No, that’s not a new, merged railway à la BNSF. Rather, it’s CNR 4204 – a T-3-a 2-10-2 (Santa Fe type) beast of a locomotive:
While visiting Exporail with the S Scale Workshop this past weekend, I was able to collect CNR 4204, built for me by my friend Simon Parent. Simon truly is one of the top builders in our hobby, in any scale. His work is impeccable.
I did not buy this to run on the Port Rowan layout. Such a locomotive would’ve collapsed the bridge at Caledonia and busted all the rails in the two towns I model. For the time being, this one is primarily for running on the S Scale Workshop modular layout.
That said, I’ll want to be able to test it on my own layout from time to time. Even though it won’t fit on the turntable at Port Rowan, it will need to turn a wheel now and then to keep it in good working order.
I was pleased that Simon designed this massive machine to negotiate a 40″ radius, even if it looks a bit pinched in the process. Here it is on the 42″ radius leading into Port Rowan:
And just how big is a T-3-a? Well, it hulks over a Mogul:
CNR 2-10-2s were used in the Toronto area to help shove eastbound trains up the Don Valley. But the trains on the line I model also needed help – not 2-10-2s, but 2-8-2s – to scale the Niagara Escarpment as they headed south (railway west) out of Hamilton. Those helpers would be cut in behind the road power, as suggested in the above photos. I guess in this case, the crews forgot to cut out the helper at Glanford and just got lucky with the bridge…
Thanks, Simon: Great work as always!