Articulated and Mallet Locomotives

Articulated locomotives or more popularly known as Mallets have attracted and captivated enthusiasts for a very long time and for good reason. The sounds and sight of these monsters on the railroads are something to cherish. To this day, enthusiasts remodel these trains and take immense pride in them. Articulated locomotives were the need of the hour during the expansion of the railroad age. The whole purpose of articulated locomotives was to spread a load of heavier locomotives over a larger wheelbase to reduce the damage incurred by the roadway and track structure.


Several basic designs for articulated locomotives were constructed in the US and Europe between the years 1840 and 1880. In the early period of the railroad, mechanical officers were divided among two camps; one who viewed mallets as pusher locomotives (New York Central, Delaware & Hudson, Erie) and the other camp that considered them drag-freight motive power (Virginian, Norfolk & Western and Chesapeake & Ohio) where speed was not very important. Still, there were others who simply considered mallets as a simpler way to assemble and haul longer trains, reduce rosters for older locomotives and lessen the double-heating and the expense of two crews. By the late 1920s, a more advanced mechanical practice was overtaking the mallet world and new and improved designs were being unveiled all the time.


The story of mallets is not one that ends in sorrow and dread because mallets have played a significant role in shaping the steamliner’s future. Many contemporary, high adhesion, high horsepower diesel-electric locomotives that dominate the freight transportation world today are all inspired by mallets in one way or another. For this reason, mallets are celebrated all over the world by locomotive aficionados and model train enthusiasts. Mallets have forever etched their place in the locomotive industry and they will continue to be remembered by the fans of model trains for a very long time.


No matter what era you like, we can guarantee that we will have something interesting and intriguing for you. We have the most comprehensive collection of model trains whether they are steam or diesel, freight or passenger, or something totally unique. Shop today and indulge in your love of trains like the rest of us!

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