Saturday, March 04, 2006

Maine Central locomotive #672 - An F2 Beauty

My HO scale B&M Railroad interchanges with its New England cousin, the Maine Central, which has been granted trackage rights into the town of North Dover. Two pairs of Maine Central trains traverse these B&M tracks daily, train #561/562 "The Oil Can" and train#591/592, a mixed freight. The images you see today were taken on many of my railfanning excursions around North Dover. I've selected my favourite Maine Central diesel to showcase, the 672, an EMD F2.

The first image (above) shows F2 AB set #672 arriving town outbound. The train has just exited the tunnel under the main street of town. It will lift loaded tanker traffic in North Dover destined for the many paper mills located in the interior of the state of Maine. This train, train # 562, has been nicknamed "The Oil Can" by local railfans.

The second image taken a few months later shows the same units in care of an inbound mixed freight, train # 591. I managed to capture the units passing the FB Hamer building at the Boundary Rd. crossing on the outskirts of North Dover. The train is entering yard limits where it will perform its drops and lifts. Note the B&M shanty protecting the road crossing.

The third image captures the Maine Central train holding the interlocking in anticipation of a meet with a Boston and Maine train. It has just left staging and entered the visible portion of the layout. The interlocking tower and the highway overpass serve to mask the portal opening from the staging area!

The final image shows a different meet...this time in staging. This is the area near the duckunder at the entrance of the train room. The Maine Central train will pass behind the tower and enter the scenicked portion of the layout underneath a highway overpass and behind another interlocking tower (see previous image). The juxtaposition of these two cowl-bodied beauties really makes for a great photograph!

F-units have always captured my fancy. It continues to amaze me how the engineers of the day created those beautiful rounded edges on the front body of the unit. Indeed, when I built my layout, I had to have a few of these "beauties" on the roster!

Cheers, Mike Hamer

Check out my other weblog which details my train operating round robin group at


Anonymous said...

As to those "Engineers" who created the F Unit nose, there really weren't any! It was the stylists of the Art Deco era's fame at GM's automotive divisions that created the shape.

That famous shape was an evolutionary construction as well. From 1937's "Skull" of the B&O's EA and especially the Santa Fe's E1's, to the added headlight casing, creating a facial-nose of the E3/4/5/6's and then to the final shortened variant of the stubby FT of 1939. A final war-time refit around the headlight bezel itself and "poof," the Penultimate and definitive F Unit nose.

Believe it or not, but the actual shapes cannot be built from the EMD shop blue prints. There are so many incongruencies from the actual blue prints to the actual shapes, it took a major exercise in H0 (namely the creating of that F2 as pictured here) for this verifiable fact to be unearthed as it were.

Mike Hamer said...

Great comment regarding the design of the F's. Lots of information pertinent to the design. Thanks for sharing!