The SP loved its M class 2-6-0 Moguls. These small locomotives popular for switching and local freight service, but also surprisingly powerful – earning them the nickname “Valley Mallets” for their ability to haul long trains through the flatter areas of California.
The 70-SC-1 tender on this model is unusual. The importer, Glacier Park Models, notes SP converted ten former El Paso & Southwestern tenders to oil in the 1930s, and that SP 1767 featured this tender from 1939 to 1952.
I acquired this M-6 class 2-6-0 new from GPM in 2008 and it’s one of my favourite models for a couple of reasons. First, I was most intrigued that GPM elected to offer these in both standard O gauge and Proto:48 – making it one of the few steam locomotive models ever to be factory-fitted with the more correct gauge. Second, I’m quite pleased with how my weathering turned out.
Third – and perhaps most importantly – it’s the kind of model that’s useful to all fans of the steam era, but especially those working in larger scales.
While modellers are often attracted to big steam such as the SP’s Cab Forward articulated monsters, it’s models of modest power such as 2-6-0s that allow the majority of O scale enthusiasts to actually fit a layout into their hobby space.