J3a Hudson

 
 

New York Central J3a Hudson 4-6-4

Many steam locomotive types are associated with a particular railroad.  In the case of the 4-6-4, the railroad was the New York Central.  They were beautiful and fast; and for nearly three decades, they hauled famous passenger trains up the four-track water level route, North from New York City, along the scenic Hudson River for which they were named.


In the early 20th century, the 4-6-2 Pacific type was the passenger locomotive of choice for many roads, including the NYC.  In the mid-1920s, however, the Central needed a passenger locomotive with greater power at higher speeds than the Pacific could provide.  Chief Engineer of Motive Power, Paul W. Kiefer, saw that applying the four-wheeled trailing truck of Lima Locomotive Works’ new super-power principle could increase both balance and horsepower.  So in 1927, the American Locomotive Works (located on the New York Central’s main line in Schenectady, New York) delivered Class J1 No. 5200, the first 4-6-4 built for any road.


The Hudson was an immediate success.  With its 79-inch drive wheels, tests showed it produced 27 percent greater cylinder horsepower than the Pacifics at 22 percent greater speed.  Over the next five years, even as the great depression hit, the Central received 204 more Hudsons of classes J1 and J2 (for subsidiary Boston and Albany).  Running across the system, they averaged 18,000 miles per month through the populous Northeast and Midwest and became the most famous class of locomotives of their day.


No new Hudsons were ordered between 1932 and 1937.  But then, faced with the need to replace its oldest locomotives, the New York Central placed orders for 50 Super Hudsons of class J3a.  These engines, Nos. 5405– 5454, incorporated major new technical enhancements and developed 20 percent more horsepower at 65 mph than could a J1.  Eventually, they were assigned to haul trains the 925 miles from Harmon, New York to Chicago in sixteen hours, for an average speed of 59.9 mph.  Superficially, they resembled their J1 and J2 cousins, but used disc driving wheels—half with General Steel Casting’s Boxpok design with oval openings, and the other half with the Scullin type with circular openings.


Fine Art Models


Fine Art Models has reproduced the classic New York Central J3a Hudson in a limited edition of 70 models, with 70 additional models in the Dreyfuss streamlining to complement our 20th Century Limited passenger cars.  Both Hudsons feature our patented sound system and ball bearings used at every point in the drive-line.  Complete backhead detail is present with miniature gauges.  Every hatch or door that opens on the real locomotive also opens on our model.  We are confident this is the finest Hudson model ever built by anyone in any scale.



References

Staufer, Alvin F. and May, Edward L.; Thoroughbreds — New York Central’s Hudsons, the most famous class of steam locomotives in the world, Medina, Ohio, 1974, Alvin F. Staufer.

 

New York Central J3A Hudson 4-6-4 - Conventional


Scale:                            1:32

Release:                        1998

Limited Edition:              70

Model Size:                   36”L x 4”W x 5.5”H

Base Type:                    Black Walnut

Base/Case Size:           42”L x 9”W x 9”H

Availability:                    Sold Out


New York Central J3A Hudson 4-6-4 - Streamlined (Dreyfuss)


Scale:                            1:32

Release:                        1998

Limited Edition:              70

Model Size:                   36”L x 4”W x 5.5”H

Base Type:                    Black Walnut

Base/Case Size:           42”L x 9”W x 9”H

Availability:                    Sold Out

Looking for a Hudson? Visit the secondhand section of our website.Previously_Owned_Trains.html