A model railroad can achieve a company look when standard paint and lettering practices are applied to locomotives, freight cars, and passenger cars. This can be a simple set or letters and numbers on a basic color background, or it can include more complex striping and a company emblem or logo.
Currently, the Society railroad has a large fleet of coal hoppers, some box cars, a couple dozen pulpwood flat cars and cabooses, a handful of diesel locomotives and one steam locomotive wearing the Cumberland, Blackwater & Ohio initials and West Virginian company slogan. Additional freight cars are in production and a passenger train is being readied for the rails. These efforts have taken time but are slowly giving this model railroad a similar look as the real railroads that once ran in north central West Virginia and through the Monongahela River valley.
Earlier in 2011, our club was a prize winner in a drawing for a Broadway Limited N&W Y-6b steam locomotive. It has since been weathered and re-lettered as CB&O 219. What follows is a fictitious history as to how such an engine could find her way to the CB&O roster.
As the US was pulled into WW II, a number of railroads found themselves short of adequate motive power to handle the increased demand of traffic. By the time the CB&O decided to place an order for new motive power, the War Production Board had already placed restrictions on such orders by limiting production of new steam locomotives to freight only units and those of existing design. Diesel production was rationed to those roads “most in need”.
Thus, the CB&O, like neighbor B&O, among others, faced a quandary: Our railroad was not on the qualified list for new diesels but were permitted to purchase new steam power and had to settle for an existing design. The B&O got the WPB’s blessing to go to the Baldwin Locomotive Works for 25 new locomotives based, roughly, upon the Southern Pacific AC-12. The CB&O was allotted a purchase of five articulated locomotives.
The CB&O Engineering Department felt the main line track profile justified the use of an engine, similar to the N&W Y6b that could be switched from compound to simple expansion once the train was in motion. Therefore, the railroad petitioned the WPB to encourage Roanoke to build an additional five Y-6b locomotives. These became CB&O 215-219 and they performed even better than expected on CB&O rails. After the War, these locos continued to perform and convinced Management to delay wholesale diesel purchases into the era of the road switcher.
The model has a heavy metal boiler casting and is equipped with traction tires, and as a result, will singlehandedly pull any train normally run on our layout. It is very well detailed with a multitude of add-on detail parts. The Tsunami sound decoder duplicates the sounds of the Y-6b very well. However, if the engine momentarily loses power, the decoder resets to maximum volume, which is irritating . We hope to re-program this function to minimum volume. The internal electronics and mechanism give the model very realistic operation charities. It is a pleasure to operate!
The engine came with a smoke generator. This has been de-activated as it caused the locomotive to be covered with an oil-like substance which is very difficult to remove. This could have been easily transferred to surfaces on the layout. This toy-like feature made the weathering process an extremely difficult one, and the above action will make the locomotive less likely to cause harm to its surroundings.
CB&O 219 will look and sound great pulling trains during Open House and Operation Session events, and it sets a barometer for future additions to the roster.
A few diesels are now wearing the CB&O paint and lettering in regular service. Here are a couple that were awaiting duty in the St. George yard.
An Alco RS-1, which is a fine running Atlas HO scale model.
A Baldwin AS-16 road switcher. Two of these are running and they make a fine tandem. The models were originally made by Stewart Hobbies and are now available through Bowser.
More to come!
Another quality Hansmann Production.