Our Model’s History
This little beauty was built from a Little Engines kit. The 4-4-0 wheel configuration, made in ever-increasing size from the 1850s through the 1910s, far outnumbered all other American designs, at least before 1900. Model 4-4-0s were called “Americans” and for good reason. Their full-size cousins fought in the Civil War, opened up the West, and achieved the world speed record in 1893 on the “Empire State Express” at 112 m.p.h. This completed model was bought by Clarence Marshall and given to his son Tom for Christmas in the early 1960s. It has run on the Auburn Valley Railroad but only a couple of times, as it is tedious to fire and requires attention about 1/3 way around the loop. Full-sized “Americans” are scarce now, especially originals running on tourist railroads. The Wilmington & Western has one, number 98, built by Alco in 1909, which has recently undergone a complete restoration costing nearly $500,000.