In 1910, the C&O sought a new type of steam engine to haul passenger trains over the Allegheny Mountains. The result was a new locomotive type that would combine the eight drivers of the Mikado with the four-wheel lead truck of the Pacific. Although the 4-8-2s were initially called "Mountains," the New York Central Railroad felt that name was inappropriate for their flat "Water Level Route." They changed the name to Mohawk in honor of New York's Mohawk River and Valley.
Weighing almost 400,000 pounds, equipped with one of the largest tenders yet (43 tons of coal) and producing tractive force of more than 60,000 pounds, the L-3 Mohawks were versatile enough to do almost any job required of them. The New York Central was so pleased with the performance of L-2s converted to carry passenger trains that in 1940 they ordered 25 specially made L-3a "dual purpose" Mohawks--designed to haul either passenger cars or their usual freight loads.
The Mohawk Steam Engine is a detailed recreation of this versatile engine presented in the livery of five railroads. Each locomotive is equipped with more conventionally operated standard features than offered by any other O Gauge manufacturer.
Did you know?
Two Mohawks are the only preserved NYC big steam power. L-3a #3001 was sold to the City of Dallas in 1957 and resides today at the National New York Central Railroad Museum in Elkhart, IN. L-2d #2933 was saved from scrapping by employees who hid her behind large boxes in the Selkirk, NY roundhouse for years. In 1962, when scrapping her would have been a public relations disaster, 2933 was donated to the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis.