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Close up view of 672 getting her ashes dropped at Kayne. This shows the extent of modifications to a Tyco Mike to get better realism and believablilty. The tubes on the side of the firebox were over-fire jets for smoke abatement. Crews hated the noise they made. Weathering is restricted to sand residue.
Clarence Darden of Nashville was the road’s Chief Mechanical Officer and responsible for the design of the J-2’s class 4-8-4’s that coincided time-wise with the NP’s “Four Aces” Timken engine that gained 4-8-4’s the name “Northerns”. Had the NC’s engines been delivered a month earlier, we might know them as “Dixies”. To evaluate steam program improvements, the NC owned an ACF Dyno car. Here is my first attempt at Dyno car 90130, a modified Walthers car. Clarence asks “is it on?” as they check the inspection lights before a run.. See photo of Dyno, rev 2 !
The Bachman Mountain is beautifully rendered for an inexpensive engine, as this close-in shot reveals. NC features added or moved are the bell and the stack, which is capped. This was a common, ever present spotting feature of NC steam
Engine 576 sits past Demonbruen Street Viaduct, outside Union Station and next to Cummins Station where Maxwell House coffee was ground and blended. The engine is scratch-built of brass, including the frame and includes a correct Alco semi-Vandy tender, also scratch built. Common commercial castings were used where possible as details. The building is a “flat”, made from a computer print of photos of that same building.
Cars for the City of Memphis were specific to that train, like no other since built in the NC’s shops. Since the original prototype car was a heavyweight Pullman, it still retains six wheel trucks, though fitted with roller bearings. As a result, every car of this train still exists today (2003). Here the RPO-Baggage car number 1140 is shown next to Cummins Station warehouse. The model uses scratch-built styrene sides applied to an Eastern Car Works core kit. Paint is Des Plains Hobbies EMD NC&StL formulations and decals are home made.
The tail car for the City of Memphis was homemade by the RR, like the rest of the real train. The model is also homemade, as accurate as I can make it in styrene. It has full interior and includes HO scale copies of magazines from the forties strewn about, and a copy of a Bible on a dedicated table, as on the prototype. Modeling the rear end was a huge challenge and special molds were made to form styrene to the proper shapes. The sides are scratch-built and every window is individually cut to fit.

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© Tom & Maryann Knowles, 1996 - 2011