All things being equal, here is one of my C&NW GP7's dressed up as 1650, a Proto 2000 GP7 that I built, lettered and weathered from a photograph of the real locomotive.

The weathering on this model is light compared to # 1655 which will follow.


Ladies n' Gents, my model of C&NW GP7 # 1655, a MAJOR weathering project, also built from photo's of the real engine.

C&NW GP7's & GP9's weren't too plentiful around Marshfield in the 1972-1976 time period, and when one did show up, they usually looked like 1655, really neglected.

There were so few units around this area on the C&NW that WEREN'T GP30's that it became a Royal Event when one of these oldsters showed up, we darn near got out party favors and bunting.


I guess things like this make the modelling end of this hobby worth it.

In scale, I can re-create things none of us will ever see again in this lifetime, in this case, # 963, the C&NW's turn to Wisconsin Rapids, Port Edwards and Nekoosa returning uptown with their caboose to tie up for the day.

After dropping their train in the New Yard, the crew would cut off their caboose short of the yard track they arrived on, grab it with the power, and return to the Depot downtown, a trip of about a mile. The power and caboose would pull all the way across Central Avenue and stop at the west switch for the downtown yard; the rear brakeman, a gent with the nickname of "Turnip", would line the caboose and power into the downtown yard, while the conductor had dropped off at the caboose track switch on the east side of Central and had pre-lined it for the power to put the caboose away. Turnip would proceed to put the caboose away, and he'd be cranking away on the brakewheel on the caboose as they backed past and onto the caboose track.

Certain things one never forgets, such as seeing the power and caboose coming down the main line past the depot, and all three pieces of equipment were swaying side-to-side from the terrific nature of the C&NW's track, none swaying in the same direction at the same time! Or, seeing pulpwood logs picked up by Turnip from alongside the r-o-w thrown up on the trailing platform of the caboose, which were "given" to Buzz & Rita's Bar for Buzz Panske's wood burner---or seeing turnip hoist these up on his shoulder and walk them over behind Buzz & Rita's for Buzz to saw up.

Or, seeing the crew toss off their gear as they passed the Depot; the running board walkway on the lead unit would have everyone's grips standing on the walkway neatly lined up. The fireman would toss each off to the Head Brakeman as the unit passed the Depot.

The scenery on our Club Layout doesn't look anything like Marshfield, but you get the general idea.


All things being equal, here is my model of the caboose that was the C&NW's Nekoosa Jobs caboose, 10925. This was built following an Article authored by Darrel Menzers that appeared some years ago in the C&NW Historical Society's magazine, "North Western Lines". It's a kit-bash/scratch-building project. The sides and ends are cut from .040 sheet plastic and scribed for the windows and welding lines. The roof, end doors and underframe came from an Athearn bay window caboose.

10925 was from a group of cabooses built for C&NW by Thrall Car Manufacturing. GB&W had 3 cars ust like this. I had cut out the sides for a Fourth Thrall C&NW Caboose, but I often wonder if I should make it in to GB&W 613.


Another regular sight in Marshfield pre-1973 were Fairbanks-Morse "Baby" Trainmasters. These were the 4-ft. shorter version of the infamous Train Master, a 2400 hp. behemoth that was born too big, too soon. C&NW amassed a 51-unit fleet of the "Baby" Trainmaster, 25 of the early version dressed in a Raymond Loewey-designed carbody, and 26 in the Carbody like the 1674 has, the mini-TM.

As soon as I figure out how to put 6-axle trucks under the Atlas F-M H-16-44 model, I'll have one of the early units, too!

This model is a straight kitbash of an Athearn Trainmaster with 4 scale feet removed. I followed a kitbashing article that appeared in Model Railroader some years ago, authored by Tom Busack, I believe.

1674 and her sister, 1679, don't run worth a sh*t, because I used wire that is too thick to hard wire the trucks to the motor. I'll get around to replacing that.......someday........


On November 17, 2005, Keith sent the following message, titled The Baby's L'il Brother:

"No, I ain't talkin' about the H-16-44, but the Raymond Loewey-styled precusor to the "Baby" Trainmaster, the H-16-66.

"I'm in the process of making an Atlas HO Scale H-16-44 into an early C&NW H-16-66. With me going to school in Machine Tool, I have access to Milling Machines to do the conversion---putting Stewart Hobbies Commonwealth 6 axle truck under the Atlas model and rendering a somewhat accurate version of the early H-16-66.

"C&NW owned every version built of the early H-16-66, and in doing my conversion, I've found that there were two distinct body styles and three handrail variations:

  1. C&NW (CMO) 150
    Built with Loewey styling, slanted cab side sheet metal, curved cab windows on each side of the main cab window, bare carbody filters near the cab, hood mounted handrails, switcher-style handrails at front (long hood) mounted on walkway
  2. C&NW 1605-1612 Single cab window, hood mounted handrails, switcher-style handrails on long hood end (front) mounted on walkway, boxed louvers in place of bare carbody filters next to cab
  3. C&NW (CMO) 168-172
    Same detailing as 1605-1612, but with frame-mounted, full-length handrails
"The only thing I need to do is procure the 3-louver set on a protruding box like on the Athearn Trainmaster model has and graft it on to the Atlas model.

"From what I can gather, the H-16-44 was very close in overall length to the H-16-66.

"I'll let you know how this conversion goes."


Later that same day he sent more:

"Two other details to note:

"1605-1612 came at a time when C&NW was equipping all of their road power with large Red Mars warning lights---I refer you to engines 1556-1599, 1601-1603, 1604 and 1613-1618. I believe that protruding sheet metal above the front headlight on all of the F-M's in the 1605-1612 series was actually a mounting platform bracket for that large red warning light. If you look in Paul Wither's "Diesel Locomotives Of The Chicago & North Western", there are two photographs of sisters of this series that plainly show an electric receptacle mounted on the Loewey headlight mount, in position for plugging in the Pyle or Mars red warning light.

"Since the large warning light was in vogue on C&NW's Locomotive purchases in the same time period as the series of engine noted above, I can only fathom that the protruding sheet metal on the fronts was actualy a mounting bracket. I have never seen a builder's photo of 1605-1612, only shots made of these engines much later, so I can only speculate if this series ever received the red warning light. My guess is no, but that they were equipped for it.

"Second worthless point:

"It would appear that 150 and 1510-1514 came WITHOUT MU capability. A head-on photo of # 150 in a Trains Magazine Article shows 150 in service without MU; Builder's photos of 1510 show it without MU. By 1960, all were MU equipped---ELECTRICAL MU equipped.

"I bring that Electrical point up because from another old photo of C&NW 1672 showing Westinghouse Air MU receptacles in a photo in Kalmbach's "Locomotive Cyclopedia 2, DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES", showing 1672 & sister pulling towards the camera with the oblong Westinghouse Air MU schedule recepticle and high-mounted air hose for that schedule plainly visible.

"Once again, by 1960, these engines were equipped with Electrical MU plugs.

"A page from a C&NW Locomotive Diagram book noted that engines 1668-1671, 1673 incl., had "Electro-pneumatic Throttles", which would be the Westinghouse Air Throttles, the same type used on Baldwin Locomotives.

"C&NW must have reworked the throttle schedule on these engines, going from Electro-pneumatic to all electric. I can't guess when this was done, but it seems to have been around the 1959-1961 time period. By the mid-1960's they are paired with any manufacturer's locomotives and sport electric MU receptacles versus the oblong Westinghouse MU plug."


The only other Baby Trainmaster I've built thus far, using a photograph of the real 1679 that appears in The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide in the F-M section.

My goal is to build one more for myself, wearing the stripes like 1679 has, but with the as-delivered scheme on it, complete with "ROUTE OF THE STREAMLINERS" and "ROUTE OF THE 400" on each side of the hood.

I've thought about doing one in the "Cigar Band" scheme (Yellow Cab Scheme if you prefer) but this gets to be a bit involved. Athearn Drive Train Parts (you have to rebuild one end of the drive train after you shorten everything else) are hard to get, although I have found the Switcher-style Flywheels I need. I still need splines.


I much prefer C&NW's Cabooses when they were RED, but these repainted cars were distinctive enough. My model of C&NW 11007, another "Scratch-bash" Athearn/Scratchbuilt Thrall Bay Window caboose project.

When cars painted like this started showing up on the Road Train through Marshfield, they created a stir, particularily the cars lettered with the "WE'RE EMPLOYEE OWNED" slogan. The first one I ever saw was in reverse---I saw it's reflection in a plate-glass window.

Once these Green n' Yellow hermorphadites invaded Central Wisconsin, all the weathered red cabooses disappeared. C&NW began repainting and overhauling their Cabooses beginning in 1970. Although a yellow car showed up here and there, Marshfield was strictly red C&NW cabooses until late 1975. Many still wore their ladders and roofwalks! Only 10925 remained carrying on the Caboose Red tradition, and she got rebuilt late in the game, long after being removed from Marshfield.


The content of this page was created by Keith Meacham, and he retains the copyright.
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Created on November 10, 2005
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