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4-6-2 Pacific Steam Locomotives

MTH Blue Comet

The famous Blue Comet of the Jersey Central, which ran between Jersey City and Atlantic City, was usually pulled by one of the Central's heavy Pacific locomotives.  In 1998, MTH brought out a scale model of one of these heavy pacifics, exquisite in its detail.  It's shown above.  I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the scale heavyweight passenger cars, due in the first quarter of 1999.  In the background, you can see the modern reissue of the Lionel operating water tower, and behind that the 1970's MPC Chessie Steam Special.  The matching passenger cars arrived in mid-1999; the photo below shows a few of them; that's the passenger terminal in the foreground..

MTH Blue Comet passenger cars

Unfortunately, I've never been able to find a color photo of the prototype locomotive; however, a B&W photo is included below (yes, in real life the locomotives were painted blue).  This remains one of my favorite locomotives! 

Jersey Central Blue Comet

Another famous group of Pacifics were the K4s locomotives of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  It was the most common of Pennsy's steamers, and was a regular fixture on the NorthEast Corridor next where I live during the steam years, from the late teens to the middle 50's, at which point steam faded away.  At South Amboy, trains arriving from Bay Head would be switched from the K4s to the electric GG-1 for the remainder of the trip to New York.  This MTH scale model was released a few years ago, and is an excellent model of the original 1920's K4s locomotives, including the slotted pilot with marker lights.  (MTH has recently released the K4s in the RailKing line, but the detail on the scale model is far superior.)  The photo below the model shows a prototype K4s with the slotted pilot; the one below that shows a prototype with the later, solid pilot that you find in most photographs of these locomotives.


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Pennsy K4s

Pennsy K4s

There's a beautiful K4s preserved at the Railroad Museum of PA.

Pennsy K42 Pacific

Pennsy K4s Pacific

Pennsy K4s pacific

Here's another attractive Pacific from the Lackawana.

Lackawana Pacific

In February of 2004, MTH brought out another model of the K4s.  This one has the modern, solid pilot with the drop coupler (as you can see in the prototype photos above) as well as the entire PS2 sound and control package.  The first photo shows the locomotive broadside.

The next shows the tender.

The next shows detail around the cab.

The fourth shows detail toward the middle of the locomotive.

The fifth shows the detail at the front end.

The next shows the 'face' of the locomotive.

The next shows detail on the tender; you can make out the safety chains that connect the trucks to the chassis.

The next photo shows detail of the backhead in the cab.

The last photo shows it in operation with the smoke puffing away!

When MTH brought out the above model, they also brought out a model of 1737, the first K4s, in all its highly decorated glory.  Though I wasn't going to buy it (as I have the original slotted pilot model), having seen it in action I couldn't resist.  Here are some photos; you can see how the decoration became much more plain as time went on as you compare it to the photos above.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2023

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