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Pennsylvania 4-4-2 E-6

A left and right view of the Pennsylvania Railroad 4-4-2 E-6 Atlantic I made from a Gilbert K-5. After making the long locomotives (Pennsy 2-10-2 and NYC 4-8-2) I wondered how hard it would be to make a shorter one. The Pennsy E-6 was one of my favorite locomotives and since I had some K-5 boilers I thought it would be a good candidate to try. The overall effect of the locomotive is very good. Again, I used all Gilbert parts (or reproductions) so the finished locomotive would look like something Gilbert might have made.

As it turned out it was much harder shortening the boiler than stretching it. Not only did I have to shorten the boiler but the firebox had to be greatly shortened as well. Another problem area was the cab. The K-5 cab only has one window on each side while the E-6 has two. This problem was solved by cutting two boilers, with the cab of one contributing the extra windows for the E-6.

The area of the boiler where the cut was made (just behind the smoke box) did not have room inside for a copper pipe to align and strengthen. This problem was solved by cutting the boiler just forward of the sand dome and using a Dremel motor tool to grind down the outside diameter of the area behind the smoke box so that it would slip inside the boiler shell just forward of the sand dome (which had the inside diameter ground out to form a lap joint).

The E-6 Atlantic pulls a seven-car string of American Models Pennsylvania passenger cars on Jeff Hill's layout. (2:09)

This picture shows the front of the locomotive. The pilot had one of the steps broken off and some of the pilot slats were cracked. I reinforced the pilot and reconstructed the step from brass. I painted and numbered the boiler front logo and the headlight sides.

This picture shows the two main sections of the boiler shell. The two sections of the boiler have been joined and the cab built up from the parts from two different cabs. Since the boiler was cut up in a different way from the 2-10-2 I was able to effectively remove some of the cast-on detail that was not appropriate for the E-6 (power reverse, feedwater heater and a few other things, including the two sand pipes on each side of the boiler - the E-6 only had one). The manual reverse bar I made can be seen in the right-side view of the locomotive.

The component pieces of the boiler and cab. These were all ground and filed so that they fit together and were then joined using JB Weld. This locomotive was also run on the ACSG layout when it was set up at the NMRA show in Virginia Beach in September 2009.

The mighty E-6 Atlantic is shown pulling a drag of refrigerator cars on track no. 4 on the ACSG, Tidewater Division, modular layout during the NMRA show in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on September 20, 2009. The Pennsy 2-10-2 can be seen on a curve on track no. 2 in the background.

The Pennsylvania 4-4-2 E-6 Atlantic pulling a string of flatcars with construction tractors around the Tidewater Division modular layout at the Greenberg Train Show in Virginia Beach, VA. (15 sec.)

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