Modelling the N&W M class

Handbuilt O scale Models (this page) HO Brass Models

Norfolk and Western's little beauty.... the unique 4-8-0. Built in 1906, these engines (with sister classes M1 and M2) were the mainstay of the N&W's coal hauling duties, often double headed. The mallet types, with two driving engines, under one boiler, superceded them. Many M class did remain in service until the late 1950's.

The 4-8-0 was not a particularly popular wheel arrangement on world railroads. The 2-8-0 was far more ubiquitous. Along with the N&W, the Southern Pacific had some, and Queensland (Australia) widely used the 4-8-0.

The two models above, were scratchbuilt in O scale by Ed Reutling, with assistance from Bill Ramey, and truly represent the look of these fine locomotives. One of the class is still running today, at the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania.

When Ed sent me the photos, he explained: "You see two of a roster of 7 that Bill Ramey and myself constructed. They are urethane castings from scratch. Masters are mostly of styrene, and some PVC pipe turned for the boiler segments. We use drivers by Walsall Model, Walsall England and NWSL motor and gearbox.... This is our attempt to model an M. It's in 2-rail O, and is pretty fair in the attempt to capture the essence of the loco" I totally agree.

Both of the above models have the front cow catcher replaced by steps for yard duties, to which many of this class were assigned in later years. Here is a picture of the other 5 locomotive models, sold to interested buyers.


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