I-2 #1300 at New Britain Station, August 1946.
Kent Cochrane, Thomas McNamara Collection
The I-1 and I-2 class pacifics, or an occasional I-4, were the most commonly assigned steam for Highland passenger trains.
In 1946 twenty-nine I-1's, 49 I-2's and 41 I-4's were still on the roster (out of an original 132 between the three classes). The I-4's were used primarily on mainline passenger runs not covered by the I-5 Hudsons, and their numbers declined quickly starting in 1947 with the delivery of the Alco PA-1 locomotives. The decline of the I-1's and I-2's was hastened by the 1947/8 delivery of the DERS-1b and DERS-2b diesels, but not completed until the 1950 delivery of the DERS-2c's.
DERS-1b and 2c locomotives replaced steam on all highland passenger trains by spring 1948 except #131-136 as motive power was assigned in Boston. Its usual power was I-2 #1311, although #1331 hauled the final run on November 20.
I-1 Class: 1000-1031
I-2 Class: 1300-1349
I-4 Class: 1350-1399

Layout at a Glance

Lacking 1946-7 engine assignments, I'm basing my roster on photos. The initial plan is for a single I-2 and I-4 to cover most of the runs.
For sessions in 1946/7 I will have two round trips with an I-2, one with an I-4 and one with a DER-1.
1948 sessions will have an I-2 or I-4 on train 131-136, as the rest of the roster is all diesel-electric by then.

I-Class Assignments

  • 421-446 - I-1/I-2
  • 444-463 - I-1/I-2
  • 131-136 - DER-1/I-2/I-4
  • 157-472 - I-1/I-2
  • Narrangansset Race Specials - I-2/I-4
  • 131-136 - I-2/I-4

I-Class Models

  • 1311
  • 1383
There are no models available of an I-1. At some point, assuming no future release in brass, I'll have to scratchbuild or kitbash one.
The I-2 is available from Crown Custom and is a beautiful model. Based on photos, the model doesn't really need any modifications as #1311. I will be replacing the tender, as #1311 appears to have received one from a K-class with a heightened coal bunker. It should be an easy enough project, and I even have the sides for the coal bunker that Chris cut off the I-4 tender for his model of J-1 #3022.
The only other challenge is that the Custom Brass model comes with etched number boards and decals for some, but not all, locomotive numbers. Naturally, #1311 is among the missing.
I-4 models have been released by Custom Brass and Precision Scale. The PSC models are gorgeous, super detailed for specific locomotives and are priced accordingly. The Custom Brass model can be found readily on the secondary market for much more reasonable prices.
Having seen the two side-by-side, the majority of the differences can be addressed by reworking the Custom Brass model. The part that will be most difficult to improve is the Baker valve hanger. The rest of the details won't be that difficult to upgrade. I'll have to decide if I want to model the backhead as well.
Dick has a Custom Brass I-4 as well, which I think we'll be detailing as #1357, also photographed on the Highland.