Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Return of Steam to Sturgeon Falls

After riding on the Nickel Plate twice last year, I wanted to get myself one for my train setup.  One of the model train companies decided to make a series of the Nickel Plate 765 and the Pere Marquette 1225.  I really had a hard time choosing between the two but I decided on the Nickel Plate since I actually rode on that one.
 The last scheduled steam engine in the United States was run by the Grand Trunk Western Railroad and went from Detroit, MI to Durand, MI on March 27, 1960.  Now of course, that doesn't the include the excursion railroads that now run.   I think other railroads had phased out their steam runs much earlier than that.  Other railroads had been phasing out their steam engines during the 1950's.  So for the sake of argument, we'll say that the last steam engine went through Sturgeon Falls in 1958.
 It seems like there has been a resurgence in steam engines in the past few years.  I'm not going to list all of them but I know of the Nickel Plate pictured above.   There is also the Pere Marquette 1225.  Last weekend, the Norfolk 611 returned to Roanoke after being restored in Spencer, NC (I almost went down there).  The Union Pacific has been in the process of restoring one of its Big Boy Locomotives.  I'm sure there are a few others.  Many of these steam engines have been making excursion runs.
 So for the sake of argument, we'll say that the Nickel Plate has made a few runs through Sturgeon Falls (although mine is different because it is carrying cargo instead of passengers...but hey my railroad my rules).
 All in all, I will have to say that is a very nice model.  It is amazing the amount of detail they pack into such a little package.  What is even more amazing is that it makes actually steam engine sounds.  I was not expecting that since my railroad is not DCC equipped.  I suspect that if I were to install a DCC system, I might get the whistle and other sounds.  What I have is cool enough for me.
 It seems to be about the right size compared to the other trains in my setup.
 One of the coolest aspects is that the little arms move with the wheels.  It gives a little more something to look at it.
 I will have to say it compares favorably to the real one.
And I leave you with one more shot.

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