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N Scale - Bev-Bel - 15001 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD F7 - Western Maryland - 232

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Stock Number 15001
Secondary Stock Number 4067
Original Retail Price $30.00
Brand Bev-Bel
Manufacturer Life-Like
Body Style Life-Like Diesel Engine F-7 A&B Units
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD F7 (Details)
Road or Company Name Western Maryland (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 232
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
DCC Readiness No
Announcement Date 1990-01-01
Release Date 1990-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety F7A
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This model was introduced by Life-Like in 1990. It is made in China and is an older design.

The model features truck-mounted rapido couplers. The shell design has all details molded in, which makes it durable, but not as elegant as later designs from 2000 on which often feature niceties such as applied grab-irons in similar models. There are no flywheels in the mechanism, but it does feature two lead slugs to give it a nice hefty weight which helps it pull. Pickup is OK but the movement can be a little jerky (did I mention the lack of flywheels?). It is fairly quiet considering the older design and it will pull 30 cars on a flat surface.

The pricing of this model was always aggressive so it can be a staple in many hobbyists collection due to affordability. Since it is not DCC-Friendly, it doesn't carry much current value.

Prototype History:
The F7 was the fourth model in GM-EMD's successful line of F unit locomotives, and by far the best-selling cab unit of all time. In fact, more F7's were built than all other F units combined. It succeeded the F3 model in GM-EMD's F unit sequence, and was replaced in turn by the F9. Final assembly was at GM-EMD's La Grange, Illinois, plant or GMD's London, Ontario, facility.

The F7 differed from the F3 primarily in internal equipment (mostly electrical) and some external features. Its continuous tractive effort rating was 20% higher (e.g. 40,000 lb (18,000 kg) for an F7 with 65 mph (105 km/h) gearing, compared to 32,500 lb (14,700 kg) for an F3 with the same gearing.

A total of 2,366 cab-equipped lead A units and 1,483 cabless-booster or B units were built. (Note: the B unit is often referred to as an "F7B", whereas the A unit is simply an "F7".)

Many F7s remained in service for decades, as railroads found them economical to operate and maintain. However, the locomotive was not very popular with yard crews who operated them in switching service because they were difficult to mount and dismount, and it was also nearly impossible for the engineer to see hand signals from a ground crew without leaning way outside the window. As most of these engines were bought and operated before two-way radio became standard on most American railroads, this was a major point of contention. In later years, with the advent of the "road switchers" such as the EMD GP7, F units were primarily used in "through freight" and "unit train" service where there was very little or no switching to be done on line of road.

From Wikipedia
Read more on American-Rails.com

Road Name History:
This line was established in 1852 under another name but was renamed Western Maryland Rail Road before the first rail was laid. By 1862 they had built from Baltimore to Union Bridge, Maryland at which point it became the responsibility of the Union Army. Construction resumed after the war. WM built west to Hagerstown then Cumberland where the line spilt in two. One route headed northwest to an important interchange with Pittsburgh & Lake Erie at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The other line ran southwest into the rich coal fields around Elkins and Durban, West Virginia. On the east end, they also had routes to York and Gettysburg and an important connection with the Reading at Shippensburg, all in Pennsylvania. At 878 miles, WM was between Maine Central and Spokane Portland & Seattle in relative length.

The city of Baltimore had a large stake in the WM but sold it in 1902 to Jay Gould. The Gould empire unraveled just six years later and the WM was reorganized with Railway replacing Rail Road in the name and John D. Rockefeller holding a 43% stake. He sold those shares to Baltimore & Ohio in 1927. Accused of violating antitrust laws, B&O placed those shares in a non-voting trust.

After 1900, WM relied heavily on 2-8-0’s, ordering 177 between 1900 and 1923 (by which time other railroads were already ordering 2-8-2’s.) Some of these Consolidations were real bruisers with the same tractive effort as WM’s 2-6-6-2’s. Also in road service were 30 2-10-0 Decapods (10 Russian Decapods and 20 much larger versions,) a dozen 4-8-4’s to handle the high speed trains, and a dozen 4-6-6-4 Challengers. The Challengers turned out to be a disappointment to WM. They were rough riders and were hard on the track. As a result, they were soon demoted to pusher service alongside WM’s 25 2-8-8-2’s. A fleet of 19 low drivered Pacifics handled most of the passenger assignments. One element found on most of the WM steam fleet was low snowplow pilots in lieu of the traditional boiler tube pilots. WM was one of a few Class One railroads to employ Shay locomotives to serve steeply graded branchlines. WM had one 2-truck, two 3-truck and two 4-truck Shays. Shay #6 built in 1945 was the last Shay built by Lima Locomotive Works.

WM began to dieselize in 1947 on the east end where they would not raise the ire of their coal mining customers on the west end. The diesel fleet was surprisingly varied for a line their size with cab units from both Alco and EMD, road switchers from Alco, EMD and Baldwin and yard switchers from GE, Baldwin and Alco. The road switchers from Alco and Baldwin plus the EMD GP7;s were delivered with the long hood as the front while the EMD GP9’s were delivered with the short hood as the front. The Second Generation of diesels was all EMD.

In addition to the voluminous coal traffic, WM was a part of two bridge routes for merchandise moving between the northeast and the upper Midwest. These were the Alphabet Route (with Nickel Plate Road, Wheeling & Lake Erie, Pittsburgh & West Virginia, Reading and others) and the Central States Dispatch (with Baltimore & Ohio, Reading, Jersey Central, Lehigh & Hudson River and New Haven.) Iron ore also moved from Baltimore area ports to steel mills on the connecting P&LE.

Passenger service was a bit of an afterthought on the WM. Not only did they not have a shiny streamliner, but their heavyweight coach trains lasted only until 1957 before being discontinued. Steam generator equipped hammerhead RS-3’s replaced the Pacifics in passenger service for a few years before being reassigned to freight duty.

In 1967, B&O (by this time controlled by Chesapeake & Ohio) finally obtained permission to take overt control of the WM. Not much changed for the next five years. In 1973 they adopted the Chessie System image and 125 miles of WM mainline was abandoned in favor of trackage rights on a parallel B&O line. In 1983, the Western Maryland was absorbed into the Baltimore & Ohio. Western Maryland was known for frequently washing their locomotives in both the steam and diesel eras. They kept up this tradition until the start of the Chessie System era.

Brand/Importer Information:
Formerly located in Cresskill, New Jersey, the now defunct Bev-Bel Corp. was founded by the late Irvin and Beverly Belkin in 1956. A prolific "boutique" producer of after-market, limited production, special run rolling stock and locomotives (in road names and non-traditional commemorative and holiday themed paint schemes that were not typically offered by the major manufacturers), Bev-Bel' sourced its models from Atlas Tool Co., Inc., Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc., Bachmann, and Life-Like Trains.

Item created by: gdm on 2016-10-24 10:34:43. Last edited by Alain LM on 2021-04-28 10:00:22

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