Sunday, March 3, 2024

Broadway Limited Chicago Great Western F3s

I ordered a set of Broadway Limited Paragon 4 F3s painted for the Chicago Great Western. I got a full A-B-A set made up of a powered A-dummy B combo and a single powered A. They are numbered 101-A-B-C. This creates a problem if you want to number and control the two cab units separately in DCC. I simply gave 101-A the DCC address 101 and 101-C the DCC address 102. The various lighting features can be controlled individually if you set CV 128=1 to enable Pro Mode Lighting as outlined on page 19 of the BLI Operator's Manual. The oscillating warning light isn't lit in the shot of 101-A below, but the cab light, headlight, and class lights are:
In the photo of 101-C, the oscillating warning light is on, but the cab light and class lights are off:
Unfortunately, the BLI units don't have a ground light feature.

The Chicago Great Western was best known for running F units in A-B-B-B-B-A sets of six. Here's a photo I found on the web with six units in full as-delivered paint:

The F3s were delivered in October 1947 in A-B-A sets. A photo of such a set is below:
The CGW didn't order more B units to fill out the consists until 1949, so that an A-B-A set is definitely correct for the first two years of operation, but A-B-A sets were still used in some situations after six unit consists became the norm. By that time, the extra B units arrived in the later F unit body style with horizontal side vents similar to the F7, so that a consist of six matched F3 units would be unusual.

Unfortunately, Broadway Limited doesn't offer either separate B units or powered B units, but a later-year consist can be filled out with Stewart or Bowser F units in the all-maroon scheme.