This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Test Track


Louisville & Nashville Alco Century 430 & Bowser C-430 Retrofi t Sound kit


Bowser Trains: Any company wishing


to submit a product for Test Track may do so by providing samples to be reviewed to the address below. We prefer light- colored models that will photograph well. Submitt ed models will not be returned.


Please send products to: Railroad Model Craft sman, ATTN: Tony Cook, P.O. Box 177 Platt sburg, MO 64477


HO – For the better part of 50 years, Alco’s Century 430 was something like an enigma: a star- crossed modern prototype with few (only 16) examples built, rarely seen astray of a few as- signed routes east of the Missis- sippi River. Somehow, this made it worthy of miniaturization not once, nor twice, but thrice: first by Tyco in 1966, then Pemco in 1980, and Mehano in 1981 — making it inversely prolific. Al- though the prototypes wore a sur- prisingly varied catalog of liveries as owners sought fit to merge, trade, and deal, the models infa- mously wore few paint schemes with any basis in reality. As they each were stricken with design shortcomings of their own, the models and prototype shared that much in common, but a tru- ly passable Alco C-430 remained the enigmatic fantasy of many dedicated modelers. It was hardly surprising when Bowser’s 2013 announcement of a Century 430


88 RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


with the company’s full Executive Line treatment was greeted with bated breath and pocketbooks, and this exquisite model was sister-publication Model Rail- road News’ March 2014 cover feature. A year on, Bowser has switched sound-equipped mod- els to a new 21-pin version of ESU’s LokSound platform. With this change, Bowser offers a new Retrofit Kit for upgrading mod- els originally built without sound decoders after June 2014, which presents a worthy case for revis- iting its superb Century 430. Railroad Model Craftsman’s


sample for this review is Louis- ville & Nashville (L&N) 2244: a tragically plain specimen hiding an interesting pedigree. Person- ally, I’ve never been endeared with the gray schemes L&N bore from the 1960s through its fade into Family Lines. But I was sur- prised to learn that the livery — aside from its painfully obvious concession to frugality — is, in


fact, more attributable to Clinch- field Railroad, which was par- tially controlled by L&N and ul- timately became a Family Lines component as well. Clinchfield’s diesel fleet was tastefully dressed in pale gray with yellow accents, in schemes originally devised by Electro-Motive Division (EMD) designers for the road’s new F- units. Perhaps striping makes all the subjective difference in per- ception from “plain” to “elegant.” L&N simplified its paint


schemes in 1957, following its merger with Nashville, Chat- tanooga, & St. Louis Railroad. Classic but expensive EMD-de- signed liveries were erased be- neath monochrome all-blue (pas- senger) and all-black (freight) dip jobs that could hardly be consid- ered “schemes.” Fortunately, a sense of pride returned in 1962, when L&N president William H. Kendall — a former veteran of the diesel-era Clinchfield — au- thorized a new scheme in time


PRODUCT REVIEW


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100