The Lionel EMD NW2 Diesel Switcher New York Central models the ElectroMotive Division of General Motors' NW2 Diesel Switcher. The NW2 had a B-B wheel arrangement and a 567 prime mover (Later 567A) that produced 1,000 hp. EMD, which had taken the lead in diesel road locomotive manufacturing prior to World War II, also became a dominant manufacturer in diesel switchers as well. With the diesel engine proving to be more flexible, easier to maintain, and less expensive to operate the NW2 became a very popular switching locomotive. Between the introduction of the NW2 in 1939 and the end of production in 1949 a huge number- 1121 units for the US market and 24 exported to Canada- were produced.
Road Name and History:
New York Central Railroad: One of the great Eastern Trunk Lines, the New York Central was the creation of Cornelius Vanderbilt, America's first tycoon, who through excellent management and expansion built this railroad into one of the great railroads serving the East and Midwest. The railroad was famed as the "Water Level Route" since using Hudson and Mohawk River valleys and the Great Lakes shoreline it avoided crossing the Appalachian Mountains. After the Vanderbilt family left the company's management, the NYC remained a strong railroad for the first half of the 20th Century, its reputation enhanced with the 1913 completion of Grand Central Terminal. Like its rival the Pennsylvania, the decline of heavy industry in the East, passenger train losses, and an overbuilt plant had the New York Central and Pennsylvania seeking merger that finally took place in 1968.
Historic Fact: After the Civil War, Cornelius Vanderbilt closed the Hudson River Bridge (the only such bridge into New York City) to rival railroads. Cut off from New York, one such railroad, the New York Central, suddenly had falling stock prices so Vanderbilt bought the railroad on the cheap. Of course antitrust laws would now make Vanderbilt's action illegal!
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.
Model Trains since 1900.