Wabash 534 by Nick Dombi

Image of Wabash 534 by Nick Dombi

Builder: Nick Dombi

About Wabash 534 by Nick Dombi

The Wabash Railroad took delivery of its B-7 class of 0-6-0 locomotives from the ALCO Rhode Island Works in 1906. This locomotive, 534, lead a modest career of switching passenger cars around the railroad before being sold to the Lake Erie & Fort Wayne in 1952, renumbered as "1" and nicknamed Nancy. For two years it was the last operational Wabash locomotive, finally being retired to Swinney Park in Fort Wayne Indiana in 1957. In 1984, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society took ownership of the locomotive, and it has been a undergoing a slow restoration ever since.

My build of 534 was scaled from diagrams acquired from the Norfolk & Western Historical Society andthroughly researched so it is accurate to this locomotive. The size of the boiler was not large enough to fit a Power Function M Style motor in it, so I opted to vertically mount it in the firebox. This allowed for an open frame, meaning I could design and implement a working form of inside frame valve gear, with an operational slide valve. This adds a sense of realism that you do not see on most model steam locomotives across nearly every scale, and it works flawlessly. The appropriate pipework has been fitted around the locomotive to flush it out and make it look full. The tender on most models would be considered a boxy afterthought, but 534's slopeback tender is carefully built so there is a fine clean line running down the back of the tender. The "wedge" style coal bunker spits in the thought of being put on a brick-build model, but I was able to tackle it and create a durable design that nails the look of the prototype. While not powered at the time of writing this entry, the locomotive is able to be ran off of any system that accepts a power function mount. The tender does not allow for any PF/PU. battery boxes to fit inside of it, but there is enough room for a Blunami system, which will present its own challenge down the road. As it is, I do not see this as detracting from the model, as Wabash 534 is one of the most detailed designs I have ever created, and rivaling most Brass locomotives. To say I am extremely proud of the end product is an understatement. I have included a link to a YouTube video showing off the locomotive in more detail, which you can view below:

https://youtu.be/bOgkgMA3pw0

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