- PRR B6sb Locomotive Scale Model
- About Fine Art Models
- History of Scale Models
Often referred to as the “Shifter,” the most successful switcher ever built by the Pennsylvania Railroad was the B6. The original class B6 was built in Altoona Works from 1903-1913 with PRR’s trademark square-shouldered Belpaire firebox and 56-inch drivers. They were constructed as saturated steam engines, rebuilt with superheaters later as class B6s, and had piston valves and Stephenson valve gear.
The next version built was the B6sa, of which 55 were built at Altoona during 1913-1914. These had radial-stay fireboxes, common elsewhere but rare on the Pennsylvania, and they replaced the Stephenson gear with more modern Walschaerts valve gear. Steam delivery pipes were outside, like all other PRR modern power. All were built superheated.
Finally, during 1916-1920, 238 class B6sb were built. These were the final, definitive type, and had a Belpaire firebox, but were otherwise little changed from the B6sa. The final 97 locomotives had piston valves mounted outboard of the cylinders, instead of inbound as previously built, giving the cylinder assemblies an outward cant at the top, rather than inward.
All B6sa nd B6sb locomotives were retrofitted with power reverse to make the frequent back-and-forth of switching quicker and easier. The last PRR locomotive in active service was #5244, leased to Union Transportation of New Egypt, New Jersey until July, 1959.
The only surviving B6sb, #1670, was saved in the PRR’s historic collection at Northumberland, Pennsylvania and was donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
About the Model…
Fine Art Models has built a limited edition, 1:32 scale B6sb model, made entirely of brass, nickel silver and stainless steel. The train includes an operating reversing gear and engineer controlled lighting, whistle, and bell. In addition, it has three circuit boards, all with no wires leading from the locomotive to the tender, just the prototypical hoses. And, with the sealed bearing drive system, only one ampere of power is needed to move it.
Experiencing this piece of art move down the rails is thrilling. You will hear virtually “every” sound made by this train, including chuff, blow down, pop off valve, idle steam sounds when not moving, and the random starting and stopping of air compressors. The engineer-controlled features include the Headlight, Marker and Tender Lights, Cab Light, Automatic and Manual Whistle, Grade Crossing Whistle, Automatic and Manual Bell, Sound of Water filling the Tender, Sound of Coal Loading, Sound of Coupling Action, and Air compressors.
Each B6sb train model comes complete with a Black Walnut roller base, which gives the appearance of the model sitting on hand laid ballasted track, and a leaded glass display case. And the digital operating and sound system allows you to run the model in place on the roller base or on a track.