The over all length of the locomotive and tender was
limited by the length of existing turntables so the tender was designed to
be short and its rear section was designed “high” to carry a great deal of
weight. This configuration required an eight-wheel rear tender truck to
distribute the load to the rails. The forward tender truck had six
The final length of the
locomotive and tender was slightly over 125 feet. The increased power and
improved economics of the new design over the Texas class was the deciding
factor. The C&O selected it and never regretted their decision, as it
would prove to be one of the finest locomotive designs in American
railroad history. The name “Allegheny” was given to the new giants in
honor of the mountain range over which they would be operated.
procedure for the coal run was to use two Alleghenies, one pulling and one
pushing, to haul a 140-car train. Starting at Hinton, the train would
climb the steep grade up the mountain to the summit when the pushing
locomotive would be uncoupled and turned for its descent back to Hinton.
The lead locomotive would then proceed down grade with the train into
Clifton Forge. There it was turned and sent back to Hinton hauling a
string of empties.
The first ten
locomotives were delivered in December 1941 and were immediately pressed
into service to meet the demands of World War II. The performance of the
Allegheny was so impressive that the C&O ordered an additional ten
locomotives, Numbers 1610 through 1619, which were delivered in 1943 and
another 25, Numbers 1620 through 1644, which were delivered in 1944.
During the war, the C&O
had 23 of its Alleghenies modified to include steam heat and signal lines
for passenger service but used them only rarely to haul a troop train or
heavy mail train. Their more normal assignment was to haul a 10,000-ton
freight train at the slow rate of 15 miles per hour. This is in stark
contrast to their design goal of hauling a 5000-ton train at 45 miles per
hour. Thus the Alleghenies were never given the opportunity to
demonstrate their full potential.
A final fifteen
locomotives, Numbers 1645 through 1659, were delivered in 1948 making a
total of sixty Alleghenies on the C&O roster. They continued to give
faithful service over the post war years but they were eventually replaced
by diesels staring in 1952. The last Allegheny was removed from service
The Virginian Railway
also operated eight 2-6-6-6 Lima built locomotives during World War II,
which were essentially identical to those of the C&O however they were
know as the Class AG Blue Ridge. Delivered in 1945, they were used in
coal hauling operations. They operated well into the 1950s but were all
scrapped by 1960.
railroad enthusiasts, two Alleghenies have survived and are currently on
public display in the United States. Number 1601 is at the Henry Ford
Museum in Dearborn, MI. Number 1604 is at the B&O Museum in Baltimore,
After Number 1601 was
retired, she ran to Detroit and was stored inside the Ford Museum. It is
said that she is the most photographed item of all exhibits there.
Number 1604 also dodged
the scrapper’s torch and was donated to the Roanoke Transportation Museum
in the late 1960s. In the late 1980’s, she was moved to Baltimore as the
centerpiece for the newly constructed Mt. Clair Shopping Center. In 1990,
she was moved to on the property of the B&O Railroad Museum where she
resides to this day.
Aster chose to model
Allegheny Number 1625. Delivered in 1944, this locomotive has long since
vanished from the rails after a career of hard, unglamorous, but vital
work. This fine locomotive represented the pinnacle of the builder's art
and the embodiment of brute strength
The recreation of the H-8 Allegheny is one of Aster's
grandest and greatest achievement both in detail and quality. With a
Baker Valve Gear, the model is a fully functioning museum quality piece.
The boiler accommodates both alcohol and coal firing.
It is Aster Hobby’s
sincere hope that through the medium of Gauge 1, the spirit of Allegheny
1625 will live again,. Locomotive enthusiasts through the world will have
the opportunity of seeing a miniature giant in action.