In early summer 1945, the tide of War was going from Europe (due to the Third Reich’s fall) to the Pacific (where Operation Downfall was being prepared). But America’s railroads soon began to have certain issues. This was due to the vast amounts of loads that needed to be hauled over long distances. With these trains often being as big as the ones of today.
As a solution, the US government ordered the three major locomotive builders (Lima, Baldwin, and ALCO) to build new engines to serve as designs similar to the British railways standard types that would come three years later. Their design was overseen first by Frenchman Andre Chapelon. Then by Argentine designer L.D. Porta.
The USA's RR operations adopted a slightly modified version of the BR classification system. Each locomotive class was given a number 0–10 that signified its power, 0 for the least powerful and 10 for the most, with a suffix of FT or PT, indicating freight traffic and passenger traffic respectively. Freight power ranged from 0-10, passenger from 0-8. Many locomotives were used for both roles, in which case they were given the suffix M for “mixed.”
Characteristic features of these engines included two cylinders, the headlight being positioned on the smokebox door, the bell at the front of the engine, slanted pilots on larger engines, and on later engines, vestibule cabs.
Wheel arrangement: 4-8-4
First Built: 1945
Description: The first in the series of the standard type engines. These Northerns were built to be lighter and easier to maintain and operate than most Northerns at the time. These engines were mostly based on the Southern Pacific GS-1, with a few differences like the size of the sand dome and shape of the cab.
The first example was built by Lima and first used by the Baltimore and Ohio. Which hoped to find an engine that could rival the NYC Niagaras and the Pennsylvania’s R2 and R3 northerns. They proved to be near instantaneous successes on the B&O. Soon they, along with EMD E units, had replaced the P series 4-6-2s on long distances passenger trains like the Capitol Limited between New York and Chicago via Washington DC. However, other railroads used the 8M to similar extents. Like the Atlantic Coast Line, which bought 15 to replace their own 4-8-4s, which had weight issues.
Originally, I was simply going to draw 's "Rainbow Sun" character as a realistic US steam engine. But I am doing my own idea first.