44 Tonners

posted Aug 5, 2011, 6:37 AM by Randy Hammill
W&R brass and two Bachmann 44 Tonners
So here are three GE 44 Tonners. The New Haven had (at least) 4 different phases of 44 Tonners.
 
The first (0800) was a very early phase with one set of steps on each side of the locomotive, in the middle of the running board. It was later modified to have the steps at each corner.
 
The second was seven phase Ic locomotives (0801-0806). The W&R brass one is this phase. At least I think so, the box was labeled Phase IV, but it's clearly a phase I. But I have yet to find a resource that details the differences between all of the phases. So I suppose it could be a phase Ib. The prior owner moved the horn to the roof. I will have to move it back to the hood.
 
The next group (0807-0816) are unclear to me. Someplace I picked up they were phase IIa. Visually they are similar to the phase IV (see below). The differences that I can see is the cover over the hood, and that the two small vents along the top of the hood near the end are smaller than the later locomotives.
 
But I've seen a W&R model for sale that states it's a phase IIb. It does not have the small vents at all. It seems odd (but possible) that the small vents were added for phase IIa, removed for IIb and reappeared for phase IV. I don't have any info about phase III locomotives.
 
The final two locomotives are phase IV. These are the only two that match the Bachmann model. I will still replace the stanchions they used for the uncoupling lever, and I may replace the door handles with wire like I have on the phase IIa one. The W&R model has cast brass door handles separately applied (with two missing).
 
I have since tested the W&R and Bachmann on the layout. The W&R seems to have just a little more pulling power. And there is a lot more space to add weight as well. Of course I need to add sound first. In any event, it appears that either will pull at least 8 cars up the 2% grades (curved) which is plenty for operating the layout.
 
I'll paint the W&R in the delivery scheme of all Pullman Green. The phase IIa will be in the 1947/8 scheme with a Hunter Green cab and Warm Orange hoods. I believe this was the delivery scheme of the final two as well. By 1956 this also included a green top of the hood as well as a thin band along the bottom of the hood.
 
I am not sure when this variation was applied. I have pictures of 0802 in this scheme in New Britain in 1956. It appears that the hood and cab are Hunter Green and not Pullman Green or 401 Exterior Green, so it had to be painted prior to 1950.
 
So further research is required, but my initial plan is to paint the phase I in the delivery scheme, the phase II with a Hunter Green cab with Warm Orange hoods, and the 0817 or 0818 in the later variation with the green band and green hood top. I hope to pick up a second phase I at some time as well, also in the delivery scheme, since the first record I have of a phase II locomotive being assigned to New Britain is 1952. In any event, after the T-2-b locomotives are retired ('47-'48) there are always two 44 Tonners assigned to work in New Britain.