LC-2 vs EL-3a

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Jun 8 21:55:45 EDT 2015



>From my research when writing the Electric book I found both models were
designed for N&W and Virginian using Westinghouse's latest design. Any
differences between them are only the design improvements that were made
between the construction dates. As for the prices, this is why I have been
attempting the interest Marklin in the model. Some of the tooling they use
for Swiss electric locomotives would fit right into this project. 


Mason Cooper 


From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On Behalf
Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2015 4:05 PM
To: NW Modeling List
Subject: LC-2 vs EL-3a




This is my follow-up to your thought that a VGN EL-3a model would make a
good starting point for a N&W LC-2 model.  Enough of the drawings I
requested from the Archives have arrived for me to elicit the following


The pony wheels of the LC-2 and EL-3a are both 33".  The LC-2 driver
diameter was 62", whereas the EL-3a's was 61".


The spacings of all axles are identical between the two classes.


The distance between the front coupling face and rear buffer of the EL-3a is
609" vs 583" for the LC-2.  Front coupling face to lead axle distance is 93"
for the EL-3a, 85" for the LC-2.  Trailing axle to rear buffer distance is
66" for the EL-3a vs 48" for the LC-2.  My conclusion from this is that the
frame of an EL-3a model would have to be cut back substantially at both ends
to represent an LC-2 frame credibly.  Shortening the rear of a pair of ALCO
frames by 18" looks pretty straightforward, but shortening the 8" up front


The LC-2 body OAL is only about 4" shorter than the EL-3a's, but has very
significantly different window and door placements, so a new body would have
to be fabricated for the LC-2 in any case.  The LC-2 body bottom is also
3.625" closer to the rails.  (This is interesting, because the floor of the
LC-2 seems to have pockets in the floor to receive the upper ends of the
spring hangers when the springs are fully compressed, whereas the tops of
the EL-3a spring hangers sit well below the body floor.  I'm guessing the
tunnel clearances in the N&W electrified zone were much tighter than on the
VGN's, and with the 1" extra driver diameter, ALCO had to get creative to
lower the LC-2 body enough to meet the clearance plate.)


I have attached a spreadsheet showing the key dimensions available from the
materials I have so far.


I find that I'm daunted by the scope of effort needed to make this work.  I
would much rather PSC or Division Point produce a new LC-2 set at $2200 for
a pair (painted), than to modify a pair of Alco EL-3a's (orphaning the 3rd)
at a net cost of ~$600, or a pair of Overland EL-3a's (orphaning the 3rd) at
a net cost of ~ $1800.  Maybe if somebody wants to surplus a couple of Alco
EL-1a's (cheap) I would put this one in my job jar.


But if somebody had the skill and inclination to photo-etch new body and
roof sheets for LC-2's, I'd probably get much more enthusiastic about this!


Best Regards,



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