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Well, it's a Harriman 2-8-0 lettered for BC&G, but it's not a model of BC&G #4.  Hardly the last operating and we'll discount locomotive in tourist or museum service.

The Nortwestern Steel and Wire 0-8-0's were working until 1981.  Shot this picture in 1973:

Rusty

Agreed, i.e. the "last operating steam locomotive in North America". Those folks at that North Carolina Museum don't know what they are talking about. I was on the BC&G RR many, MANY times from the fall of 1962 thru the winter of 1965 (while on leave from the U.S.Army), and #4 was NOT the last steam locomotive to operate on the BC&G. The BC&G had three operating 2-8-0 locomotives (#4, #13, and #14), generally changing one out every month. Locomotive #13 was generally the strongest and was thus used in the worst winter weather months. Both #13 and #14 were superheated, while #4 was saturated and thus couldn't haul as many empty cars ( usually 50 to 60 hoppers) up the grade to the mine in Widen.

That Lionel model is NOT anything like #4, except for being a 2-8-0.

@scott.smith posted:

The reality is that this is as close as any of us will get to model of this. Tooling is too expensive and orders are too few to justify accurate models. It's the world we live in.

Scott Smith

As an aside, years ago i saw an article on an S-scale (not Tinplate or even Hi-Rail) layout where the builder had used a PW AF USRA 0-8-0 to emulate the BC&G 2-8-0. Those 2 locos share some proportions and some visual cues, as I recall. He, of course, made it a 2-8-0 (not an overly hard thing to do if you have a little bashing experience), and re-arranged some detailing as appropriate. It was a "close enough" model, not a 3-year project, and it did the job nicely.  The tender was replaced or changed; I forget.

So, get somebody's scale 0-8-0 (RK, or Lionel's "Premier" one) and have some fun doing it yourself. It would be closer than the Lionel Harriman 2-8-0, and probably cheaper, too. Plus, you get Forum bragging rights.

@D500 posted:

As an aside, years ago i saw an article on an S-scale (not Tinplate or even Hi-Rail) layout where the builder had used a PW AF USRA 0-8-0 to emulate the BC&G 2-8-0. Those 2 locos share some proportions and some visual cues, as I recall. He, of course, made it a 2-8-0 (not an overly hard thing to do if you have a little bashing experience), and re-arranged some detailing as appropriate. It was a "close enough" model, not a 3-year project, and it did the job nicely.  The tender was replaced or changed; I forget.

That would be Brooks Stover.  He has since replaced the converted Flyer 0-8-0's with redetailed S Helper Service B&O 2-8-0's.

The track on the old railroad was code .148, so it was officially Hirail.  His new railroad uses code .135 track and is still HiRail.  His modeling is however is otherwise scale.

Rusty

@Hot Water posted:

Agreed, i.e. the "last operating steam locomotive in North America". Those folks at that North Carolina Museum don't know what they are talking about. I was on the BC&G RR many, MANY times from the fall of 1962 thru the winter of 1965 (while on leave from the U.S.Army), and #4 was NOT the last steam locomotive to operate on the BC&G. The BC&G had three operating 2-8-0 locomotives (#4, #13, and #14), generally changing one out every month. Locomotive #13 was generally the strongest and was thus used in the worst winter weather months. Both #13 and #14 were superheated, while #4 was saturated and thus couldn't haul as many empty cars ( usually 50 to 60 hoppers) up the grade to the mine in Widen.

That Lionel model is NOT anything like #4, except for being a 2-8-0.

Jack, has anyone produced an accurate model of any of the Buffalo Creek and Gauley steam locomotives?

@JC642 posted:

I thought UP #844 that has never been taken out of service is the last?

Good point, but I believe they are referring to regular revenue service, not excursion or tourist service even though 844(4) was never taken off UP's books.

Otherwise there really is no "last operating steam locomotive" given all the boiling water going on at museums and tourist railroads, especially with the likes of the Cumbres & Toltec and Durango & Silverton.  There are operating or operable locomotives that have past the 100 year old mark now.  Sierra #3, V&T #22(Inyo) and Frisco 1630 come to mind.  I'm sure there are others.

Rusty

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