Monday, August 31, 2009


The Santa Fe Railroad's Belen, New Mexico roundhouse has/had quite of few relics from it's past tucked away inside. Included was the M190, a two-car unit often referred to as the "doodlebug".

The reason I say "has/had" is because I have not re-visited this place for over thirty years, so I have no idea if The SF RR scrapped this de facto museum and its contents, or if it still exists.

In the seventies, the New Mexico Railroad Commission Director, who happened to be a member of our local railroad club, arranged for the Santa Fe to pull the M190 out of its roundhouse stall so we could get some photos and measurements of the unit. the task took most of a whole day.
Some of the photos:

Look at that pilot... Straight off an old steamer.

This unit had the "War Bonnet" paint scheme found on all of the Santa Fe's crack streamliners.

That's the rear unit of the M190 just below the center support of the turntable. Beyond it you can see the GP unit that was used to pull the doodle bug out.

The catwalk on the front unit. The small structure down and to the left is the turntable operators shanty. In the background, you can see a portion of the turntable's concrete pit wall.

These a just a few of the photos I have. These photos - and the measurements taken - resulted in 1/4" to the foot scale drawings, ultimately used by an overseas brass modeling firm that manufactured an HO brass model of this unique and one-of-a-kind locomotive.

The factory-painted HO model was fantastic.

1 comment:

Kay said...

I have the HO brass. I have followed M 190 for the past ten years... since I discovered she was at the California State Railroad Museum hidden away in the yard. (It took some doing and an employee's help to get in to see her.) I missed her departure from California to New Mexico by one day but met her in Albuquerque and shot some photos before she was taken to Belen and re-railed. Her nickname is 'The Old Pelican'.

Kay Dyer