New MTH ACL locomotive : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I was just in my local train store today and notice a new release from MTH. It is a 4-8-4 locomotive painted in the R-1 color scheme. It is in O gage. MTH calls the engine a Northern not a R-1. Is a R-1 and northern the same engine. It looks great. I have never seen a model engine of any type painted this color scheme before, except for a custom brass HO scale engine. This would be a great addition to any O scalers collection. The MTH site also show passenger cars that will be coming out for this engine. It is hard to tell from the picture if they are making a incorrect two tone grey passenger set or I believe the correct set would be standard pullman green. Please correct me if I am wrong. Has anyone seen this engine and do you think it is worth a purchase. Thanks.

-- Jim Simoncelli (, July 20, 2002


Rest assured, ACL did NOT call the R-1s "Northerns," most likely for the reasons you state. They were simply referred to by their class designation or as "the 1800s." See my article on the engines in the 3rd quarter 1998 Lines South, if you have a copy (it is now out of print).

-- Larry Goolsby (, July 22, 2002.

I'm surprised the ACL would've called these engines 'Northerns', for even in 1938, the year the R-1's were brought online, there was still a good bit of animosity in the South towards the North due to the Civil War 75 years previous. Fellow southeastern railroads Central of Georgia and Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis called their 4-8-4's Big Apples and Dixies/Yellow Jackets, respectively. However, if one goes by the Whyte system (Whyte was the Chief Mechanical Officer of the NYC, I believe) of steam locomotive classifacation, the R-1's would be categorized as 'Northerns'.

-- Eric Rickert (, July 22, 2002.

Took a quick look at the referenced locomotive on the MTH website. The model shown is an ATSF 2900-class 4-8-4 painted as an ACL R-1 so you're just buying the ACL paint scheme. Beware of the railking version - it has a skyblue boiler which to my knowledge never existed.

There is a semi-USRA 4-6-2 with elesco feedwater heater painted in a mythical gray and purple paint scheme and lettered for the ACL.

By far the best looking and most accurate MTH ACL steam engine is their ACL USRA 0-6-0. The only apparent fault I saw with the model was that MTH used the wrong herald on the tender but that should be easily corrected with paint and decals.

-- Buddy Hill (, July 22, 2002.

First, the R-1 IS a 4-8-4 type "Northern" (called Niagara's on the NYC, Pocono's on the DL&W, etc.)locomotive. A very pretty engine.

Second, the two tone cars (and I couldn't find any pictures on MTH's site this morning of the engine or the cars, perhaps you could send a link if you have one) would be incorrect except for the errant two- tone gray Pullman sleeper that might be assigned to any one of ACL's trains that carried pool sleepers. "Pullman Green" cars would be more appropriate. Finally, the R-1's were late built engines and because they were built for dual service, they actually saw more action on freights than on passenger trains.

As to accuracy and scale....these are "toy trains"..not true O scale, and operate on 3 rail; however, I am sure the engine is very nice (as MTH does make nice toy trains) and would love to put a picture of it on our website.

-- Buck Dean (, July 20, 2002.

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