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Welcome to Switcher Saturday ( SwSat ) June 15, 2024 Edition!!  If you love those smaller ( and sometimes larger ) locomotives that are truly the backbone of railroading because of  all the BIG things they do, then you are in the right place. Switcher Saturday is a weekly celebration of all things switcher locomotive ( dinky, critter, shunter, yard goat )  and switcher related!  We welcome your posts of photos, videos, and information regarding switching locomotives.  All gauges from Z - G are welcome here as is 1:1 gauge too!

Just a gentle reminder:  Post only photos that you personally have taken.  Posting copy written photos is illegal.  If you post a copy written photo be sure you have express permission of the photo's owner to post their photo.  Posting copy written photos is against the law and can result in legal action against you.  Refer to the OGR Forum TOS for additional information regarding copyright.  

As always, I'm excited to see what you all post!  We learn so much from one another.  Have a most enjoyable and safe weekend everyone!  Green signals to all!  

This week on the Free State Junction Railway .... The crew of Western Maryland number 81 welcomes everyone to another exciting edition of Switcher Saturday!  From left to right .. brakeman Spoo Hitchens, engineer P.J. Elkins, conductor Moose Luckadoo, and brakman Jake " The brake" Willis.  These fellers can git it done!!  Around the railroad these guys are known as "The Dream Team"!   They are extremely proud of their BL2 locomotive number 81!

In 1948 The Western Maryland purchased two BL2 locomotives from EMD.  BL - was designated as "branch line".  The locomotives were given the numbers of 81 and 82 and  were classified as DF15 on the WM.   The BL2s arrived on the WM property without MU capability or dynamic brakes, an optional choice made by WM when ordering from EMD.  Later the WM installed stanchion- type MU receptacles.  Built by EMD to work alone, the BL2 did not perform well in MU consists ( I assume as a trailing unit within a consist ).    WM mandated that BL2s must lead multiple unit consists.  The two WM BL2 locomotives spent most of their life  working the  WM Hagerstown, Md. yard.  Both 81 and 82 each worked in tandem with a WM shop built trailer ( slug ) containing only  traction motors which drew  power from the mother unit BL2.  Number 81 and its' trailer ( number 138T)    now reside at The B&O Museum in Baltimore.  Number 82, without its' trailer ( 139 T ) ,  resides on a tourist railroad in Belington WV .  It's interesting to note that both WM BL2 locomotives went on to serve into the Chessie years and were the only WM locomotives to retain original Western Maryland livery while all other WM locomotives received the Chessie paint makeover.  

This is a MTH Premier model with PS2.  IMG_2245


As delivered IMG_1238IMG_1239

Some model railroaders consider the BL2 to be ugly as a mud fence or the "ugly diesel duckling", however I find the locomotive as having graceful styling especially  in the many other liveries of the roads who also purchased BL2s.  The WM livery does very little  to accentuate the graceful lines of this locomotive IMHO.


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Last edited by trumpettrain
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Well, Patrick, I imagine the same model railroaders that call the BL2 "the ugly duckling diesel" are the ones who've given the same unflattering nickname to Lionel's PW GG1. Frankly, I like them both! For my entry today, here's my PRR BEEP pulling a string of MPC 027 boxcars that I've converted to chassis featuring the easiest-rolling trucks Lionel ever made for these cars:


I believe these trucks, imprinted with "LIONEL," were the last to be made in their Chesterfield, MI facility. The original chassis are all cleaned up, classified and stored away should these MPC cars ever become collectible. For now, I'm having fun running them as "track rods" and have more on the way from the "clearance" section of Forum sponsor Trainz's website.

Patrick, it appears that your second photo is not appearing in the body of your post.


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Last edited by Bill Swatos

Boston & Albany #53 is a Lionel model (6-28702) of a USRA 0-8-0 steam switcher with TMCC made in 2006 at MSRP $649.99. Lionel made an excellent model of the USRA 0-8-0 steam switcher design developed by the United States Railroad Administration during World War 1. The Lionel model’s boiler is fully round on the underside with a prototypical space between the boiler and the frame.

B&A #53 was a U-3b class switcher built by Lima in April 1921.  The engine had 25-by-28 cylinders, 51-inch driving wheels, weighed 219,000 pounds (about 364,000 pounds with loaded tender), and produced 51,040 pounds of tractive effort at 175 pounds-per-square-inch boiler pressure. When the B&A dieselized in 1951, #53 was renumbered to New York Central #7725 and ran on the Harlem Division until retirement in January 1955.

Photos/video show #53 on my 10’-by-5’ layout running at 29 scale miles-per-hour and pulling two boxcars - #50518 (Weaver/CMP) and New York Trumbull & Boston #777, an MTH car repainted and lettered by forum member @Krieglok. At the tail end is Boston & Albany wood caboose #1174 (K-Line).




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Last edited by MELGAR

Happy SWSat!

I'm with you Patrick when it comes to BL2's. I know that the railroads didn't love them for switching but I think the body design was an important step toward EMD's development of the Geep.

2020-06-12 07.00.00

So I finally got a few minutes to run some electrons through the rails......

Pennsy # 94 an A5 "shifter" (K-line) was assigned to pull an empty from the local warehouse. The car was dropped and waited for today's commuter run back to the city. The railroad didn't have any other traffic heading west today so they gave the job to the crew running the doodlebug.

2024-06-15 08.11.18

2024-06-15 08.11.582024-06-15 08.14.21

Wishing all the Dad's a Happy Father's Day.



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2024-06-15 08.21.06
Last edited by RSJB18
@MELGAR posted:

@Strap Hanger,

Your layout, and especially the elevated line, makes me think I'm back in Queens.


Thanks Mel. The layout scenery was an attempt to recreate an amalgamation of memories from my youth in Queens.  I guess your comment means I wasn’t too far off the mark.  For the El, back in the early 90s, I pulled a paint chip off a girder on Roosevelt Avenue and had it color matched.  Although not scale or prototypical by any means, It does capture the essence of it for me. Appreciate the comment. Love your layout as well.

Wonderful videos, photos, and information everyone!   Keep em coming!!  

Bill Swatos - thanks for the heads up on the photo not showing.  The problem has now been corrected.  Nice looking BEEP & boxcars too!!

Here are a couple videos of my Western Maryland BL2 ( MTH Premier PS2 ).  One of them is the BL2 taking the grade crossing at Patsburg Ave and the other has the BL2 prototypically leading a two locomotive consist of a freight train.  


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Last edited by trumpettrain

It's an overcast autumn day in 1964 as #418 sits over by the Ozarka (Arkansas) engine house. Seems the 418 turned contrary an' started trippin' the ground relay on northbound freight #44. That so, the boys swapped it out of their MU consist fer another engine at Ozarka. An engine that would hopefully stay in the fight that wuz a'comin' jist ahead on the long climb up to the summit at the small Ozark town of Piney.

Seems the 418 has led a somewhat of a rough life. In addition to other beats n' bangs that is all part of railroadin', here a few years ago it was involved in a side swipe an' still carries the scars. Plus, of late it's been layin' down during hard pulls.. and now it's trippin' its ground relay. But, seein' as money's tight, what with the bankruptcy an' all... the boys of the KC&G's Magnolia Shops down in Magnolia, Arkansas, are jist doin' what they can... an' often have to patch up an engine as best they can with nothing much more than bailin' wire an' chewin' gum!

But, fer now, the 418 sits n' idles patiently as it awaits Ol' Jess, the Ozarka Engine House Foreman, to come and look it over to find what's causin' it to trip it's relay. Ol' Jess will likely get 'er back into the fracas of mountain railroading on the Kansas City & Gulf.

It's always sumpthin' on the KC&G!


About the photo: Snapped at the town of Ozarka on my proto/free lanced HO scale KC&G Ozark Sub layout.

The model is from Life-Like's Proto 2000 series. I've made a lot of modifications to it, as well as cleaned/tuned the mechanism, along with replacing the split axle gears these P2K engines always seem to have.

I love reflecting prototype weathering and battle scars that I've seen, either first hand, or in pictorial form. To me, doing so gives each engine it's own visual personality so that no two are exactly alike, as was the case back in the day concerning aging 1st generation diesels on any prototype of significance.



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Hello switcher fans!  These are the videos that were supposed to appear last Saturday with my photos of the Rutland RR milk train.  It appears my old iPad is no longer up to the task (downloading video), because, as you’ll see, I’m able to post them with my wife’s newer device.  Looks like I need to upgrade my iPad, but I’ve solved a vexing problem.



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Well I am a little late today plus we are having some guests for dinner so this is a "hurry up" job.  This is Lionel (MPC) 1776 Bangor and Aroostock, "Jeremiah O'Brien" , GP-9 catalogued as #8865 (number not on engine)  in the celebratory bicentennial year of 1976.  She is my "go to" holiday engine with her Red/White/and Blue livery.

Jeremiah O'Brian switcher [2)

Best Wishes



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@Bill Swatos posted:


I believe these trucks, imprinted with "LIONEL," were the last to be made in their Chesterfield, MI facility. The original chassis are all cleaned up, classified and stored away should these MPC cars ever become collectible. For now, I'm having fun running them as "track rods" and have more on the way from the "clearance" section of Forum sponsor Trainz's website.

Patrick, it appears that your second photo is not appearing in the body of your post.

To avoid propagating misinformation on our beloved SWSAT thread, I must issue a corrigendum on the statement above. The trucks to which I refer are made in China:


As you can see that origin is rather stealthily applied to the top of the sprung portion of the bolster where it cannot readily be seen unless the truck is removed from the frame. When Lionel went back to using die-cast trucks on 027 boxcars later in the MPC era, they came up with their best design, but the trucks themselves were never manufactured in Chesterfield.


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