CH&FR Roster

This page will detail the CH&FR Locomotive and Equipment Roster.

Steam Locomotives

WM761: Baldwin 2-8-0 “Consolidation”

Baldwin 2-8-0 WM 761

Status: Active Excursion Service

WM 761 is a pristine restored Baldwin 2-8-0 “Consolidation” steam locomotive that has been restored to its original Western Maryland “Fireball” paint scheme.  The 2-8-0 was a very popular freight locomotive during the first half of the 20th Century, and this particular model was loaned to the CH&FR for a time by the Western Maryland to cover a power shortfall.  Some time after the WM was merged into what is now CSX, the engine was mothballed, and was recently returned to the CH&FR for restoration.  It is now used for passenger excursion rides and occasional freight service.

This particular model is part of Bachmann’s “Spectrum” line, and I recently upgraded it to DCC with a Digitrax DZ143 decoder installed in the boiler.

C&O1397: C&O Class H4 2-6-6-2 “Mallet”

Status: In shop for repairs

The Class H4 “Mallet” is a compound articulated steam locomotive.  Designed especially for hauling long, heavy coal drags over the mountains of West Virginia, the H4 has two independently rotating sets of drivers powered by two separate sets of pistons.  It is, in effect, two locomotive engines sharing a single boiler.  High pressure steam from the boiler drives the rear set of cylinders, and the lower, but still powerful exhaust steam from the rear cylinders is piped to the front set of cylinders to drive the front engine.

This particular model is part of Bachmann’s “Spectrum” line, and comes factory equipped with DCC.  It is currently sidelined due to an electrical problem.

Diesel Locomotives

CHFR 7401: EMD SD35

 

One of the CH&FR’s most recent acquisitions is an EMD SD35 custom painted in CH&FR colors.  No. 7401 is one of 360 six-axle Diesel units built by EMD in the mid-1960s.  The unit generates 2,500 hp, but its six-axle design provides great tractive effort for hauling long, heavy coal trains.  This unit is currently paired with it sister, B&O/Chessie #7413, on coal hauling runs.

The unit is an Atlas model that has been upgraded to DCC using a Digitrax Dn163A0 decoder.

B&O/Chessie 7413: EMD SD35

B&O 7413, an EMD SD-35, idles at Nolan Yard.

One of the CH&FR’s most recent acquisitions is an EMD SD35 in B&O/Chessie colors.  No. 7413 is one of 360 six-axle Diesel units built by EMD in the mid-1960s.  The unit generates 2,500 hp, but its six-axle design provides great tractive effort for hauling long, heavy coal trains.

The unit is an Atlas model that has been upgraded to DCC using a Digitrax Dn163A0 decoder.

ATSF 3500: EMD GP-40

EMD GP40 ATSF 3500

Status: In shop for repair

The EMD GP-40 was – and still is – a very popular staple workhorse locomotive built in the late 1960s.  Boasting 3,000 HP and riding on 4 axles in a “B-B” arrangement, it was powerful enough for road service and light enough to be used in a variety of schemes.  These days, GP-40s have been largely replaced by more powerful main line road units, but still find significant service on branch lines and in yard work.  The CH&FR purchased ATSF 3500 from the Santa Fe just prior to its merger with Burlington Northern (to form the BNSF) in 1996, and carries the Santa Fe’s Blue and Yellow (“Bluebonnet?”) paint scheme.

Interestingly, in the real world, the Santa Fe had only one GP-40 in its roster – #3464  That locomotive was reclassified down to a GP-35u and renumbered #2964.  It was destroyed in an accident on January 28, 1988.

This particular model is a Bachmann “train set” version from my original N scale “Thunder Valley” train set.  It is DC, and is currently “mothballed”, having donated its motor to another locomotive belonging to a friend in need.

C&O/Chessie #5278: EMD NW2

EMD NW2 C&O 5278

Status: Active, yard service

This is the CH&FR’s newest acquisition, and is still awaiting delivery.  The EMD NW2 is a very old design, built from 1939 to 1949, but many survive today in the real world, in work or yard service, excursions, museums, and private ownership.  Its 1,000 horsepower and short length lend itself to small switching yards with relatively light duty and tight spaces.  The CH&FR plans to use this locomotive at its Glover’s Bend yard.

This particular model is a Kato design, and has been upgraded with a TCS K3D3 DCC decoder.

Erie Lackawanna #6611: EMD F3A

Status: Active Service

The F3A is one of the classic freight locomotives, and the success of the F-series can be blamed for the death of the steam locomotive.  Built between 1945 and 1949, these “cab units” and their cabless “B unit” were used by a variety of railroads across the nation.  Rated at 1,500 horsepower per unit, A and B units were frequently paired up into sets to provide the horsepower needed to haul both freight and passenger traffic.

This particular model is built by Intermountain Railway and has recently had a TCS IMF4 DCC decoder installed.  It is a very smooth, quiet running machine at all speeds. This model was a gift from one of my online model railroad friends.

CHFR (ex-B&O)/Chessie #6411: EMD GP7

B&O6411, a GP7 pulls caboose CH&FR#1

Status: Active, road service

The GP7 was EMD’s first entry into the “hood unit” or “road switcher” design, pioneered by ALCO with their RS-1 and following locomotives.  Equally at home in the yard or on the main line, the GP7 lived up to its “General Purpose” title.  2,729 GP7s were built between 1949 and 1954, and largely replaced their F-unit predecessors for freight and yard service.  GP7s were so versatile and successful that they are still used in revenue service on some short lines today.

This particular model is one of the new Bachmann Specctrum models, and comes factory DCC-equipped.  Bowing to pressure from the FRA, I recently replaced the “B&O” reporting marks with “CHFR”, while retaining the existing unit #.

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Responses

  1. It is a very true perspective you bring to the art of building a model railroad layout. I love the art of model railroading but have none of the skills required to complete a “realistic” finished product as seen in the RR magazines. I have twice built and then totally torn apart layouts. What the end result should like is in my mind but not in my talent level. Thanks for your comments. Jerry LaFavor


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