CO What made YOU choose the C&O?

2-8-8-0 Jun 27, 2010

  1. 2-8-8-0

    2-8-8-0 TrainBoard Member

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    Hey folks. Trust me, I will become a pest in this forum! Specific little forum for all our C&O needs...!

    So, just what the title says...why do you like the C&O? So many coal roads to pick, what made you settle on C&O?

    I must admit, I was originally a B&O fan and modeler; had an HO layout and a bunch of brass locos, and quite a hopper fleet. Switched to N, saw that there wasnt much B&O stuff around, especially the big steamers I wanted (ELs and EM-1s) and went to C&O...and havent looked back.

    C&O, unlike B&O, actually made money. They ran up to date power and rolling stock, maintained their road to a very high standard, and were the largest carrier of bituminous coal in the world; quite a claim for a road that was less than half the size of the B&O, PRR, and NYC that it competed against!

    It was a perfect match for me, really; big ol' mallets running in coal country (and actually, unlike B&O, servicing the mines directly!) and small, out of the way places; from small engine houses and marshalling yards on branch lines that time has forgot, to the rugged New River gorge, its just too beautiful to not want to model it. And, it dosent hurt that their steamers, with the smokebox mounted pumps, just have an imposing, almost intimidating look about them. Supporting this is an incredible amount of great books and quite probably the best railroad historical society on the planet.

    Readily available locos, hoppers and boxcars, even cabs, didnt hurt my decision at all:tb-biggrin: I like PRR and NYC in industrial settings as well, and must confess I have an affinity for big modern diesels with catfish whiskers, but C&O in steam tops the list.

    So, what did it for you?
     
  2. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    Lets not forget the Chicago division. Headquatered in my hometown of Peru Indiana and ran by our farm. Spent many days and nights watching long freights with either mixed stuff or coal hoppers going by. Kick myself for not getting some pictures. If you go to COHS.org and type in Peru you will find a huge amount of stuff. Below is a Key 2-6-6-2 like you are looking for. The front of that in is most interesting.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. 2-8-8-0

    2-8-8-0 TrainBoard Member

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    Thats a beautiful H-5! Someday I would like to add a brass H-6 (like my sig says) and replace my Bachmann H-5 with one like that, the bachmann is beautiful and mine runs well, but they sure dont pull well at all.
     
  4. Kitbash

    Kitbash TrainBoard Supporter

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    The road (highway that is) between Clifton Forge and White Sulphur and the yards, station at Charlottesville.

    My father used to be the general manager of Burlington Mills Narrow Fabric. They had two plants, one in South Hill, VA where we lived and one in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Dad used to have to go White Sulphur quite a bit. When I was a kid, I used to go w/ him up there for 3 or 4 days during the summer when school was out. Riding up we went through Clifton Forge and on to White Sulphur. Many of those roads came close to the C&O. I always loved seeing those trains.

    While dad was working, we had family friends in White Sulphur with kids my age. During the day, we’d wander down to the White Sulphur train station and watch trains go by.

    Then when I was in my early 20’s, I played guitar in a band. We always played quite a few gigs in Charlottesville at UVA. Usually Friday Saturday nights. During the day while the roadies would be moving our gear from one place to the next, I would go sometimes and sit in a small pull-over I knew on the back side of the C&O yard. I would watch those trains for hours doing thissa and thatta.

    Always during my life I had the modeling bug. When I was smaller, we had no basement or really good place for me to build or set up trains. So when I finally got my own place and had space to start modeling, it was a no brainer what line I was going to model.

    Being a lone-wolf modeler I had to make decisions since I do everything myself. One of the areas where I streamlined time was to model a fictitious division of the C&O somewhere in Virginia that eventually meets up w/ the “real” C&O in WV. That way I do not have to spend precious time recreating exact places, and so on. I can research equipment and practices all I want from home.

    No way I would be modeling some other line.

    Just for yucks, I have collected some Atlantic and Danville equipment I will probably run for fun. Plus, I have built several craftsman kits of A&D stuff I’ve found. Certainly will NOT be prototypical to see the A&D running on the C&O, but I won't lose any sleep over it. Heck, it probably makes me sleep better. :)
     
  5. Tarasdad

    Tarasdad TrainBoard Member

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    I inherited my C&O bug from my dad, who grew up watching C&O coal trains in West Virginia. Guess you might say it runs in my blood.
     
  6. chessie

    chessie TrainBoard Supporter

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    I enjoyed the simplicity of the later diesel paint schemes and freight cars. I modeled in N scale, so I could run seemingly endless strings of coal cars "C&O for progress".
     
  7. OleSmokey

    OleSmokey TrainBoard Member

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    I must be the lucky one here.I very well remember the long coal trains across the tracks in Kessler WV. Then we moved up to Takoma Park, Maryland and there was the B&O. I also remember when i moved back to WV, the roads of Western Maryland.I used to love the crossover at Shenandoah junction where you could see both Western Maryland and B&O too! I like the C&O but am not sure yet on the connector on my n scale rr yet. Did they run Shays in the branch lines in WV?? Anyway i can remember the timber and fresh wood being cut at the saw mill.....
     
  8. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here is a photo of a C&O shay #9.Bottom photo was taken at Thurmond WV in 1915.
    Both photos from COHS.ORG

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. jmha

    jmha TrainBoard Member

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    The beautiful scenery around the C&O, the state-of-the-art steam locomotives. (The H-8 appeared in brass in 1996, I purchased two then and that made the decision over the N&W or B&O) Also a lot of literature on the railroad and an active historical society.

    Uploaded pictures show H-8 #1647 passing NI cabin at Prince, WVa.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2010
  10. GM50 4164

    GM50 4164 TrainBoard Member

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    Hey gang, just wanted to tell my side of the story. I used to be a CSX fanatic. Got a job with NS and ended up enjoying the research part of older RRs. Easy switch for me, going back to an earlier era, Chessie is actually what I model but I'm planning on having a lot of older schemes with my motive power.
     
  11. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great stories everyone. Harold noted the simplicity of the C&O logo and paint schemes. I also found that appealling. Watching those dirty GP30,35,38,and 40s pulling what seemed like endless strings of freight. Years later I softened up to the kitty cat although I was pretty upset at first to having a kitten on a freight engine. Seemed out of place to me.
     
  12. Lester Perry

    Lester Perry TrainBoard Member

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    It was an easy decision for me. As a child that was all I knew. My Grand Father was a telegraph operator. My great uncle was a telegraph operator. My uncle was a fireman at Peach Creek yard later to become an engineer(diesel). My cousin was a brakeman for B&O which was owned by C&O. As a child I remember sitting at RR crossings while endless black coal cars went by. My Father would shut off the car for the wait. We lived in a small town along the Logan division so coal trains came through empty and loaded every few minutes. And if I understand correctly they were 200 plus car trains. I was born in 55 so I was just at the end of steam era and no memories of them but I have heard about them all my life. So I guess you could say it was an easy pick for me. Although when I first started C&O stuff was hard to find unless you went with brass but I am not wealthy. So I almost went with another road.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Like a lot of you, I grew up with it, but on the PM district. The first train I remember seeing was probably pulled by a BL2, although I only remember seeing a dirty enchantment blue carbody diesel and didn't figure that out until I discovered F's weren't used much in Michigan. As far as modeling, I started with the Pere Marquette and got into modeling the C&O as I broadened my scrolling era. Not that I'm exclusive- My freelance Michigan shortline will also operate live interchanges (through staging) with Detroit & Mackinac and GTW. BTW, Nice photo, Lester.
     
  14. jmha

    jmha TrainBoard Member

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  15. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    Really enjoyed the video! Is that N scale? Where did you get the Hudson?
     
  16. jmha

    jmha TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, it's N-scale. The Hudson is kitbashed from a Concor 4-6-4 mechanism and a Concor Berkshire shell with the domes reversed and some detailing added (handrails, extra tubing etc) plus the berk tender.
     
  17. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    How about showing a still photo of the Hudson? I plan on making one myself.
     
  18. jmha

    jmha TrainBoard Member

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    IMG_1797.jpg IMG_1799.jpg C&O L-2 #303, Engineers side. Kato/Concor mechanism, Concor Berk shell and tender. Domes reversed by cutting out the top of the boiler, reversing and filling out with putty. Brass wire handrails, sand tubes etc.
     
  19. jmha

    jmha TrainBoard Member

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    IMG_1801.jpg IMG_1803.jpg IMG_1805.jpg Front and fireman's side. NKP Berk headlights moved down, oval numberplate from styrene.
     

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  20. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for the Hudson pix. I can see what is in my future kitbash plans.
     

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