Notes on Detailing MEC Steam Locomotives

This began as a place to keep my notes for some modeling projects. I hope others find them useful; comments, corrections and contributions are welcome. At the moment, this is all I have on the Maine Central; more general information can be found in my New England Railroad History and Modeling page.

The MEC's steam roster was mostly purchased new, but a number of engines were purchased second-hand from the B&M over the years - several class S-1 2-10-2s and one H-2 0-8-0. Additionally, a number of B&M G-10 and G-11 0-6-0s and two more H-2 0-8-0s were purchased by Portland Terminal. See my B&M Steam Locomotives page for more information.

During the era of joint management, power was fairly freely pooled between the two railroads. MEC freight steamers usually only ran to Worcester, but passenger power ranged somewhat further. MEC S-class 2-8-2s were the heaviest freight engines permitted on the B&M's line from Woodsville to Berlin, and saw occasional service there until the B&M's 2-10-2s were re-sprung to allow them to take over.

Maine Central Steam Locomotives by E. B. Robertson has a complete post-1923 roster and a mix of diagrams and B&W photographs. This is a privately printed paperback book that has gone through a number of editions since it first appeared in 1979. An all-time locomotive roster of MEC and predecessors appeared in the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society publication Railroad History No. 152 Spring 1985. As far as I know, no MEC steam ran after 1954, but some engines were not scrapped until considerably later.


S class USRA 2-8-2 Mikados

MEC USRA Mikados 621 - 626 were built by Alco at Schenectady in 1919. Their tender capacity was 16 tons of coal and 10,000 gallons of water. They were included in the S class with MEC-designed 2-8-2s built before and after them (601 - 620, 627 - 632), although the USRA engines were differently equipped and a bit bigger. I haven't seen any photos in "as delivered" condition. The best reference I've seen to date is an article in the May 1999 Railroad Model Craftsman; in it Robert Bennet explains how he detailed an HO scale Bowser cast metal kit as MEC 626.

621
Built 3/19, scrapped 12/52
622
Built 3/19, scrapped 05/52
623
Built 3/19, scrapped 01/56
624
Built 3/19, scrapped 08/52
625
Built 3/19, scrapped 01/56
626
Built 3/19, scrapped 01/51

Detail changes from the stock Athearn USRA 2-8-2 include:

You can use Concord Car Shops HO Scale Maine Central Steam Engine Multipack, no. 8812, to complete the factory Athearn lettering, but beware: Athearn's engine number on the cab side is a little smaller than the CCS numbers, possibly to avoid printing the red stripes on top of rivets, so you won't be able to just change one digit. The CCS decal set also lets you do an undecorated engine in the pre-Speed Lettering scheme. The CCS instruction sheet gives 622, 623 and 626 as being known to have received Speed Lettering. However, an August 1949 (per the 470 Club) photo of 626 shows it still in the standard scheme.


James VanBokkelen