Roco 4-4-4 Electric

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Chops
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Roco 4-4-4 Electric

Postby Chops » Fri Aug 20, 2021 11:42 pm

roco 4 4 4 2.jpg

roco 4 4 4.jpg


Finally, after first seeing an image of a Roco 4-4-4 Italian Electric in 1975, I finally tracked one down. Why, you may ask, is it situated smack in the middle of an ostensibly British layout? Couple of reasons, first, "Henley" is a state of mind. It is a nostalgic memory of a time when I found myself traveling to, and living in, some rather off the beaten path European countries, including a year in the UK. So, in "Henley," I am not trying to grasp the particulars of a replication of a place, or time, but rather building a 3 dimensional portrait of a memory of being in a place and time, and revolving that, largely, around trains. There is no Norman castle in the actual Henley, UK, nor is Stonehenge anywhere near the place. It did have canals, near or about the River Thames, but no Roman artifacts, that I am aware of, turned up in Henley (there is an excavation of Roman mosaics, I put), and nor is there any dinosaur finds in that part of the UK. I am contemplating the White Horse of Dover, but not sure where it could be fit. Also, Sutton Hoo, is a real Viking excavation, and one of the world's most important archeological discoveries, but again, no where near the real Henley, UK.

If you will, note that there is a Soviet red star on the nose of this fine Italian piece (and yes, I see now I am missing some hand rails, my eyes were hurting and it took two hours to put the other hand rails on, terrified I'd botch the job with a glob of glue, I will get to those). The reason is that in 1964, at the height of the Cold War, Dad merrily hauled us all off to Moscow so that he could better research, so the story went, a book he was writing on the Cossacks (he eventually published in about 1982, and it was a total flop). Never mind he worked as a translator when drafted into the Army, at the Pentagon, in the 1950's (just about exactly the time the Rosenbergs were getting juiced). Had the Ruskies known that, I'd probably still be in the USSR drinking brake fluid.

Well, after Dad had finished his research (we took a tour of Lenin's Mausoleum (my older brother sneezed in front of Lenin's corpse, and rifles were lowered in our direction, at this grave breech of Soviet etiquette- one does not sneeze in the presence of a Soviet god), a trip to the largely empty G.U.M. department store, and chicken kiev, the only thing of the menu for foreigners at the Soviet hotel, as well as mother being shaken down by suspicious Soviet street cops, with her brood in tow. They probably let us go because I was such an insufferable brat. Suffice to say it was a grim, dank, gray place. Drinking brake fluid does not seem out of the question.

The highlight of this little vacation to behind the Iron Curtain (we traveled on Canadian passports, if you were wondering) was taking the night train, "soft class" (hard as iron) to Helsinki. Towering over me was this olive-brown electric locomotive, hissing like some living beast, and slowly we clanked and rocked and heaved throughout the blackest of nights out of Mother Russia. This Italian job, resembles what I saw. I added the Soviet stars, myself. Ever since I have been old enough to walk, trains have always had me spell bound. And this memory was fused into my young mind.

Now, did the Soviets have this particular Italian locomotive? Perhaps. Having murdered so many of their intelligentsia they had to import a lot of stuff, and what they didn't import, they freely copied. But, Golly, this thing sure comes close to my memory. So, here it is in Henley (where we lived from '66 to '67, and my love of trains only got worse with a gift of a Wrenn wind up train set). Henley, it is a state of mind. Probably confusing to a lot of people, but makes perfect sense to my elder sister and I. We remember it well.
Nessie rocks!

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Ironduke
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Re: Roco 4-4-4 Electric

Postby Ironduke » Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:06 am

Nice!

Chops wrote:Now, did the Soviets have this particular Italian locomotive? Perhaps. Having murdered so many of their intelligentsia they had to import a lot of stuff, and what they didn't import, they freely copied.


You'd certainly have an impossible task ahead of you if you wanted to find a model of any Soviet locomotive (having just googled it).
Looks like one thing they did copy was the American style knuckle coupler. Very few buffers in site here: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=SOVIET+ELECTR ... &ia=images
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Rob

Bigmet
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Re: Roco 4-4-4 Electric

Postby Bigmet » Sat Aug 21, 2021 10:20 am

Chops wrote: "Henley" is a state of mind.

It's a sound choice, usually originating from 'wood on a hill', there were plenty of those while the immigrants were swarming into this once Celtic island, and naming everything in sight in accordance with their state of mind: all this now belongs to us; so applicable practically anywhere. Among the character features you don't seem to have considered a Cerne Abbas Midget, make it just as priapic as your taste permits.

Chops wrote:... Suffice to say it was a grim, dank, gray place. Drinking brake fluid does not seem out of the question...

The 'short course' in this matter is 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' A.Solzhenitsyn.

Ironduke wrote:
Chops wrote:Now, did the Soviets have this particular Italian locomotive? Perhaps. Having murdered so many of their intelligentsia they had to import a lot of stuff, and what they didn't import, they freely copied.


You'd certainly have an impossible task ahead of you if you wanted to find a model of any Soviet locomotive (having just googled it).
Looks like one thing they did copy was the American style knuckle coupler...

Specifically regarding the knuckle coupler, the Tsarist government ordered 3,000 2-10-0s from US manufacturers early in the first world war, and these probably went with knuckle couplers. There may well have been previous purchases.
How about a railway story from the heart of darkdankdullness?
'The Incident at the Kretchetovka Station' A.Solzhenitsyn; yes, him again!

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Chops
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Soviet Memories: 1964

Postby Chops » Sun Aug 22, 2021 11:10 pm

"A Day in the Life..." is something that should be a mandatory read for young people. That, and "Animal Farm." I admire Britain for its history of vehemently fighting off the scourge of utterly corrupt foreign powers, and continuing to keep them at bay.

https://youtu.be/JyXWF4hrFJE
Nessie rocks!

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Bufferstop
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Re: Roco 4-4-4 Electric

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Aug 22, 2021 11:43 pm

Hi Chops there's a more modern class of electric loco's which have three four wheel bogies, they pull the shuttle trains through the Channel Tunnel. As all axles have their own motor they are classified as B0-B0-B0 or more often Tri-B0, and as they only have six powered axles they put a loco on each end. Despite their size they don't measure up to the size of the shuttle wagons so the first and last of the wagons have a huge taper to bring the cross section down to the size of the loco. I'm afraid they won't be visiting Henley they are so heavy they aren't allowed outside the tunnel terminals. Some how I don't imagine one of these beasts fits smoothly into the Henley mindset.
There's a second Henley in England, just up the road from me. Henley in Arden, Arden of course being the magical forest in Shakespeare's "Dream" it certainly has trees and they would have been on the hill except that unable to find anywhere less convenient they put the railway station on the top of the hill.
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Chops
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Re: Roco 4-4-4 Electric

Postby Chops » Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:45 pm

Most interesting! Never knew any of that.
Nessie rocks!


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