Today we have a model from a manufacturer we haven't seen here before - Bowser.
I've had one Bowser model before, an ALCo C628. I liked it, but was a little unsure on the operational characteristics, so I decided to give this one a shot, especially being a local railroad and an unusual prototype. That said, will I be going back to Bowser for my motive power needs? Let's find out!
Baldwin DRS4-4-1500 History: Baldwin Locomotive Works was a juggernaught in the steam locomotive business, building an incredible number of locos for railroads all over the world. But eventually, diesels were becoming more and more popular, and BLW decided they needed to get in on the action. Among their diesel-electric offerings was the DRS4-4-1500, which they built from July 1947 until May 1950, with a total of 35 produced. They were powered by a Baldwin 608SC diesel, which produced 1,500hp, and drove 2 four-axle trucks. They were 57' 10 3/4" long, and 14' high, and top speed was 65mph. The DRS4-4-1500, like all of Baldwin's diesels, were not particularly successful, and were all retired by the early 80's. None were preserved.
DS 362 History: Originally built in December of 1947, it was ordered by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (better known as "Soo Line") as their 362. It would work for SOO until Durham & Southern bought it in 1962. 362 would work among the other D&S Baldwins until again being sold, this time to Rail to Water Transfer in Chicago, where it became RTW 362. It would shuffle cars around for RTW until being scrapped sometime in the mid to late 80's.
On many early diesels, including this one, the long hood was designated as the front.
Good - Basically everything! This was an impulse buy - I wasn't sure about Bowser models, but when I saw a D&S loco, and a rare Baldwin at that, I couldn't resist. And I'm glad I didn't! It looks, sounds, and operates perfectly. It's nice and sturdy, and comes in at 11 ounces.
Bad - The paint could maybe be a little more glossy, and it may have a small occasional issue cutting out on switches on stub tracks (tracks that dead-end). Both extremely minor.
Verdict - It's great! I absolutely recommend it, and I'll definitely be grabbing more Bowser models.