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Logging mallet 2-6-6-2 (Bachmann On30)

The prototype

Logging mallets were especially suited to haul heavy trains out of the immediate forestry areas. Geared locomotives pulled the logs out of the woods over, usually temporary, feeder lines. At first these feeder lines ended at the saw mills or a river. As the forest withdrew from the river the ever growing distance travelled by the strong but slow geared locomotives became an obstacle for productivity. Necessity arose to make a faster connection. So more permanent railroads were laid and logging mallets were employed. Though still relatively slow they were twice as fast as the geared locomotives.

A preserved example of a 2-6-6-2 logging mallet, South West Lumber Mills #12 is seen here on display at the Arizona Historical Society's Pioneer Museum on Nth Fort Valley Rd in Flagstaff.
Use of this (digitally watermarked) photo kindly granted by © Robert David Grant -

Logging mallets came in many forms and wheel arrangements. Large orders of identical engines were rare in this type of industry. Like Shays there were rarely two the same.

The model

I bought my model in January 2013 much to my surprise via Amazon for the stunning price of €139,72. Including shipping and import duties it cost me just over €200. For an O gauge articulated steam locomotive that is simply amazing. It is an On30 model by Bachmann by the way.

The locomotive comes in a decent box. It is provided with a lot of extra parts and it runs extremely well straight out of the box. Some decent running in will only add to that.

A far too clean logging mallet. They would have looked this when they left the factory,but for the rest of their lives they would be filthy and their running boards would be dented and cluttered with all conceivable kinds of equipment.

With respect to detail there is little to see. Logging mallets were generally simple engines. A good dress up seems like an interesting project to me some time later.

The cab is equally simple


The builders insignia are printed but very well readable.

The front unit. The middle drivers of each unit prototypically have no flanges to enable good running in tight curves.
I am not too sure that the valve gear would do a proper job in reality....

The pump's detail is a bit scarce, but on the other hand some one took the trouble of painting the piston grey. Nice detail!

The cab windows can be opened or shut.

The characteristic long pilot ahead of the cylinders.

The model has a nice trick up its sleeve.
As per the prototype the rear unit is fixed in the frame and the front unit swivels over a hinge between both units. I have never seen a mallet model doing that. Very commendable!!

The locomotive comes with several extra's. It offer three fuel types, coal, oil or wood fired. There are four different stacks, a cow catcher pilot, and four different head lights theoratically resulting in 96 different configurations. In practise the diamond stack goes with wood burning, and being an oil burner goes with a more modern head light. But anyway: your choice.