Attention all HO Modelers of Alaska Railroad Equipment!
550 Class Consolidations can now be built from TC S160 kit
The quality of the castings and level of detail in the consolidation kit are evident in this photo. Comparison to the prototype photo below is faithful. Replacement of the British appliances with American will be easy to apply on the front end.
Built in the U.S.A. between 1942 and 1944 for the US Army Transportation Corp. this superheated 2-8-0 served extensively throughout Europe and the Far East lasting into the 1960s in many countries. Twelve units were diverted to the Alaska Railroad arriving between November 1942 and December 1944. Numbered from 551 to 562, all were Baldwins except for 562, which was an Alco, Schenectady product. All were retired by November 1956 except for 557 which was retained until June 1963 for use in flooded areas. You can visit the roster section at alaskarails.org for full details and photos of these locomotives.
Hundreds of these locomotives were built by Baldwin, Alco, and Lima for export to the European war effort. Today there are six remaining in North America. In turnabout fashion a British firm has produced a craftsman kit in HO scale and Randy Thompson of Roundhouse Hobbies will be bringing some back across the Atlantic for ARR fans & modelers.
How to Order
Go directly to the British Manufacturers website at: www.djhmodelloco.co.uk/prodpage.asp?productid=3073
This craftsman kit # E170 USA/TC S160 is currently priced at 341 British Pounds (about US$570.) plus shipping from England.
In addition you will need to buy american parts to modify this kit for the Alaska Railroad model. I have those available.
I've worked closely with these fine folks and may be able to help with questions. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This HO scale Kit features: Etched brass cab and tender sides, assembled valve gear, chassis components screw together, RP25 profile wheels, one-piece cast Pewter Boiler/Smokebox/Firebox, brass cast detail fittings. High quality motor and gear set. This is a craftsman quality kit. The kit comes with European style buffers and hook couplers. For Alaskan service you will need to add a bell, headlight with bracket, a pilot or snow plow and couplers. The Alaska Railroad was faced with the same work when the prototype locomotives were delivered.
Pat Durand, noted Alaska Railroad historian and modeler has assembled several (including 551 shown above) and has posted information and tips on building the kit at John Combs Alaska Railroad website. He can also provide a quote for building the locomotive kit for you. If you are interested in obtaining one of these unique ARR locomotives but are are intimidated by the building process, please contact me or Pat Durand.