LC-2 vs EL-3a

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Jun 9 16:01:57 EDT 2015

The NH bought the Vgn EL-Cs, which they classified as EF-4, in 1963,  not 
'56 as you show.
Dave Phelps
In a message dated 6/9/2015 2:20:29 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
nw-modeling-list at writes:

I am occasionally startled by  insight when putting timelines to specific 
technologies.  So it was when  your comment about “N&W and Virginian using 
Westinghouse’s latest design”  prompted me to look at my cheat sheet of US 
heavy electric events  (attached.) 
What surprised me was that  N&W’s LC-2’s were delivered in 1924, and VGN’s 
EL-3a’s in 1925—the  opposite of the order I had previously assumed.  But 
the dates were so  close that I wonder why the two railroads did not combine 
designs and orders  to save money.  In any case, it is very clear that 
these designs were  nearly contemporaneous, as you pointed out. 
Marklin??   Interesting!  Have they done any US prototype electric before?  
I’d  love for Broadway Limited to put the effort into an LC-2 project that 
they did  into their GG-1.  That remains one of the best heavy electric 
models ever  produced, including nearly all brass.  I’d certainly go for a 
Bachmann  model, if they did as good a job with it as they did with the  
VGN/N&W/NH/Conrail EL-C’s (EF-4’s) or their GG-1. 
And BTW, thank you for your  N&W Electrics book.  It is very well done, and 
I’m always glad to  return to it for a “refresher course” when and as  
-Eric  Bott 
From: NW-Modeling-List  [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On 
Behalf Of NW Modeling  List
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2015 8:56 PM
To: 'NW Modeling  List'
Subject: RE: LC-2 vs EL-3a

>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 facts: 
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 doesn’t. 
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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