Industrial Locomotives AKA “Critters”
In the real world of railroading there are three levels of diesel locomotives; the high horsepower locomotives produced by General Electric and Electro Motive, the medium 2000 HP units, followed by heavy duty switch engines in the 100-125 ton range.
And then there are critters.
As defined a “critter” is a 300-1000 hp light duty industrial switching engine. These small locos are built to a specific need to satisfy a customer’s request resulting in these tiny engines having an odd look about them.They can be found in most industrial settings, such as a steel mill, but can be seen hauling coal at a power plant, clay at a brick factory, as well as junk yards and lumber mills. A number of small companies produced these locomotives and were manufactued in either standard or narrow gauge. Most critters were diesel electric like their “big brothers” but some were pure electric running on trolly poles and others gas mechanical with a transmission. Although no longer built in the USA, many survive today and are still an intregal part of heavy industries.
The model of my 1:29 scale critter was scratch built of plywood and sheeted with Evergreen plastic. It’s design is generic (as no two locos were identical) and represents a larger standard industrial loco from the 1920’s. I used a G scale power block and it runs around my train layout pulling a couple of side dump cars. The grill is brass as is the muffler/exhaust pipe. The rest of the parts came out of my railroad “junk” box, I had a lot of fun building and weathering it. And yes, in the world of critters it is “ugly” and odd looking!
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.