|Est. 3rd Quarter 2024
Just like 2431560 but with Pere Marquette markings, polished rods and white stripes
In need of larger power but strapped with smaller tunnels, the Chesapeake and Ohio ordered a relatively novel group of 25 simple-expansion 2-8-8-2 locomotives from Alco in 1923. Compound Mallet locomotives, which used steam exhausted from the first pair of pistons to power a second, were nothing new on the C&O or elsewhere. But using steam directly from the boiler to power all four pistons had only been tried a few times - and not on a production locomotive. The single expansion offered more power and reduced the size of the large pistons needed in a Mallet. But it also required a larger boiler to produce enough steam for what was essentially, two steam locomotives. Keeping this within tight clearances lead to the locomotives' other distinctive feature - a smokebox crowded with appliances like air pumps, feedwater heater and even the bell which couldn't fit anywhere else and make it through a tunnel intact. It became a C&O standard on many locomotives for years to come. Although Alco called them "Chesapeakes," crews knew them as "Simple Simons" and they were generally well liked. Baldwin delivered 20 more in 1926. One area the original H-7s had come up lacking was tender capacity. The new units arrived with 16,000 gallon Vanderbilt tenders to help quench the thirsty boilers. Later, even larger tenders were added to most units. But Simons' rule on the mountain was cut short by the arrival of even larger 2-10-4 and 2-6-6-6 Alleghenies in the 1930s and 40s. In 1943, three were sold to the RF&P for service on Potomac Yard's hump. Union Pacific picked up 30 in 1945. Some were rebuilt, others were retired retaining most of their C&O look. Those that remained on the C&O mostly found their way into hump yard service as well - sporting much smaller tenders again. After nearly a decade's absence from our catalog, Lionel is bringing back the Simple Simons! Available in new road numbers, paint schemes and tender variations, this is also the first release of these locomotives with Bluetooth control, whistle steam and all of our latest LEGACY upgrades! In addition to multiple C&O variations depicting the class from 1926 to the 1950s as well as RF&P and Union Pacific, a Rio Grande version represents a different yet strikingly similar class on that mountain road.