Turbine Power on “Lionel Lines”
By Mike Stella
Big, Bigger, Biggest is always what comes to mind when the Union Pacific Railroad motive power is mentioned. Big Boys and 4-12-2s and Centennial DD40Xs and of course the General Electric Turbines from the 1950’s. Has there ever been another locomotive of any design that produced the 10,000 HP of the Big Blow’s? I can’t think of one. These Giants of the real road are equally Giants of the “O” Gauge road and on “Lionel Lines” (The Largest Lionel Railroad on my Block).
I have bowed to the builders at MTH and I have added every Turbine they have produced (My three unit Coal Turbine is in storage). Dual motors in the smaller units and FOUR motors in the Big Blow produce ample pulling power for the longest freight trains. On “Lionel Lines” it is not uncommon to watch a 50 car train pass. I often wish that 0-96 and 0-120 “O” Gauge track had been available 25 years ago! Then 100 car freight trains might have been possible! To add to my Turbine roster I took a second Propane Turbine and reconverted it back to Bunker C by adding a regular fuel tender.
The picture of this Turbine shows a “weathered” look and soon the Big Blow will take on a similar appearance. I do not know if this adds value to a piece or takes away from it but I collect Lionel and not MTH so it matters not.
While the Union Pacific is a favorite road of mine I did add that beautiful Chessie Turbine to my locomotive roster and I hope that some day I will see a N&W “Jawn Henry” show up in a catalog!
I think that will about cover the Turbine field.