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Thread: Northern VS other names

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Central Minnesota, Park Rapids area.
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    Default Northern VS other names

    The first Railroad to use the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement was the Northern Pacific. I think I've read that the Northern Pacific Railway had something to do with the design of the 4-8-4 wheel arraignment, either by actually helping with the design, working hand and hand with the Alco, the manufacturer; or, by simply requesting that Alco develop the 4-8-4 design in 1926. At any rate, the Northern Pacific was the first railroad to use the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. Therefore, the Northern Pacific had the right to name this wheel arrangement, which of course they did, calling it a "Northern". However, this name over all the other steam engine wheel arrangement types, seems to have been very contentious! Some of the other names given it are: Big Apple, Confederation, Dixie, Golden State, GS (General Service) Greenbrier, Niagara, Pocono, Potomac, Western and Wyoming and this list of names is not the complete list!

    I wonder why the Northern type has so many different names? I guess I could understand Southern railroads not liking the name "Northern" and preferring "Dixie" instead; but, why all the other names? Just wondering aloud. I also find that all the various names attract me to this locomotive, hence my handle of "NP2626".
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Caboolture in SE Queensland, Australia
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    Default

    Even the 4-8-4's of New Zealand's K, Ka, Kb classes were referred to as Northern. For most of my life till joining here, I thought it referred to being built in NZ'ds north island. But seems NZ can only lay claim to the Pacific 4-6-2.
    CONVICTED SERIAL KIDDER

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  3. #3

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    Easy. Because railroads were all very independent and had their own ways of doing things. They didn't much care about standardization of terminology. The only time they actively collaborated was during the USRA years. After that they went back to their old ways
    Alan

    Modeling Espee on the Coast and in steam

  4. #4

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    That was a beautiful locomotive.

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    It is one of the few brass models that I have also. Has to be around 30 years old but I couldn't pass it up at the price I found it at.

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ID:	61670 Mine is safely put away in its box and may see daylight once or twice a year. This is not mine, but it is identical. Fantastic details and with a can motor it runs like a dream. The 2626 spent most of its time in Washington from what I understand. It wouldn't have been around in the period I model and not in Montana.

    Again, Beautiful locomotive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Central Minnesota, Park Rapids area.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Espeefan View Post
    Easy. Because railroads were all very independent and had their own ways of doing things. They didn't much care about standardization of terminology. The only time they actively collaborated was during the USRA years. After that they went back to their old ways
    O.K.; However, what about Ten Wheelers, Pacifics, Mikados, Challengers, Mountains, etc... They all pretty much stayed with the original names! So, it's not EASY.
    Last edited by NP2626; 05-17-2017 at 07:31 AM.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  6. Default

    In point of fact, I doubt most railroads outside the marketing department (if they did) as to what they called their steam locomotives. They generally referred to them by some classification designations. For example, the C.B&Q. called their Northerns, Class O-5. Union Pacific classified theirs as "FEF-x". Now what would FEF stand for if not 4-8-4? This business of equipment names can also apply to other pieces of rolling stock. The "Q" and several other roads refer to their cabooses as "waycars" (Burlington Route), "cabin cars", "crummies", etc.

  7. #7

    Default

    IMHO By the time the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement came along, the railroads had become more competitive and image conscious. Like the southern railroads and railways, the Southern Pacific would not want to call anything "northern" and would use it's own terminology for marketing and public relations as the Golden State/General Service classes of locomotives. General Service was used to get by the WW II Production Board that frowned on new passenger locomotives.

  8. Default

    The "Mikado" was occasionally called a "MacArthur" during WWII.
    Dave H.

    Modeling the Philadelphia and Reading in 1900-1905
    Wooden cars and iron men

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Central Minnesota, Park Rapids area.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trailrider View Post
    In point of fact, I doubt most railroads outside the marketing department (if they did) as to what they called their steam locomotives. They generally referred to them by some classification designations. For example, the C.B&Q. called their Northerns, Class O-5. Union Pacific classified theirs as "FEF-x". Now what would FEF stand for if not 4-8-4? This business of equipment names can also apply to other pieces of rolling stock. The "Q" and several other roads refer to their cabooses as "waycars" (Burlington Route), "cabin cars", "crummies", etc.
    Yes, and Northerns on the N.P. where class A locos.

    Why the splitting of hairs that always seems to take place in these discussions? Are we trying to prove that we are smarter than everyone else? You can take any question to what ever degree of argument you want to take it. It was a simple question.
    Last edited by NP2626; 05-17-2017 at 11:52 AM.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  10. Default

    Not smarter, MARK, just prettier! LOL

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