Monthly Archives: December 2013

PC&N Machine Shop

The NPC actually built one locomotive and did a major conversion on another.  In addition Carter Brothers would have needed machine shop facilities to construct the cars it produced in Sausalito for the NPC.  This machine shop will be built to display a variety of  industrial metal working tools driven by a dedicated boiler, a steam engine, and appropriate drive belts.

Fortunately Sierra West produces a kit that includes the equipment …


as well as a vertical boiler, a steam engine, and related components and clutter.  Note that these images are used by permission from Brett Gallant.

The facility in which this equipment is placed will be open on one side and modeled after the NPC structures for which I have photos.

Guinness 0-4-0T Donor Drive

My first thought was to look at the Bachmann On30 Gas Mechanical I have in my possession.  Based on suggestions from Desilets at the forum I also looked at the Northwest Short Line Stanton drive.  BigLars pointed me to a critter thread that provided photos with scale rulers for a number of HO and On30 locomotives.  From that list I also took a look at the Bachmann HO 70 Ton Switcher. Here’s how their dimensions compare to the prototype – first the Bachmann, then the NWSL, then the Bachmann.  The Bachmann estimates are from the scale ruler.

Component Model Scale Conversion Prototype
Driver Diameter 0.455 48 21.84 22
Wheelbase 0.934 48 44.832 36
Gauge 0.629 48 30.192 22
Northwest Short Line Stanton Drive
Driver Diameter 0.46 48 22.08 22
Wheelbase 0.897 48 43.056 36
Gauge 0.629 48 30.192 22
Bachmann HO 70 Ton Switcher
Driver Diameter 0.4 48 19.2 22 Estimates
Wheelbase 0.9 48 43.2 36 Estimates
Gauge 0.629 48 30.192 22

The drivers for all three are just about dead on.  Track gauge is off by 8″ as expected.  The wheelbase is a bit too long for all three relative to the prototype.  I wonder how it would look.  The following shots compare the Bachmann 0-4-0T to the Guinness 0-4-0T.

Bachmann Gas Mech


Well, the wheelbase is a bit long.  But it is not so obvious.  Sorry, I’m not a rivet counter.  For my purposes, all three drives pass the test.  If I went with the Bachmann, I would need to rework the counterweights (plastic) and fabricate a vertical rod to the pistons.  With the Stanton and Bachmann 70 ton drive, I would need to fabricate everything.  Wheels are solid in all three cases, just like in the prototype.

Both Bachmanns are DCC ready, and I wouldn’t have a major problem tucking away the electronics.  With NWSL, I would need to add a decoder.

The Bachmann is sold out.   It also has had problems with gears breaking.  The Stanton is more expensive, but is available.  I suspect performance wouldn’t be a problem.  With the amount of work that will go into this model, I want to do it right.

One issue, however.  The Stanton drive lacks the bearings to mount the rods.



So does the Bachmann 70 tonner.  I bit the bullet and bought one on eBay for $50.  There are plenty of critters in my future and the engine provides me with two trucks, so there is an extra for mistakes, parts or possibly another critter, or one with two trucks.



Of course, drilling holes in the wheels near the rim could solve the bearing problem with both drives.  With the right jig, I could probably drill the holes, laying a drive on its side.  A bit of brass rod in the holes would provide the bearings.  Hmmmmm.  Have to give it some thought.

Bob Baxter’s No 21

It was Bob Baxter’s post to the forum asking for additional information on the NPC 21 that lead to the prototype researchy in this section.  He was particularly interested in backhead detail.  Much of the work on the backhead detail on this locomotive was too far along to take advantage of the collaboratrion that lead to the backhead drawings in this resource.


Bob has great modeling skills and is highly regarded in the MLS community.  He and Chris Walas got together at the 2003 Queen Mary Train Show and cooked up the idea of modeling this engine.  Bob pulled this model off in about a month of elapsed time in spite of taking a break or two along the way.


Bob began with a Bachmann Spectrum 4-4-0.  That’s appropriate given that Bill Thomas used parts from an 1875 Baldwin, the NPC’s No 5, Bodega, in constructing No 21.  Bob used the engine frame, drivers, leading truck, valve gear, and cylinders as a starting point.  He also used the Bachmann tender from the deck on down.  The Spectrum components are obvious in this early construction photo.


Bob’s construction was going on as the folks at the MLS site were pulling together the research.  I, in particular, drove Bob somewhat crazy by continually turning up facts as well as speculation that turned out not to be facts.  Hey, we were doing research on a 100 year old locomotive for Pete’s sake, and a highly unusual one at that !!  An example is this next photo where Bob needed to add a bump to the top of the cab to cover the steam cylinder mounted on top of the boiler.  The tanks are made from 3 inch plastic sewer pipe and Bachmann tank car ends.  Here are some of Bob’s comments about this project.


I’m almost finished with the old girl. Except for an engineer and fireman and full details of the cab interior she is all together and operational. The last few days have been a struggle to fit a smoke unit (Aristo SD45), a Phoenix sound system (stolen from my “Connie”) a working headlight, and the flickering firebox light from the Bachmann 4-4-0 that has sacrificed so much to make the construction of this loco possible. Installing the wiring to connect the three different units that make up the locomotive was no picnic.


The sound system went into the two tubs on the tender body, the speaker in one and the wiring, battery, volume control, and circuit board in the other.

Everything except the window frames is sprayed with Krylon semi-flat black and will be dusted with grimy black when I’m in the mood to do some airbrushing. I decided that as all the photos of the original were in black and white, I could give it a little more character by doing the window frames in ruddy brown primer. None of the photos showed her with touches of white here and there but I felt that the model needed a little brightening up so the running boards got their edges painted white. 


It’s been a month since I bought the 4-4-0 at the Big Train Show and I’ve been obsessed with getting this project behind me since then. This has been the toughest job I’ve taken on since I started working in large scale. I’ve always freelanced my models and built things that “could have been” rather than to try to follow plans. Kitbashing is a lot easier than scratch building but I just couldn’t resist this challenge. Here are tonight’s shots. I might mention that I decided to model her as she was first built, before they added the sand dome, the flip-up stack cap, and the relocated headlight. She looks as she did on her inaugural run.


I think you’ll agree that Bob’s craftsmanship is outstanding.  It’s a pretty high standard for Chris and I to shoot for.  I know Chris is up to the challenge.  But I’m awed by the craftsmanship in this engine


Congratulations on a great job, Bob.



NPC 21 Drive Train

Most accounts of the construction of No 21 indicate she was constructed by using parts from NPC No 5, The Bodega.  The NPC took delivery on No 5 in 1875.  The Bodega was one of nine Baldwin 4-4-0s purchased by the NPC from Baldwin between 1874 and 1877.  With the exception of No 9, the M S Latham all were virtually identical with 42 inch drivers, 12×16 inch cylinders, and a weight 0f 44,000 pounds.  What set No 9 apart was detailing as it was President Latham’s engine.  But mechanically all nine were virtually the same.  Bill Thomas believed in purchasing stock generic Baldwins because of parts availability and interchangibility.

No 5 was dismantled sometime around 1897.  When the time came to build No 21, Thomas had a complete drive train available.  The only photo I’ve seen of Number 5 is a partial engine shot.


This shot shows the rear half of the engine and the tender.  It was taken in 1892.


Here’s a shot of No 3, the Tomales.  Note the similarity of the drive train to this shot of No 21 when in testing.


If you look from the boiler down, the drive train, is virtually identical.  The NPC ran both kinds of pilots shown in these photos.  It is said that Thomas did some drive line upgrades as part of his rebuild, installing his patented American Balance Valve and adapting the drive train for the switch to a cab forward locomotive.

NPC 21 Tender

Number 21 had a most unusual tender.  Dominating features are a vertical drum tank for oil and another vertical drum tank for water.


This shot shows the tender from the engineer’s side of the engine.  Things are notable about this photo:

  1. Note the gauge on the top of the front (oil) tank.  Keith speculates that the gauge is measuring air pressure.  He indicates that given the quality of oil in those days, heat was necessary to get the oil to flow and combust properly.  So a steam line was likely to be coiled at the bottom of the tender.  But given the presence of the large air tank immediately behind the oil tank, it is likely the oil was pushed with air pressure.  The device next to the air gauge is likely to be a pressure regulator.
  2. A line running from the back along the tender sill.  It drops down then rises to the underside of the running board.  Note the valve to shut off the supply sticking up at the junction between the horizontal portion of the line and the portion that drops into a loop to the engine.  This line appears to rise to the underside of the running board where it is likely to run underneath the board to the engine.
  3. A line that runs along the top of the deck then rises out of site.  It appears to start in the area of the larger vertical air tank between the oil and water tank.  This is likely to be the air line headed toward the air compressor mounted on the engineer’s side of the engine.  Also note what looks to be a drain plug on the bottom of the air tank.  this would be used to drain condensate.  Click here for a diagram of a Westinghouse Air Brake system.
  4. Note also the vertical line beginning 2/3 the way up the side of the water tank.  It drops down to the deck.  What is the purpose of this line?  Water would be taken off near the bottom of the tank.
  5. Note the smaller tank located behind the larger tank noted in item 3.  Is this tank an air pressure regulator for the air brake system?


This shot views the tender from the fireman side.  Things that are notable about this photo:

  1. Note that the water tank appears to be significantly larger in diameter than the oil tank.  Not only does it appear wider, it also hangs over the edge of the deck.
  2. A line very similar to the line in item 2 in the previous photo appears on this photo.  It runs along the side of the sill back into the area of the water tank.   Keith indicates that redundant water lines were a common practice should one of the lines become clogged.  Note that you can see the continuation of this line running underneath the running board.
  3. A line also appears to come out of the side of the oil tank.  Note the shutoff valve.  It would also appear to run below the running board.  It is likely this is the oil line as the firemen is seated on this side of the engine.
  4. A container is located between the oil and water tank.  You can faintly see hinges on the left side, a door, and a latch on the right side.  This appears likely to be a tool box.
  5. A ladder appears to run up the back of the water tank to the top of the tank.
  6. A fill chute and cover appears to rise from the top back of the oil tank and the top front of the water tank.


This photo shows the tender from the engineer’s side.  Things that are notable about this photo:

  1. The rear water tank overhangs the deck on this side too.  That’s further verification that the water tank was larger than the air tank.
  2. In this view the water line appears to come from underneath the water tank.  In this photo it can be seen running beneath the running board.
  3. Note the gauge.  The device to the left of the gauge is likely to be an air pressure regulator.
  4. The line that appeared to begin 2/3 the way up the water tank also appears in this photo.  Is it coming off the top of the small tank instead?  The purpose of this line and device remains unclear.


This photo is also from the engineer side of the tender.  Things that are notable about this photo:

  1. The hatch allowing the water tank to be filled also appears on this photo.
  2. There is a vertical fitting on the top left of the oil tank.  Is this the filler?


This photo is of the firemen side of the tender.  hings that are notable about this photo:

  1. Note the top and what appears to be a lock on the box between the oil and water tanks.  It is likely to be a container for tool storage.
  2. Once again, the redundant water line appears in the photo.



Tender in the first two drawings are seen from the back.  The ladder appears on this drawing as well as the water tank hatch.


This Elmer Wood side drawing shows the water and oil tank hatches and the tool box.Note that only two lines are drawn between the engine and tender.  it is likely there were five.

  • Two water feed lines.
  • An oil feed line.
  • A line carrying steam to the oil tank.
  • An air line from the compressor to the air tank.

No 21 Backhead Drawing

This backhead drawing for No 21 was prepared by David Fletcher.  The final details resulted from a series of emails between Fletch and Keith Christenson.  No original backhead drawings are known to exist.  So these drawings are the best estimates of two men that have spent a significant amount of time studying existing photos and drawings.  Both have extensive knowledge of the operation of steam engines.


Click image for a PDF of the original CAD Drawing.


Click image for a PDF of the original CAD Drawing.





Logic Behind Placement of Key Components

What follows is a listing of the key components of the backhead and cab area of NPC No 21.  The logic behind the placement and design of each component is given.

  • Engineers Seat – On the right hand side of the locomotive when facing out the front of the cab.  See photo on Backhead Detail page showing Bill Thomas in this position.  Both engineer and fireman seats were fold up seats.
  • Fireman’s Seat – On the left side of the locomotive when facing out the front of the cab.  As second photo on the Backhead Detail page shows the fireman in this position.  Note the placement of the oil burner controls to the right of the fireman.
  • Burner Vent & Controls – Shows vents on front of the drum admitting air to the oil burners.  Earlier Backhead drawing on the Backhead Detail page also shows openings on side of drum.  It is likely there were holes in both locations as this was the only air supply to the oil burners.  Later photos of NPC No 21 show that the headlight was moved up and a hole was placed in the front of No 21 supplying air through a cowling to the drum openings.  The two levers on the drawing operate the dampers – controlling the extent to which the front and side openings admit air.
  • Oil Burner Controls – These controls which face the fireman control the flow of oil to the burners.  A side view of these controls is clearly shown on the photo of the firemen on the Backhead Detail page.  A schematic of these controls is also shown on the Backhead Detail page.
  • Air Brake Stands – While only one is shown, there were probably two brake stands, the direct air engine brake stand and the automatic air train brake stands.  They were likely cleated off the cab walls.  They would have been cleated to the front cab wall or to the side wall to the side of the engineer.  We feel the front cab wall is the more likely location.  The Backhead Detail page shows a Westinghouse Brake photo on the left and an engine brake photo on the right.  Note that brake gauges would have been placed in front of the engineer on the front cab wall.
  • Lifting Feedwater Injectors – Mounted on the upper slope of the boiler sides.  The injectors were probably “lever action” as was common locomotive practice. The water and steam settings were pre-set and the engineman pulled the lever to start the feed.  A photo on the Backhead Details page shows a feedwater injector just behind Bill Thomas’ head. 
  • Johnson Bar – Is secured to the floor to the left of the engineer’s seat.
  • Hydrostatic Lubricator – Two are shown, one on each side of the backhead.  They would have been similar in design to the photo on the Backhead Detail page.  Globe valves shown would allow steam to be shut off from the lubricators in case of breakage and when the lubricators were to be filled with steam oil.  Oil is fed to the cylinders via a line going to the cylinder covers.
  • Dual Water Glasses – This is not obvious from the photo but it is likely they were positioned 2 feet in front of the backhead so as to be visible to the engineer and fireman by looking sideways.  Note that given the slant of the boiler, it was not necessary that the cab side of the steam drum contain water.  As a result, the upper and lower ends of the water glasses in all likelihood extended from just below the top of the boiler to the lower part of the steam drum.  The only reason the water glasses would extend higher on the steam drum would be to check whether water was too high, causing a risk of priming the engine’s cylinders with water.  Lines feeding the water tubes would be braced with brackets attached to the boiler or possibly the top of the cab.  Globe valves at the top and bottom of the water glasses would allow the water to be shut off in the event of breakage of the glass.  Globe valves would also be placed there the pipes exited the boiler and steam cylinder so the flow should be shut off in the event of pipe breakage.  The preferred water level on this engine is 2 inches above the inner corrugated drum casing.  This keeps spots in the boiler from overheating.  Too much water in the steam drum reduces the steam generating capacity of the engine.
  • Oil Lamps – Lamps with vertical slits would be mounted to throw light on the water glasses.  They are shown to the inside of the glasses in the drawing.  The drawing shows them fixed to the pipe work and off straps attached to the backhead.
  • Turret – Comes off the middle of the steam drum backhead.  It supplies steam to the two hydrostatic lubricators, the compressor lubricator and the oil injector.
  • Throttle Valve – Was at the junction of the dry tubes.  It controlled the flow of steam to the cylinders.
  • Throttle – Earlier drawings on the Backhead Detail page show the throttle swinging directly off the throttle valve.  To reach the throttle, the engineer would need to reach behind his head and around the steam pipe.  In practice, the throttle would have been in front of the engineer’s seat in front of the Johnson bar.  The above drawing assumes it was suspended from the ceiling with a linkage back to the throttle valve.
  • Compressor Lubricator – Shown on the left side of the backhead, this lubricator uses steam pressure to feed oil to the air compressor mounted on that side of the engine.  While shown above the entry door (for clarity) it would have been mounted to the right of the entry door behind the throttle.
  • Steam Dry Lines to Cylinders – Earlier drawings on the Backhead Detail page show these lines in front of the backhead.  Yet these lines don’t show on the photos.  Furthermore, they would block access to the hand holes.  So in drafting this plan, they were curled around the inside outer edge of the boiler.
  • Water Tube Hand Holes – These appear to be 40 circles with a bolt in the middle on the drawing.  While they are appear to be circles, it is likely they were elliptical in shape.  They are actuall drawin that way with a vertical orientation.  As the drawing on the Backhead Detail page shows, the flanges were on the inside of the outer boiler casing.  If elliptical in shape, they could be removed through the hole in the outer casing.  The dots between the hand holes are the backhead stay bolts.  In one of the photos on the Backhead Detail page, you can see the brackets and bolts that held the hand hole covers in place.
  • Steam Pressure Gauge – is not shown on the drawing.  Given his seating position, it is likely the gauge was mounted to the front cab wall in front of the fireman.
  • Tri-cocks – Are not shown in this drawing.  Given their position above the crew’s head, the lack of space, the fact they were being phased out and the unusual characteristics of this boiler, it is unlikely this boiler had tri-cocks.
  • Entry doors – In all likelihood, these were not doors but openings.  They are drawn that way.  To exit the engine, both the fireman and engineer would need to lift their seats and exit through these openings.  Some NPC crews were concerned about the lack of collision protection provided by the cab forward design compounded with the time it took to exit.  
  • Cylinders – This engine was built with parts from wrecked Baldwin 4-4-0s.  Cylinder dimensions would have been consistent with Baldwin 4-4-0 design.  However, they had been upgraded with Bill Thomas’ patented American Balance Valve.

Fletch, and Keith — thank you for all the time and expertise that went into these drawings.

Denver, South Park & Pacific RR – 2-6-6T

There were 4 different classes of Mason Bogie on the South Park:

Class 1 – Very Light 2-6-6T – #5, bought second hand from the Kansas Central, converted from 0-6-6T to 2-6-6T.  South Park only owned one of this class.  34″ drivers, Engine weight 42,000 lbs on drivers. 12×16 cylinders…no class No.

Class 2 – Light 2-6-6T – built with wagon top boilers, South Park Owned 10 of this type. #3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Classed ‘DH-1′, by the UP owners (Union Pacific owned the South Park for some years), as their feeble attempt to by-pass the Jay Gould ‘Tri-partide’ agreement, that stated the Sante Fe would not build north into Colorado, the UP wouldn’t build south into Colorado, and the DSP&P & D&RG wouldn’t leave Colorado!). 37″ drivers, 43,850 lbs on drivers. 13×16 cylinders.  This is the model we’re building in the Masterclass.

Class 3 – Heavy 2-6-6T – built with straight boilers.  South Park owned 8 of this type, #14, #15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.  Classed ‘DI-1′ by the UP owners, 37″ drivers 45,000 lbs on drivers, 14×16 cylinders.

Class 4…2-8-6T – South Park owned 4 of these monsters, #25 ‘Alpine’, #26 ‘Rico’, #27 ‘Roaring Fork’ and #28 ‘Denver’ already have the only known builder’s photo of this loco. 36″ drivers, 55,340 lbs on drivers, 15×20 cylinders, classed ‘EJ-1′ by UP owners.  these engines are displayed on a separate page.

Class 1 Photos and Information – 2-6-6T Very Light

We have no photos of this class.

Class 2 Photos and Information – 2-6-6T Light



Number 3, later renumbered to Number 40 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image of top photo.


Number 4, later renumbered to Number 41 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


This is a scan of the original builders photo of No 4, digitally enhanced with Photoshop.  Click picture for a larger version of the original sepia photo.  Click here for a digitally enhanced large version.  Photo from the collection of Keith Christenson.




Number 6, later renumbered to Number 42 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


Still another shot of Number 42.  Click photo for a larger image.


Number 7, later renumbered to Number 43 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


Number 8, later renumbered to Number 44 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


Number 10, later renumbered to Number 45 in 1885.


Number 11, later renumbered to Number 46 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


Another shot of No 11, this from the opposite side.


Number 12, the Como, later renumbered to Number 47.  Click photo for a larger image.


Number 13, later renumbered to Number 48 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.

Name Various Number 3,4,6,7,8,10,11,13
Works No Various Type 2-6-6T
Date 1878-1880 Drivers 3’1″
Cylinders 13×16, 14×16 Weight 43,850 & 45,000
Gauge 3’0″
Later RR Union Pacific/Chicago Burlington & Quincy

Mason #4 – Builder’s photo of the 2nd Mason to be delivered to the South Park, she is a ‘light’ 2-6-6T , with wagon top boiler, same type as being modeled in MC2002.  Built DSP&P #4, ‘San Juan’ in 11/1878, Mason’s 597th loco, renumbered #41 in 1885 when the South Park renumbered the fleet, scrapped in 1889.

Mason #6 – in service shots in the late 1880s, Built as DSP&P #6 ‘Ten Mile’  in 4/1879, Mason’s #599, 4th Mason Bogie to be delivered to the DSP&P, is again a ‘Light’ type 2-6-6T.  Renumbered #42 in 1885, and retained number into the Denver Leadville and Gunnison era.  Scrapped in 1890.

Mason #7 – Photo taken in the late the ‘final version’ appearance as used by the South Park.  She was built 4/1879, as Mason’s 600th loco, named ‘Gunnison’, Originally numbered DSP&P #7, then re-numbered #43 in 1885, under the new DSP&P numbering scheme. She retained the #43 into the Denver Leadville and Gunnison RR era, until scrapped in 1890.

Mason #8 – Photographed Union Station, Denver in 1887, Built DSP&P #8 ‘Lake City’ in 5/1879, as Mason’s #601, South Park’s 6th Mason Bogie.  Renumbered #44 in 1885, and retained in the DL&G era.  Scrapped in 1889.  Again a ‘light’ 2-6-6T.

Mason #11 –  Photographed late 1880s in service.  Built as DSP&P # 11, ‘Ouray’ in 8/1878, Mason’s #608.  Renumbered #46 in 1885, and retained in the DL&G era.  Scrapped in 1890. ‘Light’ 2-6-6T.

Mason #13 – Early 1880s in service photo.  Built for the DSP&P as #13, ‘Ruby’ in 9/1879, as Mason’s #610, renumbered #48 in 1885, and retained in the DL&G era, scrapped in 1890.

Class 3 Photos and Information – 2-6-6T Heavy


Number 15, later renumbered to Number 51 in 1885.Source – “The Fairlie Locomotive” – Abbott p83.  Click photo for a larger image.


A wood engraving of the same engine.Click photo for a larger image (very large image).


Number 22, later renumbered to Number 55 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


Number 24, later renumbered to Number 57 in 1885.  Click photo for a larger image.


Another shot of Number 57 after name change to Denver, Leadville, & Gunnilson — photographed at Garfield Quarry in 1892.  Photo from Denver, South Park & Pacific, Mac Poor page 457.  Click photo for a larger image.


1939 photo of #57, the last surviving 2-6-6T, taken in Aimes, IA.  Click photo for a larger image.


Another photo of 57 in Aimes, IA.  From the Ken Martin collection.  Click photo for a larger image.

Name Various Number 15,22,24
Works No Various Type 2-6-6T
Date 1879-1880 Drivers 3’1″
Cylinders 13×16 Weight 43,850
Gauge 3’0″
Later RR Union Pacific/Chicago Burlington & Quincy

Mason #15 – Builder’s Photo of the famous ‘Breckenridge’,  Built in 10/1879, Mason’s #612, renumbered #51 in 1885, and retained in the DL&G era, The South Park’s 2nd of the heavy class 2-6-6T (with straight boiler)…simply listed as ‘gone’ by 1894.

Mason #22 – Built as DSP&P #22 ‘Crested Butte’ in 12/1879, Mason’s #616.  Renumbered #55 in 1885, and retained in the DL&G era.  Sold by 1894.  This is a ‘heavy’ type 2-6-6T.  This is the loco that David Fletcher based his ‘Crested Butte’ 2-6-6T on 4 years ago in 1:24 scale.

Mason #24 – the Famous #57 … last of the 2-6-6T to be bought by the South Park,  Built as #24 ‘ Buena Vista’ in 2/1880, Mason’s #618, renumbered #57 in 1885, retained in the DL&G, and still in service when the C&S was formed in 1899.  Numbered C&S #1, sold late 1899, or early 1900 to a lumber Co in Wisconsin, later offered for scrap in Iowa and donated to Ames campus, University of Iowa, Engineering school, scrapped in WWII drive in 1942.  She was the last South Park Mason and could have been something very special had it been kept.  This was the last of the ‘heavy’ type 2-6-6T.  The 4 Mason Bogies that followed were all 2-8-6Ts.

Mason References


General Searches

My three favorite Web sites for doing research into out-of-print books are:

At all three sites you can do searches in key word, title, and author.  When running searches to narrow selections, if you use the word railroad, use both spellings (railroad and rail road).  Most of the books listed later in this section can be purchased from these online resources, often at very attractive prices.  I’ve ordered from all three and have been happy with their service.

Specific books and other resources. 

Comments related to the book immediately following the title are from a bookseller.  As I receive book reviews on these books, the reviews will be added and attributed to the reviewer.  We are not necessarily recommending these books merely because they are listed.  Rather, we are documenting where material on the Mason Bogie exists in print.  Comments from forum members may include recommendations and are an indication that the member has this book in his personal library.

American Narrow Gauge Railroads – George W. Hilton – A 580 page volume with information on every narrow gauge railroad that existed in America. Numerous photographs and maps. Map endpapers. A highly recommended reference.

Comments from Michael Anderson – In my copy, on page 127 Is the beginning of an article on Mason Bogies. There is a picture of a Mason style locomotive built by Alco-Manchester in 1902, for the ‘Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn’.(Ed Bond collection) On page 128 is an erection style drawing of a Mason Bogie anatomy. On page 129 is a picture of a 0-4-4 built for the New York & Manhatten Beach. Picture credit W.A.Lucas collection, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

On page 338 is a picture and info on a 0-4-4 for the Stockton & Ione.
The picture credit is from the Munson Paddock collection, Railroad museum of Pennsylvania.

Comments from Steve Conkle – There is also a small section on the “Fairlie” just prior to the Mason Bogie. Also, on page 338 where the picture of the Mason Bogie “Stockton” is if you look at the middle column there’s a short write up on the Stockton & Ione RR history.

Forgot to mention on pages 140 and 141 there are two tables listing how many engines Mason built between 1870 and 1890. There’s also an end note (i.e. No. 23) on page 166 that lists the location where the Mason Machine Works builders list is located.

Articulated Locomotives – Lionel Weiner –  This volume ranks as one of four landmark books on steam locomotives and the only one to deal comprehensively with the principles of articulation. 632 pages with photographs, charts, data, diagrams, and some foldouts.

A Locomotive Engineer’s Album – George B. Abdill – The saga of Steam Engines in America. Fifth in the Old Railroad Series by Locomotive Engineer George B. Abdill. ” 190 pages of pictorial history with text of steam locomotives.  Pictures and anecdotes by a working locomotive engineer on the Southern Pacific, Portland Division.

Comment from John Kolb – 

From page 84 of “A Locomotive Engineer’s Album” by George B. Abdill.  The caption reads:
Burlington & Lamoille RR owned the Mansfield, an 0-6-6T built by the Mason Machine Works of Taunton, Massachusetts. The engine is shown here at William Mason’s factory, ready for delivery; note the absence of a headlight, many roads preferring to apply their own favored type of lamp. In contrast with his 4-4-0 types, which had concealed counterbalances, this “bogie” has visible counterbalances in each of her drivers

American Steam Locomotive – Brian Solomon – An action-oriented look at the trains that once ruled America’s rails captures steam locomotives chugging past scenic mountains, plains, and small towns.

Comments from Tom Farin – p 34 contains a photo and statement about the William Mason, the first US locomotive with Walschaerts valve gear.  Page 36 and 37 contains a brief (four paragraph) discussion about William Mason.  Page 30 is devoted to the Mason Janus (including a photo) and a discussion of double sided steam locomotives.

Articulated Steam Locomotives of North America – Robert A. LeMassena – 15-20 photos of Mason Bogies along with historical information.

Denver South Park & Pacific – M. C. Poor – The Story of real railroad men in the executive offices, in the shops, at the division points, in the locomotive cabs and out along the line. 493 pages of text, maps, rosters, photographs and several color illustrations. 

Pictorial Supplement to Denver South Park & Pacific – Kindig etc. Towbridge Press – Fine 4to, 416, Illus wraps. B&W photos, maps. Index. Numerous photos of narrow gauge RR serving western Colorado.

Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History. Vol III, Oregon , Washington – DONALD B. ROBERTSON – Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1995 Cloth.  Illustrated with b&w photographs, maps , drawings. A detailed history of railroading in Oregon and Washington. A trove of technical information.

Comments from Michael Anderson – pp204″ The A.A.Denney is indeed a 0-6-4 with 33″ drivers, builders no. 552; date built 8/85; 50,000 lbs, ex Stockton & Ione, scr 1895. Evidently it was purchased (rebuilt?) as a used locomotive. 

The Fairlie Locomotive – Rowland Abbott – The only detailed account of the Fairlie locomotive. Details all the locos built on a builder by builder basis. Also covers the related US Mason-Fairlie and French Pechot-Bourdon locos. 103pp, illustrated.

Comments from Tom Farin – This is the only book we know of that focuses on Fairlie locomotives exclusively.  Pages 80-91 are devoted to what the book terms as Mason-Fairlie locomotives.  It includes some historical information, 12 black and white photos of Mason locomotives (mostly builders photos) and a Mason roster covering locomotives produced between 1871 and 1889.  It also discusses locomotives built using Mason designs after 1890.  No production statistics are given on these engines.  I have a copy of this book in my library. 

John Norwood’s American Railroads – John Norwood – oversize trade pb 204 pgs, illus w/ photos, maps, epilogue, bibliography, index .

Comments from Michael Anderson – has a pictue of DSP&P #15 – Breckenridge on page 43.

The Long Island Rail Road in Early Photographs – Ron Ziel – This fascinating text-and-photo documentary details the economic and social upheaval following the inauguration of Long Island Rail Road’s service in 1844. 225 rare photos provide splendid views of early coaches, locomotives, snow-removal operations, stations, passengers, crew, and much more. Extensive  captions plus informative Introduction outlining the history and development of the Long Island Rail Road and its role as an agent of change.

The Ma & Pa, a History of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad – George W. Hilton – Affectionately known as the “Ma & Pa, ” the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad was one of the country’s longest running and best known “archaic” railroads, holding on to steam locomotion and other outmoded technologies well into the twentieth century. Connecting Baltimore and York, the line had everything needed to endear itself to local residents and rail enthusiasts: picturesque equipment, marvelous scenery, antique passenger trains, handsome small-scale locomotives, and enough curves — 476 — for a railroad many times longer than its 77 miles. All this made the Ma & Pa one of the most popular prototypes for model railroaders, George Hilton notes, and thousands of miniature versions of the line became part of model railroads throughout the world. This new paperback edition of Hilton’s classic history includes a new introduction and epilogue in which the author recalls the line’s final years of service. He also comments on the continuing interest of modelers, enthusiasts, and all who fondly remember the Ma & Pa.

Comments from John Kolb – a page from Hilton’s “Ma & Pa” book shows a picture from the Benjamin F. B. Kline Jr. collection of P.B.R.R’s #3.

Narrow Gauge: The Story of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad – Robert Stanley, Published by The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc., 1980 – contains a significant amount the Mason Bogies owned by this commuter line.

Narrow Gauge in the Rockies – Lucius Beebe & Charles Klegg – 224 pages. 250 photographs, equipment drawings for the model maker, three full color paintings by Howard Fogg, endpaper map by Frederic Shaw. This is the story of the three-foot cars and engines on which an entire generation of the Colorado Frontier rode. These narrow gauges were built  to get to mining camps and diggings normal railroads could not maneuver.

Narrow Gauge to the Redwoods – A. Bray Dickenson, George Graves, Ted Wurm & Al Graves – 168 pages – A copy of this book is in my personal collection.  it is the most extensive history of the North Pacific Coast Railroad in print.  It contains two photos of the Bully boy, and about six photos of the San Rafael, the two Mason bogies run by this railroad. 

The Northwestern Pacific Railroad – Fred A Stindt – 304 pages – A copy of this book is in my personal library.  This is an extensive history of the NPC with photos of almost all engines in its roster.  It also has a brief history of some of the lines absorbed by the NWP including a chapter on the North Pacific Coast.  The NPC was the only line that ran Mason Bogies in the NWP system.

Pacific Slope Railroads – George Abdill – NY: Bonanza Books, c1959 Superior Publishing Co. 182pp. illus. b/w photos.

Comments from Michael Anderson – I found a picture of the “Onward”, a 0-4-4 in George Abdill’s “Pacific Slope Railroads”. She was used on the American Fork RR in American Fork Canyon, out of Sultana, Utah. The caption says she was the first of her kind built by William Mason.

Redwood Railways – Gilbert H. Kneiss – 165 pages – This is a history of a number of railroads that opened up California’s redwood forests.  It contains a number of chapters on the North Pacific Coast, the only railroad in this area that operated Mason Bogies.

Steel Rails to the Sunrise-the Long Island Rail Road – Ron Ziel & George Foster – 4to; hc, 320pp; Appends, Profile of unusual RR whose operations included steamboat and ferry services. Noted for several “firsts” in railroading

Web Resources 

Internet resources on the Mason Bogie are limited to mostly photos.  Some of these links are to Web sites of organizations with extensive photo archives.

PC&N Mini Benchwork Construction

Construction of the benchwork for the PC&N Mini layout has begun.  This post will outline the steps in its construction.

  1. Cut two 10′ long 1×2 boards.  You can see these two boards at the top and bottom of the following image.  Both boards are laying loosely on the floor in this photo.
  2. Cut four 9′ 10 1/2″ 1×4 boards.  The bottom two are laying loose on the floor.  The top two are screwed in place.  These boards are cut 1 1/2″ shorter to allow two 1x2s to be used to form the sides of the shelves.
  3. Cut five 7″ 1×4 boards for the 16″ deep section of the benchwork.  The five boards are connected to the horizontal 1x4s in the top portion of the image.
  4. Cut five 4 1/4″ 1×4 boards for the 12″ deep section of the benchwork.  These boards are laying loose in the bottom of the image.benchwork1
  5. Drill Kreg pocket joinery holes.  Two were drilled in each end of the vertical pieces.  One was drilled in the side of the end vertical pieces.  Nine were drilled in two of the long 1x4s to allow attachment of the 1x2s.   If you look closely at the following images you can see the holes.Benchwork3
  6. Use Kreg 1 1/4″ pocket screws to join the horizontal and vertical pieces for the 16″ deep section of the shelf.  The following is a closeup of the right hand side of the joined 16″ deep benchwork.Benchwork2
  7. Cut one of the two 12″ shelf 1x4s down to 4’6″.  Assemble the 12″ shelf with the left 4’6″ 12″ deep and the right 5’6″ 8 1/2″ deep.
    12 Shelf1
  8. Screw 3 1x4x10 inch cleats to the underside of the shelf to hold fiddle shelves.  Note that in this image one fiddle shelf is resting under the three cleats.  When the shelf is inverted it will rest on the top of the cleats.  There is a stack of three additional fiddle shelves at the top of the image.12 Shelf2
  9. Recess 1/4″ by 2″ carriage bolts in the top of each fiddle shelf.  The bolts will drop into holes in the cleats and be secured with wing nuts.  When it is time to retire a train from the layout, the wing nuts will be unscrewed and the shelf lifted out of the layout and placed in a specialized set of shelf brackets designed to hold multiple fiddle shelves.  This step is pending a trip to the hardware store to pick up the carriage bolts.DSC_0888
  10. Screw homasote onto top of pine frame.  In this shot the homasote is installed.DSC_0889
  11. Atttach 1×2″ pine trim boards to ends and portion of shelf facing into the hallway.  These two shots are a closeup of the homasote installation the top on the 16″ deep shelf and the bottom on the 12″ deep shelf section where the fiddle yard will be attached.  The trim pieces have been attached to the 16″ deep shelf.DSC_0891
  12. Attach cleats and folding shelf brackets to wall.  These brackets will support the 16″ deep shelf.DSC_089212.  Install shelf on bracket.  This image shows the 16″ deep shelf installed, positioned in horizontal position.DSC_0893This image shows the 16″ deep shelf folded into vertical position.  The trim pieces protect the outward edge of the shelf.DSC_0894This shot shows the 12″ shelf installed with the supports for the fiddle yard in place.DSC_0895
  13. Construct a fiddle yard from a 5 1/2′ 1×4 pine.  Countersink 1/4″ x 2″ carriage bolts.  This shot shows the board and carriage bolts bolted to the supports.DSC_0896
  14. Screw homasote onto the 1×4″ board and trim with 1×2″ trim.  This shot shows the completed fiddle yard bolted to the supports.  The gaps in this photo will be filled in with ballasting.DSC_0897
    This shows the 12″ portion of the layout folded vertical.  There are a few gaps I will need to deal with but after all, it is a test track and we’re talking about a plug in fiddle yard.  Note that the fiddle yards will come off the layout (remove three wing nuts) and rest on a purpose built shelf right above the fiddle yard area.

With three brackets, while the benchwork is structurally strong in the middle, the ends tend to flop a bit.  This creates a problem in joining tracks spanning the left and right side of the layout.  I ordered four additional end brackets should solve this problem.  Adding them to the ends stabilized the shelves.  I’m not claiming I could sit on them, but they are capable of carrying a fair amount of weight without distorting.

The fiddle shelf shown in the above photo is one of four that fits into a purpose built shelf unit.  Here’s a photo of the shelf unit with four fiddle shelves ‘plugged in.’

This extends the functionality of an operating session as multiple trains can enter the layout, one at a time.

When the large PC&N layout is built, there will be places to plug in the same fiddle shelves.  So as I envision things long term, I will:

  • Build a consist on a fiddle shelf.
  • Test it on the PC&N Mini layout.
  • Store the tested consist on the fiddle shelf.
  • Plug it into the large layout when I want to bring it into operation.