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Happy Switcher Saturday everyone,  and here's a cheer for the Olympics opening!   

For those who are unfamiliar,  Switcher Saturday is a weekly thread where we celebrate the smaller and versatile locomotives that do the big work of railroading.   If you can appreciate the need for an A5 before an Allegheny,  or a GP unit before a giant SD70, then you found the right place.

Switcher Saturday is always open to all scales and gauges with a heavy dose of 3 rail O gauge.   Everyone follows the ogr tos regarding pictures.

For starters this weekend we have lionel U.S. Army 41 pulling a few cars through Tin Town.


So everyone have a great weekend, keep those switchers working,  and cheer loud for the best athletes in the world giving it their very best.

Happy Saturday gang.


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Boston & Maine Railroad #117 is an MTH Premier model of a General Electric 44-ton diesel-electric locomotive with PS3. It’s small, heavy for its size, runs smoothly and pulls well, but I think it looks most realistic pulling one or two cars. Despite its small size, this model has MTH’s vertical drive setup with two DC motors.

#117 was the only GE 44-ton locomotive built for the Boston & Maine during World War II, entering service in August 1942. It was permitted to run at a maximum speed of 35 miles-per-hour and powered by two Caterpillar V8 engines of 180 horsepower each.

The videos show the locomotive pulling B&M steel boxcar #73199, built in 1942 (model by MTH) and wood caboose #104331, built by the Laconia Car Company in 1905 (model by K-Line). The caboose remained in service until 1959. I prefer to run short trains at slow speeds on this 10’-by-5’ layout which is just an oval with Atlas O-54 curves.




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Last edited by MELGAR

Good morning fellow switcher fans!  JHZ563 Thanks for notching out the throttle and getting us rolling ... early I might add!   MELGAR - wonderful pics/videos and exquisite information as always!  I love the B&M 44 tonner!  Enjoy your weekend everyone ... be safe = be well!!  

Today on the Free State Junction Railway action is abundant down at Butler Junction where MA&PA SW1 and Patapsco and Back Rivers VO1000 are doing the chores.  In the shot below MA & PA number 70 brings a milk train through Butler Junction.  Somebody better tell the hogger to dim that headlight!  IMG_3366-2

There's the kid Chucky riding his bike.  He sure loves hanging out down here at the track!  That kid is here darn near everyday too.  IMG_3344-2IMG_3349-2IMG_3345

Brakemen Grin Haggert and Barney Lottsford take a breather on the back step of the P&BR VO 1000 as they await their next switch assignment.  IMG_3362-2


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Last edited by trumptrain

Happy SwSat everyone. Great photos so far. For my switcher pics, I’m going to go in a different direction. Here is an engine that has occupied a space on my shelf for over 10 years now.

It doesn’t have any fancy electronics, isn’t a pre/postwar prize, has a horn that sounds like a model t Ford, is loaded with scratches and numerous cracks. But it occupies a very special spot on my wall. You see, this little switcher was my oldest son's first train. When I re entered the hobby, I built him a little 4x8 floor layout so he could enjoy his own trains. Note to snowflakes of this generation - I had no problem letting a 5/6 year old, after proper instruction, independently operate a layout, with all the wires and electronics at his grasp. And operate he did - in a Gomez Adams like fashion! This little switcher regularly ran over his favorite Star Wars figures, banged into Elmo, crashed into cars, and flew off rails and into walls at ungodly speeds, occupying junior for countless hours of fun. Ironically, after restoring my computer’s hard drive this week (long story, blue screen of death issue), I found this video of a more genteel operating session in our family photo files. It’s from the year 2001 and junior is 6 years old (forgive the music, I had the radio playing when i recorded this with my phone as it played on the screen)-

Junior is now in his mid 20s, working 80 hours a week for a bag of coin at some investment bank in Manhattan with no time or room in his apartment for a layout, but one day, hopefully not too far off, he will build his nest and rejoin the hobby. Then this little guy and a bunch of rolling stock (as well as a beat up nyc Hudson) will be reunited. Until then, this little switcher sits and waits, removed only from the shelf for a once a year dusting, oiling, and occasional dab of lube. You’ve all heard of the circle of life, well this is the circle of a switcher!


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Hi SwSat Fans, great pictures everyone.  Thanks jhz563 for getting us going this morning,what a great Lionel #41 and (amazing!) the window struts are still there!.  Melgar liked the B&M theme with 44 ton, boxcar, and caboose.

StrapHanger, loved the story about your switcher engine and your son and why it is so valuable to you.  Like you, my youngest son's train is below:  A switcher train from Marx, an inexpensive, 4 wheel plastic freight not really collectable or valuable, bought new for him in the 1970's and with it we made many rounds around the track and he made scenery for it to run through.   Precious to me and it remains a primary part of my collection.

Marx WP Freight - contents

Now for today, L&S management is somewhat up against it.  They are short of motive power and thus are going to use the new (not even repainted yet) 2nd hand diesel they are experimenting with.  Bob, the new guy, will have to take this mid-morning commuter up to Macon because Casey, the senior engineer refuses to run..."them **** oil powered stink pots!".  Normally refusing an order would have earned him a suspension, but Casey is the last fully qualified steam engineer on the line and we have steam engines still management is a little flexible in his case.

K line SF switcher train

Well Happy Saturday folks, have a great weekend.



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