The Camelback

About a year and a half ago, MTH brought out a Premier line model of a Jersey Central camelback in the ten-wheeler (4-6-0) configuration.  I actually have video of the prototype of this particular one, #774, racing back and forth on the Jersey Central's mainline here in New Jersey.  The camelbacks, with their Wooten fireboxes, were designed to burn anthracite waste (called culm), a very cheap fuel source for railroads that hauled lots of anthracite from the mines in northeastern Pennsylvania.  With a very wide firebox, the engineer's cab had to be placed astride the boiler so that he could see where he was going.  The fireman still had to be at the back, shoveling coal through the usually twin firebox doors; on at least one occasion, a fireman was thrown off the locomotive and the engineer didn't know until he ran out of steam!  These were not safe locomotives (the engineer was sitting just above the whirling siderods where one break could send shards of metal shooting through the cab, hence the nickname "widowmakers") and none were built after 1927.  This model is quite a good representation of the prototype and runs quite well as you can see in this True HD 1080p video in which it's hauling a short local freight train.  In real life, these locomotives hauled both freight and passenger trains.

This entry was posted in Trains, Video. Bookmark the permalink.