boiler between domes (I was having troubles capturing it with my camera, but it is there)
- hatches in cab roof
- cut on rear cab roof
- opening windows on cab
- running boards on Vanderbilt tender
- almost all of the major piping on the locomotive
- reverser gear
- tender truck frames
- suspension (she’s well hung)
- hiding two XL motors and all the PF gear in the tender (she’ll pull a Buick alright)
- and more...
During a shake down run last fall, she pulled 33 passenger cars, most of the time with the train in four separate curves. I’ll post photos from under the PF “hood” and videos as soon as I can.