2 is an Boxcab B-B Locomotive. A freelance locomotive, based on Kate 1
, see below for a fictional backstory.
Fits the Kato 11-105, 11-106, or 11-107 chassis.
Due to the size it may fit well on a OO9 layout.
These locomotives were reconstructed in the late 1970’s as diesel-electric locomotives from 8 electric locomotives built in the 1920’s, with major parts of the frame and body being reused. The 6 locomotives were planned like the previous locomotives to run in pairs (3 pairs, back to back), it was soon discovered that they had a number of flaws over the older locomotives. The first was that they were unpopular with crews, who now had to contend with the vibration and noise of a diesel engine. Second they were not as powerful as the electric locomotives, and third they did not have dynamic braking like the electrics (regenerative braking). Resulting in trains running with 3 or 4 locomotives rather than 2 and increased costs from brake wear.
Increased muffling and a different type of engine mount was tried to combat the first problem, which was successful in reducing the noise and vibration. The second and third issues were more problematic, in order to reduce effort in maintenance the engine and generator were fitted to a frame, which allowed the fitting (and removal) from the locomotive by taking the sides off, pushing it in, and moving it forward to a point where the weight was equally distributed, all without the use of a crane or hoist. The fitting of dynamic brakes and larger engines were examined but came up against the problems of space, weight and/or cost, essentially it was either going to make it a nightmare for the workshop and track gangs or cost more than a new locomotive. Management decided they would do nothing, and keep then in service until a time when it was cost effective to replace them.
In the early 1980’s the workshops were looking to dispose of the remaining 2 electric locomotives that had been retained as parts donors. Plans were put into place to convert one in to a control car equipped with dynamic brakes (large enough to take the power from 3 locomotives), and fit switch gear and power jumper cables to some of the locomotives to allow power to be feed to the control car. Essentially it was a new build from the frame up, overall it was quite successful however the remaining locomotive was scrapped as traffic was low (mine in a downturn) and the cost was too high. At this time a 3 locomotive set with the control car was enough to handle the mineral traffic, with the 3 other locomotives in the workshop or parked stored.
By the mid 1980’s traffic had picked up again, all 6 locomotives were in traffic and plans were being made to buy new locomotives. Concern was raised about the cost effectiveness of running 2 different fleets of locomotives or replacing locomotives with only 10 years of use on the major parts. The solution came from one manufacture who offered to build a set of cab-less locomotives using an more powerful engine from the same manufacture as the original locomotives (common parts), a lighter weight body (Aluminium and fiberglass v’s steel), with these new locomotives also being equipped with dynamic brakes large enough to take power from two other locomotives. Additionally to refit the existing locomotives control system with wheel slip control and the ability to take power from other locomotives, meaning a 3 locomotive set (old-new-old) could do the work of 4 (old-old-old-old) and that engines could be shut down if not needed. 3 of these locomotives were bought, making up 3 sets of locomotives.
An additional feature that the new locomotives has was that they could with a moderate amount of effort be converted to high voltage AC electric by removal of the engine and dynamic brake units which were replaced by transformer, control equipment and rectifier. With the ability to feed power to the end units the set becomes a hybrid, AC electrical on the main line and diesel for shunting.
By the mid 1990’s the mines served by the railway were worked out and the railways equipment associated with mineral haulage was up for sale or being scrapped. The locomotives were bought by a line that was under construction, with 2 of the new locomotives being converted to electric. 2 of the older locomotives and one of the newer became parts donors for the fleet. By the early 2010’s these locomotives had been replaced in traffic by newer locomotives, with 2 of the original locomotives making their way into preservation on their old line (which part had become a tourist/preservation line) and the rest being scrapped or in storage.