The Commuter Engine

Back in 1999, MTH brought out a Premier line model of the Pennsylvania RR G5s Ten-Wheeler (4-6-0) steam locomotive.  When the first G5s rolled out of the Pennsy's own Juniata shops in 1923, the Pennsylvania Railroad hadn't built a 4-6-0 in more than two decades. At the time, the reigning monarchs of mainline passenger service were high-speed E6s Atlantics and K4s Pacifics; lesser duties like commuter runs were delegated to hand-me-down locomotives serving out their last years before retirement. In the early 1920s, however, the need for secondary passenger power outstripped the supply, and the Pennsy found itself in need of a new commuter engine.  In response, its Mechanical Engineer William F. Kiesel, Jr. took the boiler from an E6s Atlantic and designed one of the largest and most powerful ten-wheelers ever built.  Smaller drive wheels than an Atlantic and the lack of a trailing truck concentrated more engine weight on the drivers and produced an engine with great power and acceleration but a lower top speed – ideal qualities for the constant stop-and-start duties of a commuter engine.  Like the I1s Decapod, the G5s was infamous among enginemen as a rough-riding steed.  The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg is home to restored G5s No. 5741, which was built in the Juniata Shops in November, 1924.  You can see photos of it on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania page of my web site.  The model, though going on twelve years old, has great detailing, great sound, and runs very well as you can see in this True HD 1080p video.  Originally equipped with the Protosound system, I later converted it (with some professional help — the inside of the boiler has very little clearance for all the electronics) to the Protosound 2 (PS2) system that gives it the great sounds and remote control that you see demonstrated in the video, where I have it hauling a short commuter train exactly as it would have in real life.

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