New files - "Steam Loco Conversion Quiz", 1970

Jeffrey L Witt

Hi Group,

I posted some new files in the "gdfiles" group
(, John's article from the
Dec. 1970 RMC titled "Steam Loco Conversion Quiz".

This has pictures of ten of John's locos (and tenders) and
descriptions of all in the answers to the quiz. The info is much more
detailed than in the Westcott book, and should be a great resource
for anyone looking to build one of these locos.

As usual, there are thumbnails in the "Photos" section for preview
and full size 300 DPI JPEGS in the files section (the answers, in
both txt and Word doc format, are in the files section too). These
are under RMC/1970-Dec in both cases.

Here is the answer text as a teaser; ENJOY!!!


John Allen's Loco Quiz Answers (Dec. 1970 RMC)

The object of the quiz which appears on pages 48-49 of
this issue is to determine the basis for the locomotive
conversions, including tenders, shown in photos 1 to 4.
In photos 1 and 2, 4-4-0 #8 is easy for 15 year
veterans: both engine and tender are Mantua Belle of the 80's.
John built this one in 1947. Loco 450 a green 4-6-2) is a
modified Varney Economy Pacific; the tender is a modified
Bowser. The boiler was shortened near the cab and a lighter
trailing truck was added around 1957.
Pacific #56 is a red locomotive based on the Bowser NYC
4-6-2. The tender is from a PFM United ATSF 2-8-0; neither
were modified to any degree. Ten Wheeler #49 is a Varney Casey
Jones with a PFM United UP 2-8-0 tender. John made this
conversion in 1956. The gas-electric, #60, was scratchbuilt
(it is free-lanced after similar prototype conversions of wood
interurban or passenger cars).
Photos 3 and 4 show 2-6-0 #25, formerly a Roundhouse 0-6-0
with a scratchbuilt tender. A new slot for the rear driver was
cut and the pilot was extended. 4-10-0 #34 has an altered
Reading Varney 2-8-0 boiler; (Drivers are 50" Mantua's;
cylinders are from Varney Casey Jones. Many details were
scratchbuilt including the tender with booster truck. Few
prototype 4-10-0's were built, notes John, but they were
basically no larger than a heavy 2-8-0 with weight distributed
over 14 rather than 10 wheels for light rail.
#42 is a 2-8-2 based on the Mantua (now Tyco) Mikado.
This was built in 1952 with some detail changes note Hobbyline
Berkshire parts and a scratched tender. 0-6-6-0 #35 was a PFM
United Sierra with an 0-8-0 tender from the same firm. All
drivers are flanged. Berkshire #45 is the Hobbyline (English)
plastic locomotive with a Sims power chassis added. The tender
is also English with metal trucks added. John shortened the
boiler and trailing truck about two feet. The modification
work was done in 1961.
Though John said `No prizes," the quiz should provide a
number of ideas for similar conversions ideally suited for use
on your railroad.