I have always loved trains, and some of my earliest memories are going to The Orange Empire Railway Museum and watching my dad turn into a kid as he got to ride Hollywood Cars and the Blimps on the main line and the LARY PCC cars around the “city” loop. My eyes always turned towards the freight equipment, especially anything in Tiger Stripe, like the ALCO S4 #1474 (I have an Atlas model on order). My favorite piece in their collection has always been 1624, to me, it just looked cool.
1624 was built by the Torrance Shops in 1924 (1619-1631), as a close clone of the Baldwin Westinghouse 1601 class Freight Motors (especially 1616 and 1617, the last of the Baldwins, built in 1920) . The steelwork was supplied by Llewellyn Iron Works of Los Angeles, and the trucks were almost identical to the trucks on 1616 and 1617. The Pacific Electric turned down Baldwin’s bid to build these locos, and to add insult to injury, they even used General Electric equipment! For as tiny as they were, the two C-75 compressors and 251-A motors (205hp) meant that these locos were rated to pull 60 cars! The home built locos were the pride of the Pacific Electric electric freight operations, outliving their Baldwin brothers. With the exception of the Santa Monica Air Line, electric freight service ended on December 1, 1956, and it finally ended some time in 1958. We were lucky that 1624 did not get scrapped like the rest of her sisters.
As mentioned before, I won an auction for a pair of Baldwin Westinghouse freight motors that are designed to fit a modified Bandai Shorty B chassis. These have not been made in 6 years, I was fortunate to have tracked one down. They are compact and the trucks like to fall apart, I might wind up gluing them closed. After looking at what parts I got in the auction, I know now that I will need to order another set of truck frames to make a second unit (seriously looking for another chassis). Tomorrow, I am going to start prepping the Shapeways parts for paint, and I am hoping to prime them Wednesday and shoot them on Thursday. I have everything needed for this build except for a pair of Micro Trains 2004-1 couplers.
To say that these locos are small is an understatement, these locos are straight up tiny. The prototype has a 25′ total wheelbase, and a 40′ boxcar makes them look small.
If I do build the second one, it will most likely be 1622, the second to last survivor, which was scrapped in 1959.