Wednesday, October 26, 2016

E. L. Moore's General

I make no pretensions at being a locomotive expert. I've built just one, and that was a mongrelish little narrow-gauger. The General is only the second engine I've altered. I'm merely telling you what I did to transform the General into something more modern. It is a simple alteration, costing little more than $1, the only additions being a two-piece boiler, a boiler front, and a stack.
E. L. Moore summarizes his conversion of Mantua's General to something more likely to be in operation in the early 20th century. His Welish-American hybrid locomotive was likely too freelanced in appear in a magazine; however, the General conversion was possibly considered more plausible, so it was publishable.

Photos of the Elizabeth Valley RR show pictures of a few different locomotives unlike the Eagleroost & Koontree where I've only seen one so far. One of the Elizabeth Valley locos was a conversion and got featured in the March 1962 issue of Model Trains, in an article called A new look for the Old General,  where E. L. Moore discussed converting Mantua's General to something similar to the locomotives featured in Florida Woodburners that appeared in the March 1951 issue of Trains.


  1. This engine looks a lot like Mantua's Belle of the '80s. It isn't, of course. In comparing his modernized "General" to the Belle the details of the General's frame are there; the driver wheel base and position of the steam chest. But the Belle could have been the inspiration for Moore's conversion.

    BTW Model R.R. Equipment Corp suggested The General had a minimum radius of 14". Perhaps another hint about his layout design?

    I have 3 Generals and have repowered these little gems for others. They can be made into fabulous runners if you know what to do with them. After repowering there is even enough room in the tender for DCC and possibly even sound! Wonder what Moore would have thought of that?

    1. His EVRR layout did have very sharp curves and steep grades. So maybe he chose that particular loco because it could handle sharp curves.

      He stated a few times in his letters that the electrical side of layout building gave him trouble. He even turned down MR's offer to have him write an 'N Scale Primer' because he didn't think he could do or explain how to do wiring, here's the link,

      but, I suspect he would have liked the sound if someone could get it up and running for him.