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I bought this loco at York (my only trip) around 2005; it's a Lionel. It was an N&W Y-3 with a long, 12-wheel tender. RS-5, I suppose.  Runs well.

I always wanted (a familiar phrase) a model of the Southern Railway 2-8-8-2, either class Ls-1 (a Mallet) or, preferably, the later Ls-2 (simple articulated.) No one has made, or will ever make, now, a 3RO model of one. I think that an HO version has been produced. So, I decided to modify my Y-3 to emulate the Ls. It's a Mallet, so i guess that it's an Ls-1, but the Y-3's features are more a "blend" of the two.

I did this about 10 years ago. Most of the work was on the front end. I moved the pumps to the "port" side; scratch built a headlight and bracket at the right spot, removed a bit of N&W-looking pilot railing and mounted an ancient (1930's) cast-brass smokebox front that I found at a train show (it almost fits!). I moved the original Lionel bell and class lights to this new front. The major work was the scratch-bashed Ls-style pilot. The rectangular smokebox number board was correct for some Ls locos, but most had round ones.

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The weathering is with an airbrush, something that I have done little. I prefer dry pigments. The leading and trailing trucks are from, actually, an MTH RK 2-8-8-2, which I had turned into a NYC 0-8-8-0. They essentially dropped right in on the Lionel loco. The N&W wheels were spoked, which was not Southern Railway correct.

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A tender swap from a Lionel NKP USRA 2-6-6-2, so It functioned just fine. (The 2-6-6-2 has gone freelance, with a nice 12-wheel tender from somewhere else. The original 12-wheel N&W tender has also found a new home.)

New decals, weathering, and there it is. Lots of compromises on this one (note tender trucks, for example), but many of the original 2-8-8-2's shapes are similar to the Ls class, and when it comes around the corner it's a Southern loco. Couldn't do anything about the somewhat fatter boiler on the Y-3.

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Last edited by D500
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