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Discussion Starter #1
I started kitbashing a “slug unit” to accompany my South Buffalo Alco S-2 locomotive

Basically, a slug unit is a locomotive without a prime mover or engine. It has normal traction motors in the trucks though. The slug is mated to a regular locomotive and air and electric connections are installed to provide current from the engine to the slug unit traction motors. Most regular locomotives produce enough current to drive four more traction motors of a slug at low speeds.

This makes the arrangement perfect for heavy loads at slow speed such as in steel mills or railroad hump yards.

My slug is being modeled after a South Buffalo Railway slug built in their shop, using an Alco S2 locomotive. They removed the cab, prime mover, fuel tank and other appliances and wired up the frame for connection to another locomotive. The sheet metal work basically replaced the metal where the cab, the top radiator grill and the exhaust stack were located.

There are a few different slug units on the various Bethlehem Steel railroads. Some are based on Alco frames and others are on EMD SW frames. They vary in style and workmanship. I am emulating a basic unit but not one in particular. Using a bit of “artistic license “ in my creation, I am looking to capture the feel of a slug unit rather than a perfect replica.

I obtained a MTH dummy S2 and went to work removing details and the cab. I used a RS3 shell for a donor body end and mated it with the trimmed MTH shell. A lot of filing, sanding and filling has taken place so far, with much more to do before painting.

In the meantime, I took the MTH chassis and removed the fuel tank. I need to mill down the spots where the cab was and replace the spots with diamond tread plates. The handrails are the challenging part. They need to be extended and formed to fit the steps.

So I have a few photos here that illustrate my idea and some progress.

Enjoy.

Tom
 

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Everyone should have a slug on their RR.
Looking good.:smilie_daumenpos:

Caught this working in Conshohocken, Pa at the Arcelor Mittal steel plant.

pa130004.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ed! Great picture! It shows a great illustration of the slug/engine combination...

Tom
 

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I thought I had a few more pictures of it, but can't find them.
Do any manufacturers sell any O scale slugs?

I remember this calf unit but don't recall seeing any O scale slugs for sale.


s-l640 (1).jpg
 

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MTH has made many cow/calf pairs (sold separately). Not quite the same as a slug, the calf has a diesel, but no cab.
 

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Here is a slug at the Reading Historical Society in Hamburg, PA. I think it was based on an Alco Century unit.

IMG_3989.JPG
 

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Slugs are so cool. I have a buddy that makes and sells various ones in HO scale. He’s helped me make parts for a NS slug I have in the works. Maybe one day I’ll finish it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice shell there, Ed. We need some in O scale! Maybe I will try a larger slug next.

I am looking into seeing how they can be built with the least amount of cannibalized parts. Then maybe I could produce some for others...

Many railroads used larger slugs for hump yard service. They would make interesting mates to bigger power like SD35s or similar engines.

I have seen more slugs than calf units in my travels. Calf units are interesting though. They are like “B” units for switchers.

This is the one I remember seeing in Buffalo’s Frontier Yard...

Tom
 

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I knew I had more pictures of the slug I caught while weighing the truck at the steel plants scale.
I caught it on two different days.

Notice the lights Tom?
You going to add them on your model?
I like the yellow stripes too.

P6190026.JPG

P6190027.JPG

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P6190029.JPG

P6190033.JPG

P6190034.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great pictures again, Ed. That slug looks like an ex Bethlehem Steel unit, possibly PB&NE. I am doing a second slug, based on the SW8 frame that will look very similar to the one you pictured.

My Alco slug will just have a small headlight up on top of the leading end. No ditch lights.

The original slugs didn’t have much in the way of headlights. I guess the locomotive they were attached to, provided most of the needed light.

Thanks for posting them.

I am waiting for some handrail wire before I proceed with my project. Once the rails are done, then I can paint...

Tom
 

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I got to get me a slug for several of my switchers. Just a ncessary unit in the real world, and so interesting and different.
 

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That is an old Reading RR slug.
They are the Upper Merion & Plymouth RR.

The paint job almost looks like a primer, but I think it is the finished paint job on it.
I will look around for some Locomotive info later.

Found this short video,
 

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Great pictures again, Ed. That slug looks like an ex Bethlehem Steel unit, possibly PB&NE. I am doing a second slug, based on the SW8 frame that will look very similar to the one you pictured.

My Alco slug will just have a small headlight up on top of the leading end. No ditch lights.

The original slugs didn’t have much in the way of headlights. I guess the locomotive they were attached to, provided most of the needed light.

Thanks for posting them.

I am waiting for some handrail wire before I proceed with my project. Once the rails are done, then I can paint...

Tom
The #38 is an PBNE Locomotive, I found that in a quick search.
It used to be Orange and Blue.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/locoList.aspx?id=UMP
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The ex-Reading slug sort of looks like this one with a new paint job...

It is the same engine too...

It is actually the same set, repainted from PB&NE to M&P....same location too!

Cool video. I like the short clip format...

Tom
 

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