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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

B&O E6 57


The Electro Motive Corporation – later Electro Motive Division (EMD) model E6a was manufactured from November 1939 to September 1942. 91 E6a and 26 E6b were produced.


Finding good internet photos of 57 proved to be a bit elusive – maybe because it is such an early diesel. I just happened to have these below in my collection.


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This is Overland model 1770 made in November 1983. 50 E6a were made and 20 E6b were made. While I have had a significant collection of Overland E units for PRR for 25+ years - most of which are still not painted or running, I bought these in March 2024 because of the paint job. They were painted by my friend the late Charlie Carangie.


Loco 55

But once again a pre-internet error may have happened. Loco 57 correctly is a E6a, but 55 is an earlier model the EMC (Electro Motive Corporation a predecessor to EMD)  EA which does not exist in S Scale. Making 55 as number 52 or 58 to 63 would have fixed the error. Getting this correct info is all just seconds away on the internet now but possibly not when these locos were painted. There is nothing I can do now - there is no way to fix the wrong number problem and match the paints. These are 2 internet photos of 55. You can see the EA is a different loco than the E6.

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Photos taken on 3-23-24

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Omnicon & Overland

I thought this was going to be my usual Overland clean, lube and DCC job, hopefully pretty easy since the Overland drives can be problematic. But I got a huge surprise when I took the shells off.  I can only guess there was broken gears not yet available from Northwest Shortline making these locos permanent shelf models so Charlie got them running with parts cobbled from the Omnicon PA conversion drive. The motor and gearbox are huge. I knew they would run well.


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At first I was happy to see this drive cobble together until I first ran 57. The gear ratios and motor rpm reduction of the Omnicon gear motor and tower connected to the Overland trucks make the locos very fast. I could possibly almost live with this fact since they are passenger locos that will be running captive to each other, and not likely running with other E7 or E8 I have. They do not need to have great slow speed.


But I have to try and make them run better. Ironically I have had a complete E unit drive for a few years I bought for parts. I also wrangled another Overland gear tower that was in a E unit so I am going back to a stock drive and hope this makes them run better at slow speed.


This is what I do to Overland trucks to have all wheel pick up. I truly hate the 40 year old rubber tubing Overland used as couplings between the axle gearboxes. I hate all use of rubber tubing in loco drives. But they somehow still seem to be tight and not slipping so they will remain for now. Also I once replaced the rubber tubing with brass tubing I machined. It was a huge time consuming job.

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In spite of having a lot of room in the shell the huge gearbox hits on the speaker in my preferred place of decoder and everything up in the shell and speaker pointing up out of roof vents. This DCC “decoder sandwich” set up should be temporary. I will hopefully have room for everything up in the shell as always is my preference once I get the original Overland motor and tower back in place.


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Completed For Now

Added 4-7-24

I got them both running together as “good enough for now” but hope to make the slow speed better at some point. When coupling to some cars at the slowest speed they would move it was still much too fast. My choices are 0 to speed step 3 on the handle which is too fast so I mostly use speed step 2.

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There is a YouTube of this train running here.


Updated 4-8-24

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