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This is my version of the "General" of Civil War fame.
See the story of the General below.
|The engine uses old lego wheels for all eight of
the engine wheels, the motor is located in the tender. To keep the
rods 90degrees out of phase with each other the rear wheels are connected
by a central axle. (If the wheels are not out of phase then the rods
jam easily.) The wheels are connected using 2 x 3749 Technic Axle
Pins and a 6538 Technic Axle Joiner. But careful selection must be
done to choose the axle pins, there are at least two different molds
for this piece.
|The pin with the smaller inside pin diameter will not
work for the connection because the metal pin expands the joint to
much to allow free movement in a technic beam. The larger pin is a
little to large to keep the wheel in the pin, but a single layer of
tape solves that problem.
||For working rods the entire body of the train must be kept straight.
(ie the engine can not be articulated, and the rear wheels must always
be parallel with the engine.) To keep the engine straight, and allow
the train to go around the tight corners on Lego track, the front
wheel set is allowed to swing left and right as well as turn.
|The cylinders are mounted just above the height of the wheels so
they do not interfere with the turn. This is a little inaccurate becuase
a real 4-4-0 has cylinders that overlap the front wheels slightly
so they are more centered on the rear wheels. But this compromise
does allow the pistons to move and the engine to negotiate tight corners.
|The "General" was built by the
firm of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor of Paterson, N.J., for the Western
& Atlantic Railroad at a cost of $8,850. Her construction number is
631, and she was completed in December 1855. She was built as an eight
wheel, wood-burning locomotive of the American type, with a 4-4-0
wheel arrangement, weighing about 50,300 pounds, with a gauge of five
feet and cylinders 15 inches in diameter and a stroke of 22 inches.
On the morning of April 12, 1862 here crew stopped in Big Shanty (now
Kennesaw, Ga) for breakfast, and James Andrews and his raiders boarded
and stole the engine. His plan was to continue north to Chattanooga
destroying communication lines and tracks for General Ormsby Mitchel
who was hoping that the chaos of the stolen engine and the destruction
of communication lines would ease his plan to take Chattanooga. But
the plan would not happen without a hitch.
William Fuller, the "General"'s conductor, noticed the
theft and took off after her on foot for two miles. Later he and
other procurred a handcar to continue that chase. All the while
Andrews and his men were destroying telegraph lines and track. When
Fuller reached Etowah he procured the switch engine "Yonah"
and a few maintainace crew members. They abandoned the "Yonah"
at Kingston in favor of the "William R. Smith". That engine
was also abandoned also becuase of the torn up track the General
was leaving behing her.
|At Adairsville, Fuller took the "Texas" and
pursued the "General" in reverse. When Andrews noticed he
was being followed he attempted to lift a rail, disconnect boxcars,
and torch a bridge with no effect. The chase ended just before Ringold
Gap when the "General" gave out. Andrews and his men were
captured, several were kept as prisoners, Andrews and 7 others were
hung in Atlanta. Congress gave the Medal of Honor to several of the
raiders, not including Andrews because he was a civilian. The "General"
survived the war and continued in service for 30 more years. Today
it has been fully restored and is located at The
Kennesaw Civil War Museum. The "Texas" has also been
fully restored, it sits at Grant Park in Atlanta, near the Cyclorama
|For more information on the "General" or on
the Great Locomotive Chase see:
||Kennesaw Civil War
are property of Lewis Valentine and can not be duplicated without consent.
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