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31  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann's Spectrum 4-4-0s for the SAL - some notes on their history. on: February 11, 2017, 12:27:05 PM
Baldwin Modern 4-4-0

Spectrum 80129 - Baldwin 4-4-0 SAL #106  DCC & Tsunami Sound fitted.

Spectrum 80104 - Baldwin 4-4-0 SAL #108  DCC Fitted.

Both models: Steel cab, alternative pilot and tender trucks and wheels, cow-catcher, chimneys, and old-time boiler domes included as spares in sealed parts bags; only coal load for tender, no oil bunker, though you get an oil bunker as a spare in the undecorated Baldwin.

What were the origins of SAL 4-4-0s #106 and #108?

These two locos were built by Rhode Island Locomotive Works in 1889 for the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railway. Their RI works #s were 2254 (#108) and 2282 (#106). Both locos were also named. #106 was “J.A. Hendrick” and #108 was “G.W. Glover”.

In 1895 the SA&M became the Georgia & Alabama Rly. 4-4-0s #106 and #108 are indicated by Prince to have kept their numbers and possibly their names right through three changes of company identity / ownership from 1899 to their renumbering in 1916.

The G&A became part of the Seaboard on 1 July 1900. The pair were designated SAL Class D1 and E17 at different times - I don't know the dates. They retained their previous #s until August 1916, when #106 became #128 and #108 became #129.

SAL #129, ex-#108 only lasted three more years, and was retired on 31 March 1919 at Jacksonville, Florida.

SAL #128, ex-#106 lasted almost to the end of the 4-4-0 type on the SAL, and was retired in October 1928, also at Jacksonville.

I cannot make definitive comments on how close the Spectrum models are to the real #106 and 108, as I have not found any photos of either engine. However, one thing is clear, whilst Bachmann have used the same boiler casting for their Richmond and Baldwin 4-4-0s, and so their #106 and #108 models are much the same size as their Richmond #159, the real #106 and #108 were much smaller engines. This is not surprising as they were built ten years earlier than #159. Specifically:

#106 + #108 had 63” drivers, engine weight 94,800 lbs, max axle load 31,200lb (estimated), and could run on 52lb per yard rail. They had 140 psi boilers and could produce 13,101 lbs tractive effort.  They had 73,000 lb tenders with 3,000 gal water capacity.

#159 + #160 had 69” drivers, engine weight 122,800 lbs, max axle load 37,450 lbs, and required minimum 62lb per yard rail. They had 185 psi boilers and could produce 20,675 lbs tractive effort.  They had 95,800 lb tenders with 4,200 gal water capacity.

Original source for the above data is the SAL locomotive diagrams, and much fuller info can be found here:

So what else can be said for the modeller about the originals in the absence of photos?

They were built for the SA&M in 1889, two years before it reached Alabama, and I think it possible that they were built as wood burners. There is a photo on page 81 of “Seaboard Air Line Railway – Steam Boats, Locomotives, and History” by Richard E Prince that shows SA&M Baldwin 2-6-0 #101, also built 1889, and it has a huge hopper chimney. This looks like a builders photo, and there is no fuel visible in the tender, but it looks like a wood burner to me!

Would they have stayed as wood burners, and if so, for how long? There are two builders photos of a 4-4-0 and a 4-6-0 built in 1896 for the G&A which have straight stovepipe chimneys but no fuel in their tenders to absolutely confirm their fuel, and there is a photo of a 4-6-0 built in 1898 for the G&A which has a stovepipe chimney and a tender heaped with coal. The implication is that the SA&M switched to coal, at least for its main line, in the early to mid-1890s. By then this pair would have already become small locos with comparatively limited power, and so may have gone to branch line duties rather than been modernised to burn coal.

As they both retired in Florida there is a distinct possibility that even if they were converted to coal in the 1890s they were converted back to wood-burners in later life. However, Bachmann do not supply a wood fuel option with any of their Baldwin models and the wood load and railings from their Richmond do not fit without modification as the tenders are different and have different shaped coal spaces.

Maybe builders photos exist in the archives of the Rhode Island Locomotive Works if those survive. And maybe photos exist in local collections around the Savannah – Montgomery line or around Jacksonville?

Finally for your railroad, this pair carried the numbers on the Spectrum models from first building in 1889, but in SAL lettering from July 1900 to August 1916. Thus with those #s they only overlapped Spectrum “Richmond” 4-4-0 SAL #159 for about 10 months, from 23 October 1915 when it received the #159 to August 1916 when #106 + #108 became #128 + #129.

A curious point about the various re-numberings is that I have not found any other locos that took up the vacant #s 106 and 108 in 1916, so they were not renumbered to make way for other locos. The only benefit seems to be that their new #s, 128 & 129, were adjacent, so it may have been done for class reasons.

Overall verdict – whilst it is not possible to verify the accuracy of these models as #106 and 108, they are very typical of lots of SAL 4-4-0s carrying 100 series #s between 1900-30. There is also plenty of licence to fit coal or wood fuel loads, or even oil, as the SAL did have some oil burners in Florida, seemingly to avoid lawsuits when sparks from its woodburners set fire to crops and buildings.

32  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann's Spectrum 4-4-0s for the SAL - some notes on their history. on: February 05, 2017, 05:14:13 PM
No, I am sure not. I have traced and extracted info on two out of several hundred locos from 16 pages of tables and several chapters of text, and interpreted two photographs. I have also summarised information that is widely available in the public domain, namely the dates when the SAL and other RRs re-organised. I have not quoted text or presented information in the way it was presented in its sources.

There are two types of copyright law in the US. Criminal copyright laws prohibit the unacknowledged use of another’s intellectual property for the purpose of financial gain. That is clearly not the case here.

Civil copyright laws are broader and depend on the type of material. The material here would come under the category "Compilations of facts and the sweat of the brow doctrine". Under this "Mere facts are not copyrightable. However, compilations of facts may be copyrightable material. Copyright protection in compilations is limited to the selection and arrangement of facts, not to the facts themselves."

33  Discussion Boards / HO / Bachmann's Spectrum 4-4-0s for the SAL - some notes on their history. on: February 05, 2017, 01:36:11 PM
Spectrum 83408 "Richmond" 4-4-0 SAL #159 (wood cab) (coal, oil, or wood load for tender)
DCC Fitted.

A while ago I did a note here about the actual locos represented by the Bachmann Spectrum 4-4-0 models. I have now gone through the tables at the rear of "Seaboard Air Line Railway – Steam Boats, Locomotives, and History" by Richard E Prince to find more precise info on their origins, lives and fates.


After the SAL absorbed several subsidiary lines in 1900 it owned 154 4-4-0 locomotives, mostly inherited from these RRs, so there were considerable differences between them. Many had started life as mainline passenger engines, but by WW1 they had been displaced and were employed on branch line and local services. The last two SAL 4-4-0s, #101 and #166, were retired from the SAL proper on 31 December 1936.

Many of the 4-4-0s operating on the SAL in Florida before WW1 burned wood, which was available and cheaper than bringing in coal. As older Florida engines were retired some coal-burning 4-4-0s from elsewhere migrated to Florida and were converted to wood-burners, but whether before or after arrival I don't know. By then technical advances had moved the spark arrestors from the chimney to the smoke-box, thereby eliminating the characteristic bulbous chimney of earlier wood burning locos and making them hard to distinguish from coal burning locos, so the Spectrum 4-4-0s are fine to represent them. Wood-burners began to disappear from the SAL in Florida after WW1, but I have not found when they finally went.

SAL 4-4-0 #159 + #160 (Only #159 has been used by Bachmann, for their “Richmond Modern” 4-4-0. There is a photo of sister #160 at Savannah in 1919 on page 133 of “Seaboard Air Line Railway – Steam Boats, Locomotives, and History” by Richard E Prince.)

In 1898 the Florida Central & Peninsular Railway ordered two new 4-4-0s for mainline passenger service, FC&P #73 & #74. They were built by The Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works at Paterson, New Jersey in December 1898. Works numbers were 2415 and 2416.  There is what looks like a builder’s photo of FC&PRR #73 on page 79 of "Seaboard Air Line Railway – Steam Boats, Locomotives, and History" by Richard E Prince.

The SAL absorbed the FC&P on 1 July 1900 and re-numbered all of the FC&P locomotives into its 300 series, at which time FC&P #73 and #74 became SAL #354 and #355 respectively. At the same time the SAL allocated SAL #354 and #355 to class E6. Before WW1 the SAL began renumbering its locos by wheel arrangement, and the surviving 4-4-0s were given the 100 series. SAL #354 was renumbered to SAL #159 on 23 October 1915, and SAL #355 was re-numbered to SAL #160 on 3 November 1915. They were both retired on 31 October 1930, #159 at Arcadia, Florida and #160 at Savannah, Georgia, so they had drifted apart in their later days.

As #159 ended its days at Arcadia it is tempting to believe that it may have been a wood burner. It depends on whether it was originally built or converted to burn wood, and if so whether the SAL would have bothered to convert such an old engine back to burn coal after WW1 or left it to burn wood until retirement in 1930. In the builders photo of #73 the tender is empty, so it is not possible to say if it was originally built for wood or for coal. Other FC&P 4-4-0s photographed in service around 1900 definitely have wood in their tenders, but they also have metal rails around their tender tops like those that come with the Bachmann wood load. #73 does not have these rails in the photo, but nor do the other FC&P 4-4-0 builders photos, so they may have been fitted after delivery.

My #159 came in the old Spectrum “big black box”, with coal in the tender but complete with alternate wood load or oil tank for the tender. It came fitted with a medium slatted “cow catcher”, but a with larger one and a smaller solid plow in a bag. Unlike the Baldwin 4-4-0 it does not come with a set of alternative pilot and tender trucks or wheels, or a choice of chimneys.

In the photo of #160, dated 1919 and so eleven years before retirement, it is hard to tell what the fuel is. There is no coal or wood showing over the tender top, and there might be an oil bunker or that might be part of something behind the loco. However, all the other photos of SAL 4-4-0s in Georgia and Alabama in the 1920s and 1930s show tenders heaped with coal. That includes #173, also photographed at Savannah in 1919, and I am guessing the SAL would not have operated a mix of fuels in the same section.

So how does the Spectrum model compare with the 1898 (#73) and 1919 (#160) photos of the originals? I will start at the front:

#73 has a large slatted cow-catcher, available in the spares bag. #160 appears to have the smaller version as fitted to the model, so both can be matched;

#73 has spoked pilot wheels. #160 has solid pilot wheels, as does my model. But I have seen one on ebay with spoked pilot wheels, and they are available from the Baldwin 4-4-0 spares if needed.

#73 has a large, square headlight mounted on the smokebox. #160 has a smaller round electric light, close to but maybe slightly smaller than the model, so we are close enough for post WW1 days;

#73 has a straight chimney, distinctly taller than either dome, and virtually identical to the model. By 1919 #160 has acquired a shorter, flared chimney, the same height as #1 dome. The model does not match the latter, but the chimney is a separate part attached with a screw so it can be changed. The spare chimneys in the Baldwin 4-4-0 are the right shape but too tall, but could be shortened;

#73 and #160 have identical, tapered boilers and the model looks very similar;

#73 has smooth but slightly less modern domes than the model, but not as ancient as the ringed domes on the Spectrum Baldwin. #160 has more modern domes, still not the perfectly smooth bell-shape of the model, but close enough. The dome covers are removable parts, and so could be modified by the purist, or even replaced, and again I assume are interchangeable with the older varieties supplied with the Baldwin;

#73 has a wood cab as on the model. #160 still has a wood cab in 1919, though it has acquired full-length sun-shades above the windows. It is tempting to assume that the SAL did not bother to replace the cab before scrapping in 1930. The cab lettering on #160 is consistent with Bachmann’s lettering on #160 in terms of location and style. So the cab on the model is fine.

#73 has a tender virtually identical to the tender with Bachmann’s Baldwin 4-4-0 rather than their Richmond. #160 has a modified or newer tender which now had raised sheeting beside the coal space which makes it closer to the Richmond, though there seems to be no outward flare at the top as on the model.  My verdict – close enough. Style, size and placement of tender numerals on #160 match those on Bachmann’s  #159.

#73 has tender trucks which match those on Bachmann’s Richmond. The tender trucks on #160 are completely different, nor do they match either of the alternatives supplied with Bachmann’s Baldwin.

The tender of Bachmann’s #159 is fitted with chains to restrict the swing of the trucks on tight curves and in the event of derailment. #73 has no such fittings. #160 has what might be tethers, but they are differently arranged and independent to each truck.

Overall verdict – Spectrum #159 will do fine and can justify the wood load.

All the above means that SAL #160 is still available to Bachmann for this model, as indeed are #354 and #355.

I will post a note on "Baldwin" 4-4-0s #106 and #108 when I have finished it.

34  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Southern 4-6-0 #1004, 1006 Prototype Question on: January 26, 2017, 11:20:05 AM
Hi, I have not yet taken the chains out of the bag for #1004 to inspect them, but:

On my Ma & Pa #6 (which is a "Richmond" with their Richmond tender, which is not quite the same as their small Baldwin tender) Bachmann have inserted a metal pin with an eye into the outer ends of the truck side-frames, and the ends of the chain are attached to those eyes, so the last link on the actual chain is a normal sized link.

On my #1004 the tender truck sideframes have small hooks on top of each end of each sideframe. I am not sure if these are plastic or metal, and if plastic they will be fragile and as they are open hooks I can see the chains frequently falling out, but... Remember that the prototype purpose of the chains is to restrict the swing of the trucks and to do that they must be attached to the trucks at their outer ends.

Best Regards,
35  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Southern 4-6-0 #1004, 1006 Prototype Question on: January 26, 2017, 08:44:18 AM
Hi, thanks very much for your comments and a treasure trove of pics. I am committed to retaining the large tender numerals as big numbers make life easy for DCC!

Regarding the Southern prototypes being larger than the small-driver Spectrum 4-6-0, the model is, however, virtually identical to small 4-6-0s owned by the Charlotte Harbor & Northern ( - see photos of #6, #26 + #28, and the Georgia, Florida & Alabama ( - see photo of #128 halfway down the page, which were inherited by the SAL, and though the #s are wrong as the SAL renumbered these into the 600s, the livery of the Spectrum SOU models is identical to that of their SAL Baldwin and Richmond 4-4-0s except for "Southern" on the cab side instead of "SAL Ry Co", so on reflection I may use this pair to add to my SAL fleet.

ATTN WOUNDED BEAR - re the overlong tender chains - if you look at these pics of the Spectrum Ma & Pa 4-4-0 #6 you will see that the outer links of the chains attach to the hooks on the outer ends of the bogies, thus there are 5 attachment points, not just the three hooks on the tender frame (

Best Regards,
36  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum ACL Russian Decapod Question on: January 26, 2017, 07:19:16 AM
Hi Len, thanks for your reply. I have now also found that Champ did a set, EH-260 ATLANTIC COAST LINE Steam Loco WHITE, which includes both the roundel and the full-length "ATLANTIC COAST LINE". Maybe last issued in 1995!

Best Regards,
37  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: Will Bachmann #57804 L&N #549 Alco 2-6-0 work on a MRC Prodigy? on: January 22, 2017, 01:25:43 PM
Hi Bill, thanks very much for your reply. I am trying to avoid the situation where I have my MRC controller in one hand and a cellphone in the other. Apart from which I don't have a cell-phone and would have to buy one, and I assume pay a monthly subscription to a service provider. Us old folks just use land-lines, and are very happy when we cannot be reached! I also like the sound to come from the loco, not from my hand!!

Best Regards,
38  Discussion Boards / HO / Spectrum Southern 4-6-0 #1004, 1006 Prototype Question on: January 22, 2017, 01:06:14 PM
Hi I have just added SOU #1004 (Spectrum 84904) to my pre-existing #1006 (Spectrum 82304). I am wondering if anyone knows which actual Southern locos these most closely match. The #s were allocated to SOU class F11, which comprised # 1001-4 built 1899 Schenectady, #1005-8 built 1900 Richmond, and # 1009-40 built 1901 Burnham, Williams & Co. But that class all had 70-inch drivers, so do not fit the models. I ask in particular because the models include a detail pack with tender chains to restrain excess truck-swing, alternate pilot detail, and there is always the question whether they should be coal, oil or wood burners. It would be nice to find a photo of a more exact prototype operating in SOU colors, and if anyone has already done the research and can provide a quick reference I would be very grateful.

39  Discussion Boards / HO / Spectrum ACL Russian Decapod Question on: January 19, 2017, 09:34:55 AM
Hi, I have Spectrum 81703 ACL Russian Decapod #8003. It has "Atlantic Coast Line" in a straight line across the tender. I am wondering, did Bachmann ever issue this model with the ACL roundel herald? (see photo

If not, does anyone make a decal set for this herald? It looks a bit too complicated to paint! and I have not found one online. Dry-print would be better than waterslide to avoid the need to disguise the film. I believe that the roundel was introduced circa 1938 with the 4-8-4s and on them at least was a separate embossed metal disk, so waterslide would not be fatal, but in the photo of #8007 it looks more like paint. It may be that it was polished metal on prestige locos but white paint on lesser beasts.

Also was it ever offered with DCC + sound for the ACL? Mine has the solid tender floor and the weight in the wrong place to fit a speaker.

40  Discussion Boards / HO / Spectrum "High Boiler" 4-6-0 on: January 14, 2017, 11:05:49 AM
Thought someone might be interested to see this pic I found today. Looks pretty close to me.

Best Regards,
41  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: Will Bachmann #57804 L&N #549 Alco 2-6-0 work on a MRC Prodigy? on: January 10, 2017, 07:33:06 PM
Hi, thanks very much. I shall proceed!

Best Regards,
42  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Re: Will Bachmann #57804 L&N #549 Alco 2-6-0 work on a MRC Prodigy? on: January 10, 2017, 04:56:06 PM
Hi Mr B, thanks for your swift reply. I interpret "a Bluetooth chip mounted to the circuit board" as meaning part of, not plugged into, so am I right to assume that I need to replace the board entirely for DCC operation? If so I would fit an Econami, so can you confirm whether the tender is prepared for a speaker? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? It would be unfortunate to miss out on this L&N small loco entirely.

43  Discussion Boards / E-Z App / Will Bachmann #57804 L&N #549 Alco 2-6-0 work on a MRC Prodigy? on: January 10, 2017, 10:09:19 AM
Hi, I am looking at an ad for “Bachmann #57804 L&N #549 Alco 2-6-0 Loco with EZ App Train Control”. It says a load of stuff, including “ready to launch and use instantly after downloading the FREE Bachmann E-Z App™ from the Google Play store or Apple App Store”.

I have no idea what this gobbledygook is about. I have no intention of buying a mobile phone and paying exorbitant monthly rental just so I can run one of my engines. And I dumped my Bachmann Dynamis because I got fed-up with a system where the batteries would run out at an inconvenient moment and it would go haywire from time to time for no obvious reason – I am now strictly cable.

Will this loco work on a plain old MRC Prodigy Advance controller? I read elsewhere on the EZ App board the general comment that “These locos do not have DCC or sound. The control comes from the phone and the sound plays from the phone not the locomotive. You can however modify things to how you desire depending on your abilities.”

Grateful for any advice.

44  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: A confession and a question! on: December 02, 2016, 02:23:40 PM
Hi Jonathan, thanks. Wow - are those the Exactrail B&O Wagontops? They are on my wish-list!! And exactly the sort of cars I would not want to take a risk with until proficient.

The Bev-Bel does come with a representation of planking, if you consider a raised line between each plank as such - more like a health and safety trip-hazard for 1/87 feet!

Best Regards,
45  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum 4-4-0 Modern American Richmond prototype - Wood and Oil Burners on: December 02, 2016, 02:08:03 PM
Hi, I did a note on this forum back in July 2012 about the Spectrum 4-4-0s for the SAL which might be of interest, as the Richmond 4-4-0 model includes a wood load for the tender, and the SAL model is a legitimate candidate to use this. A lot of SAL 4-4-0s migrated south to Florida branchlines later in their lives, and at least some were converted from coal to wood burners as wood was locally available. The conversions used smokebox spark arrestors, not smokestack arrestors, and so do not require a change of chimney. I have slightly modified my original note on the 4-4-0s and have pasted it below:

The real SAL #159 (the number used by Bachmann for the “Richmond”) was one of a pair (159 & 160) built 1898 by the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey for the Florida Central & Peninsula Railway.  These two seem well inside wood burning territory, and I have also found a photo of an FC&PRR 4-4-0 with a straight chimney and a tender loaded with wood, so I know I don’t need a smoke-stack spark arrestor for a wood burner, though most of the FC&PRR wood burners shown do have smoke-stack spark arrestors fitted.

The real SAL #106 and 108 (the numbers used by Bachmann for their “Baldwin”) were a pair built 1889 and 1890 by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works for the Seaboard. I don’t know where they operated. The info I have is that many SAL coal burning 4-4-0s which moved south when relegated to branch line work were converted for wood burning. The Bachmann wood load is designed to fit the "Richmond" tender, not the Baldwin.

I also know that by the mid-1920s the Charlotte Harbor & Northern, one of the smaller Florida lines that the SAL inherited, had converted a number of its locos from coal to to oil, e.g. Baldwin 4-4-0 #8 (very similar to the Spectrum model ), Baldwin 4-6-0 #28 (which was one of four off-the shelf small-driver Baldwin 4-6-0s very similar to the Spectrum model), and Baldwin 2-8-0 #18 (a small 2-8-0 not represented yet in the Spectrum range, very similar to the Ma & Pa small Baldwin 2-8-0s #23-26). The reason they did this is not known, but may have been related to it being easier to have oil delivered by sea to Charlotte Harbor than coal by rail.

My references on the SAL are Richard E Prince "Seaboard Air Line - Steamboats, Locomotives and History", and on the CH&N Donald R Hensley's Tap Lines website (for all things Florida) and book "Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway - The Boca Grande Route"

Hope this helps,
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