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Looking for Challenger Steam Locomotive Plans

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  • Looking for Challenger Steam Locomotive Plans

    Gentlemen (and ladies too),

    I’m a newbie to this forum and I have rather strange request. Have you ever had one of those times where you see something and don’t buy it because you think it’s too expensive, only to kick yourself later because you really wished you had gotten it when you had the chance? Well, that’s the situation I find myself in now.

    Back in the spring of 2000, a friend and I went to the N.A.M.E.S. convention in Wyandotte Michigan (I’m from Grand Rapids MI, by the way), because we have always been interested in scale models and quality modeling. While I was there, I stopped by a magazine booth and was looking through some of the old back issues they had on display. In one bundle I saw a series of issues that had the plans for building a scale model of a Challenger articulated steam locomotive. This is the engine that is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. I thought seriously of buying them, but they were something like $70, and at the time I didn’t have the money.

    I have always regretted not getting them – and now, I’m trying to find those back issues. I couldn’t remember the name of the publication, but I was pretty sure they were located in Traverse City, hence my posting on this forum for assistance.

    Does anyone out there know of the magazine – and issues I am referring to? Once I have this information, I can go to the publisher and see if I can buy the back issues.

    Thank you for your time and assistance. I really do appreciate it.

    Larry Steiner
    Grand Rapids, MI
    [email protected] (work)
    [email protected] (home)

  • #2
    My first guess would be Live Steam magazine, published by Village Press. An inquiry to one of the links at would probably produce an answer.

    Another possibility is Modeltec magazine.
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


    • #3

      Try the Chaski board "Live Steam" , I seem to remember someone posting photos of a model Challenger in the last month or so.

      I've been to the Henry Ford Museum, I don't think they have a Challenger. They have (inside the main museum building) a beautiful articulated Chesapeake and Ohio "Allegheny" built by Lima Locomotive Works in 1941. This is one of two survivors, and was one of the greatest locomotives ever built. 125 feet long, weighing 600 tons, the highest drawbar hp measured on an Allegheny was 7,498 while pulling 14,000 tons of coal at 46 mph.
      Other locomotives in this class were the Union Pacific "Big Boy" and Norfolk & Western Class A.

      Union Pacific has a preserved Challenger, in fact they were using it for steam excursions in the 1990's, but I don't know whether it is still steamed.

      Good luck with the project


      • #4
        They still steam that Challenger, it was running between Denver and Cheyenne on the 20 of July of this year.....wouldn't you know I read the info later that same day and too late to be able to drive down to ride it. Walt


        • #5


          • #6
            This thread has reawoken some memories I have of my first face to face viewing of a 'Real' American steam locomotive.

            Apart from having seen the exhibits in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, I remember visiting a museum, in either Denver or Colorado Springs - but tend towards thinking this was Denver. The year of this visit was about 1993/94.

            The museum had a number of automobiles housed in an old wharehouse or workshop (which was as far as I can remember was an old railroad building). Outside the back of this museum was some old railroad rolling stock and a locomotive which was a huge monster - something akin to the 4-6-6-4 Challengers shown in the accompanying texts. Come on you guys - put me out of my misery! what was it? what's the name of the Museum (I seem to remember it was close by the North South Interstate that cuts through Denver)? Is the engine still there??

            Did I dream this??



            • #7
              oops.. too little data...

              [This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 08-06-2003).]


              • #8
                OK Guys, should have done a Multimap/Google before I opened my mouth!

                Looks like the museum is at the I-25/I-70 intersection in Denver - the adress I picked up seems to suggest 1416 Platte Street.

                They had an ex Elvis Presley Ford Thunderbird car in there as well. One of these days I'll get back there and have another afternoon walking around it! Then I might get down to Colorado Springs and see the straight 8 Packard at the garage next to the Embassy Suites hotel!!!



                • #9
                  That is a Union Pacific Big Boy and it was at the Forney Museum of Transportation



                  • #10

                    Thanks for the name of the museum, and the engine!

                    I was so driven by the memory that last night I was digging through all my old photographs, I had, at the time, taken some shots of the engine from the footplate.

                    Thanks again.



                    • #11

                      One of the things I liked about it was you could get up in the cab when I was last there, also got up in the Rotary Snow Blower too ( Shame on me for not taking pictures ).....I have heard they moved it and some other stuff near by. I hope they have it in the open like they did before as I hate taking pics through chainlink fence