Yellowstone steam locomotive

Greg’s been back in touch again, this time sharing pics of his Yellowstone steam locomotive:

“Hello again Al,

Wanted to share some more from the layout. Another great piece of “history” from the layout is a result of our anniversary trip last summer to Northern Minnesota area and my discovery of the DM&IR 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone steam locomotive.

Our trip included several train trips over the few days we were there including one on the North shore scenic railroad and a visit to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth,MN.

It was here I learned about, and saw DM&IR 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone steam locomotive #227. The museum has this giant on display and in beautiful condition. This sparked a huge need to bring this memory to our layout.

Yellowstone steam locomotive

The project would a lot of work, but the end result, as you can see, was well worth the effort.

I was very lucky to even find one of these locomotives for sale. When I got it it needed a few minor repairs from shipping. Then began the process of bringing this plan black locomotive to life.

I painted it to match the real one we had seen and been in the cab of on our trip. The detail painting of hoses and valves brought out so much life.

Next step, it needed a long train of ore cars and a caboose to pull it, helping bring it all to life on our layout. This part involved repainting and redecal of 36 ore cars as well as custom painting a caboose to bring up the backside.

The end result is a beautiful train, and a living memory of our trip, and a piece of history that will live on (in HO scale) for many years to come.

Here are some pictures of this project as well as a link to a video of this train in action.

Thanks Al!”

spraying steam loco

steam locomotive

weathering steam loco

Yellowstone steam locomotive

model train loco on tracks

Yellowstone steam locomotive

Yellowstone steam locomotive

Yellowstone steam locomotive

Yellowstone steam locomotive freight

model train brake van

Ho scale freight

Yellowstone steam locomotive

A huge big thanks to Greg for sharing his Yellowstone steam locomotive, it does look rather fun.

You can see Greg’s previous post on his HO scale diesel locomotives here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

23 Responses to Yellowstone steam locomotive

  1. Jim Gerstley says:

    beautiful paint job and great scenery. Excellent photography too. Very much enjoyed it.

  2. George Zaky says:

    A big boy with 36 ore cars is beyond impressive. Now you need to dirty them up a little. Great job on the detailing. Much thanks for sharing.

  3. Brian Olson says:

    A labor of love! Well documented, appreciate you taking all the pictures of the project.

  4. John Jones says:

    Very cool! Beautiful locomotive and I love the string of ore cars!

  5. Bill Butler says:

    A Big Boy doing what Big Boy’s do. Wonderful! I saw a Big Boy by Lionel some years back. Would’ve taken a 2nd montage to get it!

  6. Greg Marples says:

    Wow! A 2 8 8 4 Yellowstone, that’s a new one on me! And running on such an obscure road name. Great project! I have to go see the real one soon. I stood next to the tracks as the UP 4 8 8 4 Big Boy steamed out of town just about a year ago, I’ll never forget it!

  7. John damgard says:

    Really special. Thanks Greg

  8. JW Snyder says:

    Excellent! When I was out younger (I don’t remember where) circa 1958 I was with my Papaw (former B&O engineer) we were in a yard when one of these massive steamers slowly came by us heading towards the servicing track. I remember looking up to the top of the cab as it rolled by and the engineer tossed down his red handkerchief and yelled “Here’s a present. Don’t worry it hasn’t been used.”

  9. Karl Plantinga says:

    Hi Al, some time ago someone mentioned how to control the dust on the layout.
    I use “ CLARIFION” air ionizers in every room.
    No dust on my layout
    Hope this will be helpful
    Thanks for doing the blog every day. Read it first every morning.

  10. Erick says:

    Wow that is great. I hope mine turns out that good.

  11. James says:

    Stunning, thanks for the pix n showing it running… simply gorgeous ! 😍

  12. Bill Gingerich says:

    Beautiful! Absolutely wonderful work. Being a lifelong resident of Minnesota, the DMIR holds a special place in my heart. I’ve seen #227 a number of times over the years, and it always amazes me. A friend was collecting everything he could find so that he could model the DMIR. He had one of the Yellowstones. Sadly he passed away before he could build more than just the benchwork done. I’d love to buy his whole collection, but my checkbook would never survive.

  13. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Greg…..great project bringing that engine back to life….. love that ore train……nice looking layout….

  14. Norman "Pete" McGill says:

    A very beautiful model Greg and runs as well as it looks. I just finished the Revell MODEL KIT OF 4006 and it looks ok for a display model. Some parts didn’t fit very well but after detailing and painting it turned out well enough.Someday I hope to see the real thing.

  15. Great repainting of this wonderful engine. Interestingly enough, my godfather was the VP and GM of the EJ&E, the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern RR which connected North Chicago US Steel plant around the outer suburbs of Chicago to the Gary, IN US Steel plant. He later moved to Pittsburgh, before retirement, and ran all of the US Steel railroads. The DMIR was one of those lines which supplied iron ore from the Mesabe range to iron ore carriers who transported same via Lake Superior and Lake Michigan down to Gary, IN. In my youth, after he left the ICRR and joined the EJ&E, he was able to give me a birthday present when we road in the cab of the City of New Orleans from Homewood, IL to Kankakee, IL. What a thrill for a young (model) railroad fan!

  16. Don Kadunc says:

    Beautiful job of painting the model to match the porotype. i have the B&O Yellowstone. It is a magnificent loco even as a model.

  17. Dave Karper says:

    Gregg, I think if you check further, you will find that ore cars were generally loaded only half full due to the excessive weight of the ore. Also, this was the reason ore cars were so short.

  18. Louis Caputo says:

    What a powerful engine that was to pull such a monstrous weight! The dedication to undertake the task proves once more that model RRing is so often a labor of love!

  19. John Reynolds says:

    First things first…
    Fantastic job on painting the Yellowstone. Just beautiful.
    Now for a bit of trivia.
    There are three steal locomotives that people argue about: Which is the biggest?
    By wheel arrangement, Union Pacific’s Big Boy (4-8-8-4) has the most wheels. It is also all around averaged as the biggest.
    The DM&IR Yellowstones (2-8-8-4) were heavier as I remember the arguments.
    The C&O Alleghany locomotives (2-6-6-4) actually had more tractive effort than the other two if I remember correctly.

  20. Tom Provo says:

    I loved it and I am from Minnesota so know the engine well as I have visited Duluth many times.

  21. Dan Hulitt says:

    Wonderful job. Headed up to Duluth this fall for museum and train ride.
    Mn Dan

  22. matiSon says:

    Great job on the locomotive as well as the layout. I can only hope to create something nearly as good as what you have done. It is impressive.

  23. Jerry says:

    WOW! I love these !!!!

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