TS20: American Icon
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
The famed Baldwin “Sharknose” diesel freighter in magnificent Baltimore & Ohio livery comes to Train Simulator!
Among the first generation of American diesel locomotives, few were more distinctive than the Baldwin “Sharknose” – and few railroad liveries more famous and beautiful than that of the historic Baltimore & Ohio. And now, iconic locomotive and iconic livery come together with the Train Simulator Baltimore & Ohio Baldwin RF-16 diesel locomotive!
Available now as a “Marketplace” product (which requires the PRR RF-16 Sharknose, available separately, for use), the Baltimore & Ohio RF-16 wears its “as delivered” splendid blue, gray, and black livery of the 1950s.
Following the introduction of Electro-Motive’s landmark FT diesel freight locomotive in 1939, it was clear that the age of steam on North America’s railroads was entering twilight. Electro-Motive took the dominant position in the market, producing more than 1,000 FTs between 1939 and 1945, then following up with the highly successful F3 (of which more than 1,800 units would be built). The other diesel-builders of the era – Alco, Baldwin, and Fairbanks-Morse – were left to play catch-up.
At the Eddystone (Pennsylvania) plant of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, a facility born to build steam, BLW’s designers made their first attempt to compete with EMD’s F-units by creating the DR4-4-1500, a 1,500-horsepower, four-axle (B-B) diesel available, like EMD Fs, in cab-and-booster sets. Powered by Baldwin’s slow-churning but potent 8-cylinder 608SC powerplant, the DR4-4-1500 originally wore a “Babyface” cab styling similar to that applied to Baldwin’s massive “Centipedes.” Between November 1947 and December 1948, Baldwin built cab and booster DR4-4-1500s for three railroads – the Central of New Jersey, New York Central, and Missouri Pacific. While the Baldwin 608SC powerplant itself was reliable, the Babyface DR4-4-1500s suffered from reliability issues (mostly electrical and cooling systems related), and total production, 33 units, was paltry.
The Pennsylvania Railroad was Baldwin’s biggest and most faithful diesel customer, and in October 1948 the PRR came to the rescue and placed a sizable order for DR4-4-1500s – 52 units. But PRR’s DR4-4-1500s would bear no resemblance to their Babyface predecessors. In 1947, Pennsy had ordered the first of 27 DR6-4-2000 passenger diesels from Baldwin, and PRR put its favorite industrial stylist, Raymond Loewy, to work to give the new passenger units visual panache. The result was the first of Baldwin’s “Sharknose” diesels, a styling that was, in fact, adapted from PRR’s Baldwin-built T1 4-4-4-4 steam locomotives. Anxious to also give its freight diesels a new and differentiated look, Baldwin applied Sharknose styling to a fully redesigned DR4-4-1500. This improved version of the DR4-4-1500 also addressed many of the electrical and cooling system liabilities of the Babyface units, resulting in locomotives that were more reliable. PRR eventually purchased a total of 68 Sharknose DR4-4-1500s.
In 1950, Baldwin undertook an upgrade of its diesel line, which included an increase in horsepower of the 8-cylinder power plant (which was re-designated 608A) from 1,500 horsepower to 1,600 horsepower. Baldwin’s locomotives all earned new model designations, too, and the DR4-4-1500 became the RF-16. While RF-16 sales numbers would remain modest compared to EMD’s F units and even Alco-GE’s “FA” road diesels, the 1,600-horsepower Shark attracted new buyers and would prove a capable locomotive with, like most Baldwin diesels, enormous lugging power.
Between November 1950 and May 1953, three of the biggest railroads in the eastern United States purchased a total of 160 RF-16s in cab or booster configurations. The Pennsylvania purchased 102 (72 cabs, 30 boosters), New York Central acquired 26 Sharks (18 cabs, 8 boosters), and Baltimore & Ohio bought 32 RF-16s (19 cabs, 13 boosters). B&O’s RF-16s were regular denizens of West Virginia, working the railroad’s Wheeling and Monongah divisions and could also be regularly found in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. B&O retired its final Sharks in 1967.
Based on the superb DTM RF-16 and created in B&O livery by The Loco Shop, the B&O Sharknose diesel features an authentic cab and the unique sounds of Baldwin’s slow-churning 608A power plant. The iconic Baltimore & Ohio RF-16 Sharknose freighter is now available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores! – Gary Dolzall
Among the first generation of American diesel locomotives, few were more distinctive than the Baldwin “Sharknose” – and few railroad liveries more beautiful than that of the Baltimore & Ohio. And now, iconic locomotive and iconic livery come together with the Train Simulator Baltimore & Ohio Baldwin RF-16 diesel locomotive, provided in cab (above) and booster (below) versions. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Based on the superb DTM RF-16 and created in B&O livery by The Loco Shop, the B&O Sharknose diesel features an authentic cab and the unique sounds of Baldwin’s slow-churning 608A power plant. Note: Screenshots may depict content while in development.
Between 1950 and 1953, the Baltimore & Ohio acquired 32 RF-16s (19 cabs and 13 boosters). B&O’s RF-16s were regular denizens of West Virginia, working the railroad’s Wheeling and Monongah divisions and could also be regularly found in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. B&O retired its final Sharks in 1967.
Available as a Marketplace product, the Baltimore & Ohio RF-16 will be a superb fit on several vintage Train Simulator routes, and especially so on the excellent B&O Kingwood Branch route (above and below) which re-creates 1950s-era West Virginia coal country railroading. Note: The B&O Kingwood Branch: Tunnelton - Kingwood Route Add-On depicted here is available separately.
The iconic RF-16 Sharknose diesel freighter, in the magnificent livery of the historic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, is now available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
TS20: American Icon