Skip to main content

Bernard Corbin of Red Oak, Iowa was an advid Burlington Route and O scale modeler beginning in the late 1930's continuing for his whole life . Corbin wrote a book about steam engines of the Burlington . Corbin's models are meticulous in detail ...all scratch built . Here we have a Burlington T2 mallet ..prototype built 1910...model circa 1960. Engine should be pulling a very long line of frieght ....sorry I only have two of Corbin's cars ( so far)
Cheers Carey

See link for video actuon

See link for additional info about Bernard Corbin

Cheers Carey


Images (5)
  • 0410210215~2
  • 0410210217_HDR~2
  • 0410210219_HDR~2
  • 0410210218~2
  • 0410210219a_HDR~2
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest


Thanks for preserving this beautiful model by Corbin. He was a true model master and his Q models were the finest around. But he didn't only do Q, although the Burlington was his true love. If I remember correctly, he built at least one example of every class of Q engines. From 4-4-0's to the T2's and everything in between. And his Hudson's and Northern's were the finest examples of his work.

I never met him, but I have met several individual that knew him well. I have both of his books on the Burlington, and he was kind enough to autograph one of them for me.


May 1958 Model Railroader and Burlington Route Historical Society Bulletin #36 featured photos of Mr. Corbin's models.  #36 also had a nice biography. 

I recall seeing both of his T2 2-6-6-2's (1 Elesco, 1 Worthington FWH's) plus his T3 2-8-8-2 at the Chicago O Scale Meet about 10 years ago.  Two fellow BRHS members and myself were scrutinizing the models carefully, and one said to me "Are you going to buy one?"  I replied that they were not "state of the builders art, so I would pass".     In retrospect, what a goof I was!  Carey, you have a wonderful model of a most unique prototype.  They lasted a long time in service in the Black Hills of SD. They were initially  replaced by 4 unit F3's, then SD7's/9's, and lasted until 1950.   
If it is not a state secret, how did this model find it's way to you?

Hello mark thank you very much for pointing out the Met 1958 Model Railroader article it looks like Corbin made at least two T's as 4106 is photographed in the article.

I was very fortunate to win my engine in an auction recently as part of a very large collection it was still wrapped in newspapers from 1989 Corbin passed away in 1988.

So unknown if this immediately went from Corbin's estate to this collection but the engine seemed quite happy to get out of its newspapers and back on the rails after a little fiddling with some of the side rods.

There were  a number of Corbin pieces that went through the Seagrave collection a couple of years ago I believe.

The Corbin look is quite unique and I feel quite fortunate to have an example of his work in my collection.

Mark would you please consider either posting the article from the Burlington magazine or perhaps sending it to me in a message so I can add that to my library thank you very much.

Next year at the March Meet stop on over during my open house and you can give me a hand putting this on the rails as it needs at least three hands to move it.

Cheers Carey 0411211604~2


Images (1)
  • 0411211604~2
Last edited by Carey Williams

Carey - Thank you for the invitation to put the hefty T2 back on the rails at the 2022 Chicago O Scale Meet - I would love to!

I'm afraid my degree of computer literacy would stop short of copying and posting the BRHS #36 article.  One article concerned a young lad in Red Oak, IA that Bernard befriended and introduced to model railroading. It was a heart warming narrative.  Maybe just purchase the #36 Bulletin, as it is only $10.   As "Mad Magazine" used to say on the cover "Our Price - Cheap" !!  With all the uproar over copyright laws, safest route is buying #36. It also includes photos of non-Burlington locomotives he built, such as a Rio Grande L95 2-8-8-2.

Jim Seacrest was a personal friend of Bernard and had a monstrous O Scale collection.  Not surprised that his collection would be the repository for this engine. I bid on a couple of items at the Seacrest Stout Auction, but got aced out in the closing moments, so swore off all auctions!  Was at the DuPage Fair Grounds Monthly train Show about 25 plus years ago, and noted a Burlington Hudson for sale - it clearly was a Corbin. Burlington Bulletin  #34 has a very good photo spread and article about the prototype Burlington malleys.

Your posted photo is from the 1958 Model Railroader article and is #4106, another Elesco FWH T2. So clearly Bernard built a batch of T2's, and the lone T3 2-8-8-2. Plus he did at least one of the earlier 2-6-6-2's, the T1's, as noted in the MR article.

Oh, just recalled at the approximate 2017 Chicago Meet, one displayer had a Corbin Burlington M4 2-10-4 for sale. And, yes, his models had their own personality. His had a  bit more of a feel of "heft", like the prototype.  I say that with ownership of 2 Precision Scale M4's, as a basis of comparison.

Great stuff!! Thank you for the post!!

Carey, thanks for sharing another blast from the past!

It would be interesting to learn if Corbin and Bill Lenoir knew each other.  Both hand built beautiful models in O scale.  Corbin was big on Burlington, while Lenoir modeled his favorite road, the Chicago Great Western.

I fail to understand how the high priced imported plastic locomotives have become as popular as they have?  I'm well aware it's a personal matter, however, before I would invest in today's plastic junk (symbolically also known as a Chinese sailing vessel if you will) I much prefer the hand made models built by gentlemen like Corbin and Lenoir.  Not to forget the excellent brass models imported over the years, as well as the modern imports from Rich Yoder, to name one current importer.

Example: BrassTrains in Florida recently offered a 2 rail brass unpainted US Hobbies Union Pacific Big Boy Built in Japan by KTM for $950.00.  It's sold, but there is also a Williams 3 rail brass factory painted UP Big Boy (#4020) currently listed for $995.00.  Overseas shipping, insurance, and customs, puts it out of reach for me, however, if I resided in the States, it'd be mine today!

Happy Rails


Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.