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View Poll Results: Which Northern Class 4-8-4 Do You Consider The Best Looking ?
N&W Class J #611 12 36.36%
SP 4449 - The Daylight 12 36.36%
Other 9 27.27%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-17-2008, 05:15 AM   #1
classiclights
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Default Which Is Your Favorite "Looking" Northern 4-8-4

Of all the big Northern Class 4-8-4 locomotives, N&W Class J #611 & The 4449 Daylight are generally recognized as being aesthetically most appealing.

Without regard to other factors; i.e. power, performance, etc., which is your
Favorite "Looking" 4-8-4 ???

If you select "Other", please tell us what your choice is.


Last edited by classiclights; 11-17-2008 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:30 AM   #2
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MILW 261 is right up there in good looks
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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Streamlining is nice and all, though I think it's the paint scheme that makes people like the GS series - dress them in black and they're not quite so attractive. But my taste runs toward non-streamlined units and I think the UP's FEF's are probably the nicest, cleanest looking Northerns out there. Having said that, my second choice would probably be the GN's S-class Northerns with those flying pumps hangin on the front!

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Old 11-17-2008, 03:56 PM   #4
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I never met a Northern I didn't like. Not quite sure why, but they all seem to look pretty good, no matter who the railroad was.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:14 PM   #5
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New York Central Niagara.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:30 PM   #6
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CNR's Northerns. Probably because I'm Canadian and I've seen lots of pictures and movie footage of them. Oh, and one or two stuffed and mounted. A major force on CN's steam roster at the end of steam, they had more than anyone else (203 I think... might include GTW's).
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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I think the C&O 4-8-4's are pretty darn good looking also, such as 614.

Edit: Just noticed the question said Northern after having it pointed out by Bob.

Last edited by Walter S; 11-17-2008 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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I'm gonna let it pass this time Walter. After all, a Greenbrier class 4-8-4, such as C&O 614, is for all intent & purposes a Northern 4-8-4.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris crook
New York Central Niagara.
I agree the Niagras are cool, but the the SP Daylight paint job is amazing.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:35 PM   #10
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Not sure this is the right forum for this - but I'll chime in and say any and all of them. I personally think that the 2-8-4, 4-8-4, and 2-10-4s were the ultimate steam locomotives and I am in awe of them all. Can't really pick a favorite. Really wish I'd had the chance to see them run in more than the occasional excursion trip.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:27 PM   #11
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I marked other, as I am torn between two favorites...

I like the looks of UP FEF 1 class Northerns, the precurser to the FEF 2 & 3 class Northerns like 844. The had shorter drivers and didn't wear smoke lifters... I just like the look of them!

I also love the Chicago & Northwestern Northerns... the "H"s.... very cool stuff.

Great topic!
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:07 AM   #12
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I'm a sucker for the NW 611 J 4-8-4 as a matter of fact it is the only steamer I like.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:01 AM   #13
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Well, the 611 is probably my favorite locomotive of all time, for sentimental purposes (for being the first steam locomotive I ever saw in service and playing a major role in developing my interests in trains). And it is a beautiful engine and an excellent example of tasteful streamlining, second only perhaps to the New Haven I-class Hudsons.

However, in my opinion the railroad with the most beautifully styled steam engines was the Frisco. So, a Frisco 4500-class 4-8-4 would probably be my favorite-looking Northern of all time (with or without the 'Meteor' paint job). And if this contest were open to Mountains, the 1522 would be my pick without question. Luckily, there are still four Frisco 4500s left, though I doubt we will see any of the quartet ever take to the rails.

My favorite looking Northern still operating today would be the 844 (although I could do without the smoke deflectors).
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:07 PM   #14
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My vote is for the "J", but a close runner-up for me would have to be:
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:14 PM   #15
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Here a CNR Northern. Not exactly refined, somewhat brutish looking though I think they were lightweights for versatility. Love the Vanerbuilt tenders on these.

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:43 AM   #16
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Give me a Reading T-1 and I'll walk away happy.

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Old 11-20-2008, 02:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Rule
Give me a Reading T-1 and I'll walk away happy.
Give me a matched triplet of SD40-2s and I'll walk away happy.
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
Give me a matched triplet of SD40-2s and I'll walk away happy.
SD40-2 is a fantastic locomotive... but let's be honest... it's the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord of railroading.

Of course, if that is what floats your boat... anchors away.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
SD40-2 is a fantastic locomotive... but let's be honest... it's the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord of railroading.

Of course, if that is what floats your boat... anchors away.
Weren't the Northern steam locomotives also the Camry's and Accord's when they were actually earning their keep on the railroad?

Just to clarify, SD40-2s are not my favorite but I very much enjoy them. A set of SD45-2s or a quartet of SD9s are some of my favorites.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:16 AM   #20
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The extended porches give the SD40-2 engines just a touch of class, moving them above camry level!

GP-9, now there is a camry, I can't get excited about them even with what is left 50 years later.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B.
Weren't the Northern steam locomotives also the Camry's and Accord's when they were actually earning their keep on the railroad?

Just to clarify, SD40-2s are not my favorite but I very much enjoy them. A set of SD45-2s or a quartet of SD9s are some of my favorites.
No... not in the least. That would be like saying weren't the Chrysler Airflow, Studebaker Champion, and Hudson Commodore the Honda Accords of their time. 4-8-4s were distinctly customized to each railroad's needs and were incredibly unique mechanical marvels of their time... amazing machines to watch, while the beauty of both the Honda Accord and the SD40-2 were their standardization (yeah, yeah, yeah... the comparison doesn't quite work... Chrysler didn't customize Airflows for each customer... but the feel of driving a Camry and a Accord are pretty damn standardized... so give me a break and go with my analogy - did driving an Airflow feel much like driving a Champion? I know watching my dad drive his Dodge Power Wagon was completely different than watching him drive his Fairlane).

Steam was a customized beast, each locomotive was far more unique than today's diesels, or 1972's locomotives.

1939 and 1949 had no Honda Accord or SD40-2. They did not understand the concepts that could create them.

That's part of what is so freaking cool about 4-8-4s.

As an aside, SD45-2s and SD9s both rock, but GP30s and RS27s rule (if you've got to go diesel).

Last edited by Freericks; 11-20-2008 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
1939 and 1949 had no Honda Accord or SD40-2. They did not understand the concepts that could create them.
Don't forget about the USRA-designed engines, and from an ever earlier time than 1939!
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:08 AM   #23
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The SD40-2s were customized for each railroad, but not the extent that each Northern was. I'll give you that. That generation of locomotives was really the last to see much custom work. Now GE and EMD try to make every locomotive as similar as possible regardless of receiving railroad in an effort to cut costs.

It's obvious that we are both of different generations. I've only heard of a couple of the cars you mentioned and I doubt you know what the Scuderia is that I talked about in another thread. Every railfan wishes he was born 10 years earlier and wishes he could see what he missed. For you that was probably steam, but for me that was early EMDs and SDs in fresh paint.

GP30s and RS27s are cool, but I prefer something with a bit more power.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:12 AM   #24
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I know what a Scuderia is. None of the cars I mentioned were around when I was born.

EDIT - In fact, the funny thing about this, is I realized I'm having a fight my dad and I had in 1978... but I'm playing the role of my dad and you're playing the role of me.

Last edited by Freericks; 11-20-2008 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
I know what a Scuderia is. None of the cars I mentioned were around when I was born.

EDIT - In fact, the funny thing about this, is I realized I'm having a fight my dad and I had in 1978... but I'm playing the role of my dad and you're playing the role of me.
Do you know why it's called the Scuderia? No peeking!

I've had the same conversation with my Father as well.
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