New Product Spotlight – C&O H-7 2-8-8-2

15 07 2013

The Chesapeake and Ohio always prided itself on its pursuit of the most modern steam power for all services. In 1924 that search led them to the 2-8-8-2, class H-7. Unlike previous locomotives of this size, the H-7 was a “simple” articulated.

On a simple articulated, steam is fed directly into both sets of pistons on the articulated frame. Earlier Mallet, or compound locomotives fed steam from the boiler to one set of pistons only. The exhausted steam from that pair was fed into the other. Because the expansive properties of steam, the secondary pistons needed to be larger than the first to generate the same power.


The H-7 shared the C&O’s distinctive style with air compressors and feed water heater on the crowded smokebox front.

Nicknamed “Simple Simons” on the C&O, there was really nothing simple about these massive locomotives. After receiving 25 from Alco in 1924, the C&O went to Baldwin for 20 more in 1926. The two classes of locomotives were visually identical but the Baldwins were credited as being slightly heavier. All of the locomotives generated an impressive 4,092 horsepower at the pistons.


Union Pacific made some cosmetic refinements to their H-7s, though the overall hefty look remained.

Although the locomotives were powerful, they were just one step in the evolution towards better power as the C&O pushed ahead and embraced “Super Power” locomotives. 2-10-4s replaced the slower Simons in flatter terrain and the massive “Allegheny” 2-6-6-6s took over their roles in the mountains. C&O sold 30 to the Union Pacific in 1945. The UP too retired the locomotives as soon as new power could be ordered. The remaining H-7s on the C&O finished their days in hump yards.

Whether you want to drag black diamonds out of the Appalachians, haul freight up Sherman Hill, or just switching cars in the yard, the H-7 will be a good fit on your layout. The Lionel model features all of the great sounds and control you’ve come to expect with specific details appropriate for the C&O and Union Pacific. The locomotives include:

  • LEGACY Control System equipped – able to run in LEGACY Control mode, in TrainMaster Command Control mode, or in Conventional mode with a standard transformer
  • Odyssey II Speed Control with On/Off switch
  • LEGACY RailSounds system featuring:
    – CrewTalk dialog and TowerCom announcements, each with different scenarios depending on whether the locomotive is in motion or stopped
    – Six official railroad speeds with Crewtalk dialog
    – DynaChuff synchronized with 32 levels of intensity as the locomotive gains speed
    – LEGACY “Real-Time Quilling Whistle” control with instant response for realistic signature ‘quilling’ and correctly timed warning signals
    – Single hit or continuous mechanical bell sounds
    – Sequence Control plays the sound effects of an entire trip, including warning sounds and announcements, based on the movement and speed of the locomotive
    – Current speed and fuel dialog, refueling sound effects
  • Powerful maintenance-free motor with momentum flywheel
  • Wireless Tether connection between locomotive and tender
  • ElectroCoupler on rear of tender
  • Directional lighting including operating headlight and back-up light on rear of tender
  • Illuminated classification lights on the front of locomotive
  • Traction tires
  • Fan-driven smoke unit
  • Adjustable smoke output
  • Interior illumination in cab
  • Die-cast metal locomotive body, pilot, and frame
  • Die-cast metal tender body and trucks
  • High level of separately applied metal details
  • Separately applied builder’s plates
  • Authentically detailed cab interior
  • Glowing ashpan and firebox in cab
  • Cab glass windows
  • Engineer and fireman figures
  • O-72 Minimum curve

The locomotives retail for $1349.99 each and have already shipped. See your dealers to add one of these powerful and pivotal locomotives to your roster today!



One response

18 07 2013
gold price

The UP ran them on a few test trips and sent them around the country on a publicity tour. However, they were only “operational” for 6 months before returning to GE. Subsequently, they did some work for the GN and NYC during the war but it was deemed that they would be more useful as raw material and were scrapped. These were the only two condensing steam locomotives built and operated in North America and were engineering triumphs but again practical failures.

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