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Look Beyond the Docksider: 0-4-0’s.

April 10, 2009

The following is quoted verbatim from a Baldwin Sales Catalogue:

Four couplerd locomotives have all the weight on the driving wheels, and are suitable for contractor’s’ or industrial service, and also for light switching work on railroad yards and terminals. These engines have short wheel bases, and they can be safely operated on sharp curves and switches. The smaller classes can easily traverse curves of fifty feet radius. For short runs, or for switching service eherre a large fuel and water supply are not required, saddle or side tanks can be used and the fuel carried in the cab or on a rear extention of the engine frames. For longer runs, a seperate tender should be employed. If desired, the tender tank is made with a slopin back, this giving the engineman a better view when backing up. A seperate tender is also an advantage on exceptionally narrow track, as it admist of a lower center of gravity than if the tank were placed on the boiler.
In tank-frame locomotives, as illustrated (below) the frames consist of steel plates, between which the water tank is place. This construction lowers the center of gravity; an important featur where the gauge is unusually narrow. These engines are fitted with a simple design of Marshall Valve gear, having all it’s parts outside the wheels where they are easily accessible. This style had a through trial on light industrial locomotives operating under the most severe conditions.

Here’s a pretty extensive gallery of what these little locomotives looked like. Most modelers know of the dozens of (usually crude) models in various scales that have been produced with the 0-4-0 wheel arrangement. This gallery will hopefully give you some different and fun ideas for kitbashing a more unique looking locomotive.

Typicall Industrial Steam Locomotive

Indiana Northern 0-4-0 at work
It’s the perfect power for a really modest shortline operation, like the Indiana Northern.
Narrow Gauge 0-4-0T sitting in the workshop. Note the multi-slatted drawbar coupling.
If you don’t want it operable, it makes excellent shop clutter in a detailed interior scene.
0-4-0T under WPA concrete bridge
Some were used by larger industries to handle cars around their plants.
Phelps Dodge 0-4-0
Mines used them to switch cars around the loading tipples.
0-4-0 steam locomotive
They’re a very down-and-dirty workaday locomotive, this small scale railroad operation would be easy to model and fun too.
0-4-0 and metal structure
They were the “trackmobile” of many industries from the 1860’s through the 1960’s.
Ugly side tank 0-4-0
Not all of them looked good, here’s a locomotive nothing short of hideous.
Large Sand Dome
Looks like this one worked on some noticeable grades…look at the size of that sand dome!
0-4-0T
This unusual side-bunker 0-4-0T would be an interesting thing to model, presumably coal or wood was loaded in through the sides of the cab, rather than the rear.
0-4-0T Oil burner
Most operations kept them running on bubble gum and bailing wire, here’s a good example, note the odd oil tank cobbled together from scrap parts.

Quarry 0-4-0T
Working large industries like quarries helped these little locos earn their keep….
Abandoned 0-4-0T
…until trucks took over the jobs that the venerable 0-4-0T used to handle. Caterpillar, Euclid and other off-road trucks took over duties at the construction contractors, mines and quarries in the 1950’s and 1960’s, while other industries purchased tractor-trailer trucks to handle their freight or bought a small diesel switcher or trackmobile to handle their rail traffic. The 1960’s was the last decade to see these little locomotives in north america, they were either saved to operate in a tourist railroad, or stuffed and mounted in a park, but thousands of these workaday locomotives met the scrapper’s tourch, perhaps to be turned into truck parts!

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