Boston & Maine Steam Locomotives 1945 - 1956


B&M Steam Locomotive Roster 1945 - 1956

This class-by-class roster is mostly taken from Vanishing Markers, with corrections obtained from cross-checking with other sources. At some point I will add information on classes of engines scrapped earlier. Individual engine-by-engine information is available in Minuteman Steam, if you can find a copy. I don't see myself typing all that data any time soon. More general B&M information and a bibliography can be found on my Unofficial Boston & Maine RR Page .

Key to Builders

0-6-0 Switchers

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
200 - 309 G-10 Manch. 1903 '10 52" 19x24 160 127,800 12/1948 some sold M&WR, B&C, others
400 - 429 G-11a Manch. 1911 '13 52" 19x26 200 147,700 6/1953 410 on display Lowell, MA
430 - 452 G-11b Brooks 1916 52" 20x26 185 150,000 7/1955 444 to H.E. Fletcher 1952

0-8-0 Switchers

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
610 - 631 H-2a Alco 1922 52" 25x28 175 221,000 7/1957 USRA copy
640 - 647 H-3a Baldwin 1928 52" 23x28 250 244,800 9/1953  
648, 649 H-3a Baldwin 1928 52" 23x28 250 244,800 5/1951 tender boosters 1929 -'45
650 - 654 H-3b Alco 1929 52" 23x28 250 243,200 5/1951 feedwater heaters

4-4-0 American

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
990 - 1029 A-41f Manch. 1909 '11 69" 18x24 190 115,000 3/1947 A-39b on display at W.R. Jct., VT

2-6-0 Mogul

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
1360 - 1431 B-15 Manch. 1903 '06 63" 19x26 200 142,400 7/1955 many superheated pre-1940
1435 - 1459 B-15 Manch. 1907 63" 19x26 200 142,400 7/1956 1455 at Hyannis, MA
1460 - 1499 B-15a Manch. 1909 '10 63" 19x26 200 142,400 8/1956 three to St.J&LC 1929

2-8-0 Consolidation

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
2360 - 2429 K-7 Alco 1905 '11 61" 20x30 200 170,000 6/1955 2403 in commuter svc. late
2640 - 2709 K-8b Baldwin 1913 61" 24x30 200 219,400 7/1953  
2710 - 2734 K-8c Brooks 1916 61" 24x30 200 170,000 9/1954 2725 last, others gone 9/1953

2-10-2 Santa Fe

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
3000 - 3019 S-1a Alco 1920 61" 29x32 190 377,800 9/1946 6 sold MEC, 11 rebuilt to S-1c
3020 - 3029 S-1b Alco 1923 61" 29x32 190 372,100 11/1948 3020, 3029 to MEC
2900 - 2902, 2920 S-1c Alco 1920 61" 29x32 190 369,200 12/1949 rebuilt from S-1a 1940 - 1944 w/lighter axle load

4-4-2 Atlantic

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
3220 - 3244 J-1b Manch. 1908 '9 79" 19x28 200 159,600 1952 3235 last, others gone 12/1949

4-6-2 Pacific

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
3600 - 3611 P-1 Alco 1910 73" 22x28 200 236,700 5/1952 3601 last
3620 - 3659 P-2a Alco 1911 73" 22x28 200 247,700 9/1956  
3660 - 3679 P-2b Alco 1913 73" 22x28 200 247,700 9/1956 3666 in Piscataqua River
3680 - 3689 P-2c Alco 1916 73" 22x28 200 244,800 9/1956 3687 last
3696 - 3699 P-5a Brooks 1924 62" 25x28 210 300,500 5/1952 ex-DL&W 4/1943
3700 - 3709 P-3a Alco 1923 73" 24x28 200 263,800 4/1955 3709 last, others gone by 9/1953
3710 - 3714 P-4a Lima 1934 80" 23x28 260 339,200 7/1956 deshrouded by 1945, 3713 at Steamtown
3715 - 3719 P-4b Lima 1937 80" 23x28 260 339,800 9/1953 delivered w/o shroud

2-8-4 Berkshire

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
4000 - 4019 T-1a Lima 1928 63" 28x30 240 393,000 9/1950 4015 - 4019 received 12-wheel tenders by 1940, all except 4007, 4016, 4017 sold to ATSF, SP 7/1945
4020 - 4024 T-1b Lima 1929 63" 28x30 240 403,000 8/1955 built w/6-axle tenders, 4023 last

4-8-2 Mountain

Numbers Class Builder Dates Driver Cyl. Press. Weight Retired by Notes
4100 - 4104 R-1a Baldwin 1935 73" 28x31 240 416,100 7/1947 sold B&O 5650 - 5654
4105 - 4109 R-1b Baldwin 1937 73" 28x31 240 416,100 7/1947 sold B&O 5655 - 5659
4110 - 4112 R-1c Baldwin 1939 73" 28x31 240 414,960 7/1947 sold B&O 5660 - 5662
4113 - 4117 R-1d Baldwin 1941 73" 28x31 240 415,200 9/1956 centipede tenders, 4113 last

B&M Steam Engine Names

Starting in late 1937, R-1a and R-1b Mountains and P-4a and P-4b Pacifics received names suggested by schoolchildren in a contest. They were applied in white (silver in the Speed Lettering scheme) to a plate mounted below the running board, with the names of the child and school below in smaller letters. New naming contests took place when classes R-1c and R-1d arrived. Some engines lost their nameplates before they were retired, but they were maintained through 1950, at least.


B&M Steam Paint Schemes 1911 - 1956

Note: I know about the special Minuteman and Flying Yankee schemes applied to several P-2c 4-6-2s around 1930, but I haven't written them up.

1911 scheme

Boston & Maine below cab window, with class and division assignment in smaller characters, engine number in large font on tender side and rear. This was eventually applied to all the older engines re-numbered in 1911, and all new classes through S-1b (2-10-2s built in 1923) were delivered in it.

No Herald, No Road Name, Black

The engine number appears in white on the cab side below the windows, and sometimes on the rear of the tender, and that's it. No road name, no herald, graphite on the smokebox and black everywhere else. Apparently an austerity measure, applied to low-prestige engines during the 1930s, although a few photos in the last couple years of steam operation also show engines without heralds.

Rectangular Tender Herald

The engine number appears in white on the cab side below the windows, usually with the engine class in tiny characters below it. Until just after WWII, a division assignment code was lettered above the engine number, and a date/location code (possibly of the last classified repairs) was applied at the lower front corner of the cab. A rectangular white Boston and Maine herald is applied to the tender side, centered between the trucks on some engines, and offset towards the front on larger tenders. Until just after WWII, the engine number and tender coal/water capacities were applied to the rear of the tender, but by 1949 the tender number used the same size digits as the cab side, and the capacities were omitted.

This scheme appears on both switchers and road engines from the purchase of the T-1 Berkshires (1928) through the end of steam. A variation of this scheme added a large, round-cornered box of white striping near the edges of the tender side. P-4a and P-4b Pacifics and R-1a, R-1b and R-1c Mountains were delivered with this variation. It was also applied to the T-1b Berkshires and those T-1a engines that received 12-wheel tenders. AccuCals set 5803H letters the 1911, Austerity and Block Herald schemes in HO, but does not include letters for the assigned division. Model Graphics/South Waterville Shops set L-112 has the tender lettering and cab number for the Block Herald scheme, but does not include a "T-1" class designation, the assigned division or the characters for the numberboard.

Red Shaded Speed Lettering

Boston and Maine is lettered in large gold (sometimes silver or white) characters shaded with red on the tender side. The engine number is applied to the cab side in the same font. A red stripe is applied to the running board edge. The tender lettering is usually enclosed in a large, round-cornered box of gold/red (or silver/red) striping, but this doesn't appear in photos of 3713 on the final steam trip in July 1956. The R-1d Mountains were delivered in this scheme in 1941. During and after WWII it was applied to P-3, P-4 and P-5 Pacifics. Both Accu-Cals set 5805H and Model Graphics/South Waterville Shops set L-108 do this scheme in HO scale, but only contain silver lettering and striping.


B&M Steam Locomotive Models

B&M modelers working in HO scale are fairly lucky, in that most of the steam locomotives that ran after WWII have been imported in brass at various times. For a long time, the most notable ommission from the brass vendors was the P-4 Pacific, but Division Point corrected that in 2011. If that's not in your budget, the old Athearn RTR model has proven pretty durable, and will support a respectable detailing job.

P-4 Pacific

Athearn manufactured a plastic and metal HO scale P-4 Pacific around 1960, and examples can still be found from time to time. The first run had some problems with the drive, the second run performs much better. The boiler detailing is kind of a hybrid. It has the covers over the sand piping found on P-4as as delivered, but no shrouding over the domes and no smoke lifters. There's a cover over the steam turret area ahead of the cab, but it is much shorter than the part that remained on prototype P-4as after the shroud was removed. The model also has a single air pump on the pilot deck. It seems to me that the easiest re-detailing project would be to aim at an as-delivered P-4b, before the second air pump was added. The factory boxpox drivers will need to be replaced with spoked drivers for maximum accuracy.

Three or four importers have talked about doing a brass P-4 over the years, but only Division Point, in 2011, followed through, with pre-WWII and 1950s versions of both the P-4a and P-4b. The model, while expensive, is nicely done. It tracks well and has operating marker lights. Possibly something more will happen if 3713 (now at Steamtown in Scranton, PA) is successfully steamed up.

Drawings of the P-4 have appeared in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia Vol. 1, Steam Locomotives (reproduced in the Vol. 17, #3 B&M Bulletin ) and the September 1989 Model Railroading .

T-1 Berkshire

Quite a few HO models of the T-1 2-8-4s have been imported, because its chassis is quite similar to the Boston & Albany A-1, and because some of the prototypes went to the ATSF and SP at the end of WWII. The earliest I'm aware of was LMB's T-1a, around 1963. I've never examined one.

In the late 1980s, Westside imported a nice T-1a. Mine had some problems which required re-soldering the piping and brackets for what I think is the injector under the fireman's side of the cab. Because the cab is heavy brass sheet (.030?), I couldn't do this with an iron or with my simple Triton resistance soldering set-up - it took a 100W American Beauty to get that right. A nice point is that there are springs for centering and down-force on both the leading and trailing trucks. My engine had been stripped for painting, but the springs look like they came that way from the manufacturer. A negative is that I've been told that piping details reflect engines after they were sold to the ATSF and SP in 1945.

In the mid-1990s, Precision Scale imported HO T-1a and T-1b engines in several versions. One T-1b I've examined has what I think is the booster exhaust pipe on the engineer's side of the locomotive, but the tender that came with it (it was hurt, and may have been a substitute) had the booster exhaust hardware on the rear deck. The other has no booster exhaust pipe but the same tender (right for this engine). Both engines push the envelope of the NMRA clearance diagram with the feedwater piping below the cab, but the one without the booster exhaust won't be operable on most layouts with scenery without a bit of rearranging. Neither has any centering for either engine truck. The spring in the pivot of the trailing truck worries me, as it puts force on the front, which might make the rear wheels kick up (like the prototype?). The herald on the factory-painted PSC T-1s is incorrect.

In 2003, Sunset imported an O scale T-1a. I haven't examined one.

A write-up on detailing for the T-1 is available, including my best guess as to which T-1a engines received 12-wheel tenders after 1935. A drawing of a B&M Berkshire (don't know the sub-class) appeared in November 1984 Mainline Modeler .

R-1 Mountain

In the early 1970s, Gem and AHM simultaneously imported R-1d 4-8-2s in HO scale. Many were factory painted in the Speed Lettering scheme as B&M 4117, though the Lehigh and Hudson River had almost identical locomotives due to War Production Board restrictions on new designs. I have been told that the AHM models were quality control rejects originally built for Gem. Mine is consistent with that: I got it used, and I don't think it ever ran for its previous owners. The worst problem was an incompletely soldered frame, which I had to take the whole model apart to fix. The centipede tender was so tight that it wouldn't track through a number 6 switch. This I fixed by selectively drilling out the axle holes (deeper, wider or both). With other improvements included rigidizing the middle driver springs and installing a centering/downforce spring on the trailing truck, it runs and tracks quite well on 32 inch radius modular layout curves. I was able to install a cut-down plastic (Accu-Mate) magnetic knuckle coupler in the pilot beam, without any centering arrangement.

Around 1990, Key imported models of the R-1a, b and c class 4-8-2 in HO. These are nice, factory painted in the "boxed" variant of the Block scheme, with a working headlight and a coasting drive. Tractive effort is not up to hauling prototype-length trains. There's room for lead in the firebox area around the motor - placing it there also helps balance the locomotive, which is very nose heavy with only the factory boiler weight. Someday I might add some down/centering force on the trailing truck. I was able to install a cut-down plastic (Accu-Mate) magnetic knuckle coupler in the pilot beam, without any centering arrangement.

In 2009, Precision Scale imported HO models of all R-1 variants. A couple of minor issues with the factory lettering have been reported, and DCC installation is said to not be plug-and-play, but the detail and operation are said to be good.

In the early 2000s, Sunset imported an O-scale 2-rail R-1a/b/c in brass. I have never examined one.

An article on re-detailing an AHM/GEM R-1d appeared in August/September 1996 Mainline Modeler . R-1d drawings can be found in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia Vol. 1, Steam Locomotives and the August 1990 Mainline Modeler . An article with a classbook diagram appeared in the March 1972 B&M Bulletin .

B-15 Mogul

Pacific Fast Mail (around 1977) and Overland (around 1990) have both done the B-15 2-6-0 in HO. My memories of a couple of PFM B-15s I saw run years ago suggest that the Overland version runs better. The PFM model also has arch-bar tender trucks, and would benefit from a change to Fox trucks. The Overland model was offered in several versions, including a road pilot (boiler tube), switcher pilot (footboards) and plow pilot (installed on engines assigned to certain branches in winter months only). The Overland B-15 comes with a scale dummy coupler retained by a pin on the front; Kadee-type couplers can only be mounted by sacrificing centering action, which may affect switching operation.

B-15 drawings have been published in the April, 1958 Railroad Model Craftsman . The January 1996 Model Railroader had an article on painting and detailing an IHC HO scale 2-6-0 as an approximation of a B&M engine.

A-41 American

The HO A-41f 4-4-0 imported by Pacific Fast Mail in 1980 had a number of problems: The most visible error is that the cylinder/saddle casting is noticeably undersized, and the builder bent the frame upwards so it would actually support the boiler. The tender's archbar trucks have journal boxes that protrude beyond the side of the tender. Some roll quite badly. Photos indicate most, if not all tenders had leaf-sprung Fox or Andrews trucks; most commercial offerings would roll better than the originals. I'm unsure what another reviewer meant by recommending "Baker" trucks. Comments indicate that the drive was of variable quality. Because the model includes a full backhead, the motor is quite small. A weight is supplied, to be inserted into the extreme front of the boiler after the backhead is removed. Model Railroader's review notes that adding it actually reduces traction because it takes weight off the rear drivers.

Drawings of the A-41f can be found in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia Vol. 1, Steam Locomotives . The August 1993 Mainline Modeler had a drawing of the A-41f, with photos of eight different engines, but no number on the drawing itself.

S-1 Santa Fe

Around 1982, NJ Custom Brass imported an S-1 2-10-2 in HO. The configuration of the model is post-WWII - it doesn't have the flying air pumps or Coffin feedwater heater applied to some engines in the 1920s and 1930s. A blind main driver was supplied to be installed by the purchaser if desired. A scale dummy coupler is installed in the pilot beam, retained by a pin.

Drawings of the S-1b were printed in the December 1973 Bulletin.

K-8 Consolidation

In 1980, Sunset imported two versions of the K-8c 2-8-0 in HO. It was available with either an Elesco or a Worthington feedwater heater. None were factory painted. The most visible error is the cab: when rebuilt, these engines received new cabs 15 inches longer than the original cabs. The model's cab is detailed like a new cab, but the size of the original. A cut-down Kadee-type coupler may be installed on the pilot beam, but it will lack centering action.

J-1 Atlantic

New England Rail Service imported a J-1e 4-4-2 in HO in 1988. One version had the original cab, the other had the arch-window cab applied to many engines after 1930. The motor is mounted ahead of the gearbox, inside the boiler, so take care in dissasembling one if you don't have the original instruction/data sheet: the cab must be removed before the motor and frame can be separated from the boiler. The dummy coupler on the pilot is pin-mounted, but this matters less on a purely passenger engine.

An article on kitbashing a J-1 from an MDC HO 4-4-2 appeared in the December 1987 Model Railroader .

K-7 Consolidation

New England Rail Service imported a K-7 2-8-0 in HO in 1985. It was available in two versions: one had high running boards, arch window cab and a cut-down tender with Andrews trucks. The other had low running boards, four-window cab, inside steam pipe and an original tender with Fox trucks. A number of detail parts were included with the model to facilitiate modeling specific prototype engines, including some rebuilt K-5 engines. The pilot comes with a pin-mounted scale dummy; fitting a cut-down Kadee-type is possible, but you won't have any centering action.

P-2 Pacific

Several P-2 4-6-2s have been imported by Overland in O and HO. The first was a P-2b, around 1984. Mine has a Worthington feedwater heater (OMI #1456); some were imported with an Elesco (OMI #1451) instead. All came with an extra boxpox main driver, as some P-2bs received them post-WWII. Around 1994, Overland imported a P-2c (distinctive low tender tank) in several versions: Some were painted in the special schemes used on engines assigned to the Flying Yankee and the Minuteman around 1930. Others arrived unpainted and detailed for 1949-era. I have a write-up on detailing for the P-2c available. All Overland P-2s came with a scale dummy coupler installed in the pilot, retained by a removeable pin.

An O scale B&M P-2a (with Elesco) was imported by Overland about 1989. This is a nice model, though one example I've seen had a loose wire which required soldering before it would run.

H-2a 0-8-0 Switcher

Many USRA 0-8-0s have been imported over the years. The tender on the 1960s Akane model doesn't look at all like those on B&M H-2s. In 1992 Oriental imported a "budget" USRA 0-8-0 with a tender that didn't need major modifications. According to Modeler's Notes No. 35 , the Southern RR version had front ladders and is easiest to work from. The Proto 2000 plastic USRA 0-8-0 has a usable tender and ladders. This was the starting point in Trevor Marshall's re-detailing article in the July 2002 Railroad Model Craftsman, but it's worth taking a look at John Pryke's New Haven conversion in the November 2001 Model Railroader if the look of lifting injectors is important.

Drawings of B&M H-3 0-8-0 #649 (booster-equipped for hump service in Boston) were published in the August 1995 Mainline Modeler .

G-11a 0-6-0 Switcher

In 2002, Overland imported a Cheyenne (Chinese) made B&M G-11a 0-6-0 in HO scale (OMI 4552). This was a descendant of the NERS G-11 below, but they also imported a similar New Haven engine simultaneously. A cut-down plastic shank coupler can be pinned in place in the front coupler pocket, but I drilled a hole in the bottom of the pocket to match that in the top first. Screws for the tender coupler pocket pad were not included; the thread is 1.4mm metric. I am told it should have a coal pocket extension, but otherwise haven't yet looked into detailing and numbering issues.


A number of other B&M models have been promised at various times. NERS went so far as to solicit reservations for an HO G-11 0-6-0 that eventually turned into Overland's above. Overland has said that they would follow their P-2 Pacific with HO P-3s and P-4s as well. The P-2c was slow to sell out due to the elaborate and short-lived Minuteman and Flying Yankee paint schemes not moving as well as the unpainted versions. Overland announced the P-3 as a project in 2007. It finally moved into production in 2013.


Turntables and Locomotive Wheelbases

One of the B&M-related items reprinted by the B&MRRHS is a set of Characteristics Charts for 1937. Along with standard items like rail weights, ballast, largest locomotives and cars allowed, there are pages on water and fueling facilities, and turntable locations. These indicate quite a bit about operating patterns and locomotive assignments:

In 1937, the smallest B&M turntables were 50 and 56 foot balanced: These could only turn G-class 0-6-0s and A-class 4-4-0s. 60 foot balanced turntables of 130 - 150 ton capacity were the most common. They could turn all of the above plus J-1 4-4-2s, B-class 2-6-0s and K-7 and smaller 2-8-0s (which couldn't be balanced properly on shorter tables). There were a number of larger turntables at secondary terminals, some installed for P-class 4-6-2s, and others for the S-class 2-10-2s. The B&M only had a few of the more modern 3-point turntables, all at major terminals where 2-8-4s and 4-8-2s were serviced: These were built with a hinged span and carried the weight on both the center bearing and the end wheels, so the turntable didn't need to be any longer than the locomotive's wheelbase.

Partial list of B&M turntable sizes and locations, circa 1937

65 foot balanced (K-8 and smaller)
Clinton, Woburn
70 foot (P-2 and smaller)
Portsmouth, Hamilton/Wenham, Ayer (wye available), East Fitchburg, Northampton, Johnsonville
75 foot (P-2 and smaller)
Beverly, South Lawrence (wye available), Plymouth, Woodsville, Greenfield MA (wye available, but a long move), Troy NY (wye available on D&H/NYC).
85, 90 foot balanced (P-3 and smaller)
North Conway, Dover (wye at Rollinsford), Concord NH, North Walpole, Gardner, North Adams.
95, 100, 110 foot 3-point (all locos, including R-1)
Boston Engine Terminal, Worcester, Middlesex (Lowell), Rigby, White River Jct., East Deerfield, Mechanicville and Rotterdam Jct.

Note that in some cases, a terminal would fairly frequently handle engines larger than its turntable by making use of a nearby wye track. This was the case in Troy, Ayer, Lawrence, Salem MA and Dover. Another anomaly is the 85' turntable in North Conway, NH, where the whole branch from Intervale to Rollinsford was only rated for K-8s and P-3s. If there is an explanation for that, I've never heard it.

James VanBokkelen