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31 O G A U G E R A I L R O A D I N G J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6 MTH Premier Class H9 Heavy Consolidation Review and Photos by George Brown As I unwrapped the MTH Premier line model of the H9 from its proactive plastic sheets, my first impression was one that encompassed both surprise and delight, which presaged a most pleasant review. Why the surprise? Well, this was one of those locomotives where, to me, the promotional illustration in the MTH 2014 volume 2 catalog fell somewhat short. Oh, the illustration was accurate without a doubt, but it sim- ply did not portray the gran- deur of the 1:48 scale 3-rail model of the Wild Mary's heavy 2-8-0 Consolidation. Massive motive power has always fascinated me, and although the H9 is not a long locomotive, this iron horse's fat boiler and large cab could be likened to the massive body and flanks of a powerful Percheron. Add the H9's long and low six-axle tender, and the locomotive's visual impact gets impressive. As with almost all real locomotives, func- tion dictates form. Western Maryland's H9s were designed for the single function of dragging heavy freight trains up steep grades. Prototype Notes Consolidations with their 2-8-0 wheel arrangement were the freight haulers of choice for most North American railroads in the late 1800s and early 1900s prior to the development and refinement of the 2-8-2 type. For decades, heavy Consolidations proved their worth at pulling extremely heavy trains and also in road switching duties. On the Western Maryland, 50 Class H9s numbered 801 through 850 hauled heavy trains of coal through the mountain- ous terrain of the Appalachians. With its 61˝ drivers and 210 pounds of steam pressure from its massive 88˝ diameter boiler, which was also equipped with an unusually large superheater, the H9 got excellent press from the February 1921 edition of the Railway Mechanical Engineer. "The Consolidation engines which the Baldwin Locomotive Works are now building for the Western Maryland are a remark- able example of locomotives for such work. …e total weight

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