While I designed my small railroad empire to support a wide variety of trains, perhaps the busiest of all locomotives on my roster is the 1170, an Alco S1 switcher.
The Boston and Maine purchased ten such locomotives between the years 1944-49. The 1170 performs switching duties in and around my town of North Dover, the centerpiece of my layout.
Here we spot our targeted diesel pulling a CP boxcar into town. The train has just passed the interchange with the Maine Central and will shortly cross Stanley Bridge.
In 1944, the B&M received its first S1's and S2's from Alco since SW1's and NW2's were not available. Being a terminal railroad, the B&M employed a rather large number of small switch engines and a visit trackside frequently resulted in a visit with these "little brutes" in action!
Our train has reached Stanley Bridge spanning the Salmon River just outside North Dover. The short consist is leaving the state of Maine and entering New Hampshire.
It seems our canoeist couple is enjoying the sun for awhile before they head back out onto the waters of this "border" river. Such bucolic scenes are typical in New England.
We spot our train in the vicinity of Boundary Road. It seems the family with the camper trailer made it by the crossing before the train arrived.
The 1170 is approaching yard limits where it will take the siding on the inbound end of town to clear the main for an outbound hotshot freight.
Boundary Road is a favourite railfanning hotspot in these parts. You're close enough to town to get the "heads up" from the station master as to which trains will be approaching and departing town...giving you sufficient time to head out to the crossing for a good shot!
Our crew is now passing Haney Fuels. Once past the station, the train will back the boxcar into the south siding to await a passing train before it begins its chores in town.
The black colours applied to these switchers remain a heated topic of discussion. While some agree the colours are true railroad tones, others would have preferred the application of maroon and gold as seen on some of the SW series of switchers.
One thing is for sure...the silver trucks certainly look classy on this engine!
The crew has passed the station and will clear Station Road for motorists. It will then back into the south siding to clear the main for an outbound hotshot freight.
Local farmers will be happy to see some of these new tractors in the showroom shortly!
Well, it's approaching lunchtime and we hope to join the crew of the 1170 at the local restaurant for some great food, drink and of course, railroad discussion!
To see other layouts in my round robin group feel free to visit www.fridaynightgroup.blogspot.com and learn of the great fun we have bringing each other's layouts to life!