Skip to main content

betsy locomotive weathered


  Missouri Locomotive Co. makes this model of Betsy.  However before we get to the model, the real Betsy has a history with a mystery about her.  The Medera Flume and Trading Co. aquired the engine around 1899.  Mainstream thought is that this odd locomotive was built by Rose and Company in San Francisco, and that the records of her were lost in the 1906 earthquake.  Charles Brommer in an article in Tall Timber Short Lines, on how he scratch built Betsy, also wrote some interesting observations, and alluded to the very real possibility that Betsy was a kit bashed engine.  In his article he mentions that Betsy's boiler is a stationary boiler, mounted on a frame of structural steel.  The engine has very deep valve chests, with outside connections for the steam pipes, with no cylinder drain cocks, but globe valves.  She has only the high pressure stages of a Tandem compound engine,  so these aforementioned practices were not the standard steam locomotive practice of the day.  If not enough, and adding to her odd appearence, she was constructed using 30" solid freight car wheels, pedestal journal boxes, and gears.  She has external drypipe and throttle valve, very large brake shoes, and a sand box not of normal practice.  As he says, it appears she was made using open market commercial parts.  So to me it seems that some time ago in the past, an employee with a great deal of steam knowledge, built a locomotive for use by his mill (?) and it was quite sucessful.  This engine did operate 37 years that we know of, was in operation all those years, and was scrapped when the entire operation was shut down.  She could have been replaced at any time by more modern locomotives if not an asset by the mill.  I read that if given the opportunity, shay engineers liked to run her, also commenting how quick she was.  It appears that we will never know for sure who built Betsy, and it is quite probable that the genius who did is not going to be treated kindly by having his name in the history books, for building a sucessful, yet odd locomotive.

  The model has RC/battery/sound, installed by Greg Posta of RGSRRHobbies.  Originaly the batteries were to be on a car behind the engine, however I was able to install them inside the cab.  I did have to move the brake staff just a fraction, and made a wood rack with wood that covers the battery pack.  I took a few liberties in painting (It is on the H&H Ry) the engine , as you can see, I chose to paint the saddletank and cylinders green.  Actually I had a friendly chat with Allen (MoLoCo) because to me there is a picture or two that one could say the engine was not always just black.  He most kindly disagreed.  However in the most famous picture of Betsy, to me they did wrap tin in later years on her boiler.  Her cylinders and tank, do not look like the obvious black of the smokebox front, and rear cab wrap. Did not mean it was green, could of been plain tin, so again I took liberties.  The bucket, tool box and tools, are resin castings by Schromberg Scale Models, the water bag by Ozark miniatures.  The figure is by Bachmann with single ply Kleenex glued over the clothing, painted then drybrushed.  The cab roof is also single ply Kleenex.  Cushions are pants repair patch material glued over a washer.


6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific

6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific

6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific. Cars built by Gary Watkins (SVE).6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific. Cars built by Gary Watkins (SVE).

6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific

6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific6/9/2013 Open House on the Shasta Pacific

Betsy running on Rick Marty's Shasta Pacific RRBetsy running on Rick Marty's Shasta Pacific RR

betsy locomotive weatheredbetsy locomotive weathered

betsy locomotive weatheredbetsy locomotive weathered

betsy 8betsy 8 betsy 7betsy 7 betsy 6betsy 6 betsy weatheredbetsy weatheredbetsy 5betsy 5 betsy 4betsy 4 betsy 3betsy 3 betsy 2betsy 2 betsy 1betsy 1