Latest Revision: January 18, 2010

Reputedly second only in size to the mighty "2900's" of the Santa Fe, and considered by many to be among the most beautiful "Northern" types ever built, the "4500" Class 4-8-4's of the "Frisco" began their careers in the early "War Years" and lasted right up until the end of steam operations.

Sporting some of the most colorful of paint schemes to ever grace an un-streamlined steam locomotive, these never before modeled Northerns are sure to gladden the hearts of brass model collectors and Frisco modelers alike !

Versions will include:
  • METEOR - Oil Fired with Baldwin Disc Drivers, Zephyr Blue Paint with White Band around tender.
  • FFF - Frisco Fast Freight - Coal Fired - Boxpok Drivers - FFF "Winged" Logo and striping on tender.
  • Late Steam paint scheme. Large number on tender.
  • The "WILL ROGERS SPECIAL" - (See below.) This will be a GPM Limited Edition model.

The 4501 was among the last group of steam locomotives built for the Frisco. Because of World War II, the War Production Board limited production of most new diesel locomotives other than switching locomotives used in rail yards, and severely limited steam locomotive development by requiring the use of existing designs.

Frisco's 4500 class was constructed based upon the already existing Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's O-5b class. The engines were built in three “batches”.
  • Numbers 4500-4502 were constructed for passenger service on the "Meteor," an overnight train that ran between St. Louis and Oklahoma City. They were delivered in a paint scheme of zephyr blue, white and gray, with "Meteor" spelled out on the side of the tender in bold, red letters. These three were also equipped to be fired with cleaner burning oil.
  • Locomotives #4503-4514 were delivered as coal burners and rode atop Baldwin Disc drivers. They were initially built for freight service but could also be seen in passenger service on occasion.
  • Locomotives #4515-4524, the last in the series, came along in 1943. Basic differences were BLW installation of the Franklin booster engines, and they all rode on Boxpok drivers. They also had spoked pilot truck wheels due to wartime restrictions, a "feature" the Frisco quickly changed.

    Worthy of note here was the #4503-4524 all were delivered with the colorful FFF logo on the tenders.

    Once the war was over, it wasn't long before new diesel locomotives began to arrive, displacing the steamers from their streamlined "Meteor" and "Texas Special" passenger runs and demoting them to lesser trains such as the "Will Rogers" and "General Wood."

    Noteworthy though is the #4501, still wearing it's colorful Meteor paint scheme, powered a portion of President Harry S. Truman's July, 1948 whistle stop campaign through Missouri.

    Several of the 4500-class engines were rebuilt and stored near the end of steam in 1952, but remained behind St. Louis' Lindenwood roundhouse until scrapping or donation.

    According to the information we could gather, four of these superb locomotives still survive: #4500, #4501, #4516 and #4524.

  • Engine numbers 4500-4502 were the first of their kind. Delivered from Baldwin as oil burners, our first three beauties were built specifically to head up the "Meteor," an overnight train that ran between St. Louis and Oklahoma City.

    Our plans include producing this trio of oil burners in very limited quantities, painted in this unforgettable scheme of zephyr blue, white and gray, with that "Meteor" spelled out on the side of the tender in bold, red letters.

  • GPM-4500.1 - "METEOR"
  • GPM-4501-1 - "METEOR"
  • GPM-4502.1 - "METEOR"
  • GPM-4502.3 - Hungerford Paint
    (Black w/ Dulux Gold Lettering)
  • Engines numbered 4503-4514 were built as coal burners for fast freight service and rode on Baldwin Disc Drivers.

    That "FFF" (Frisco Faster Freight) striped tender paint scheme that these locos carried was really something to see!

    Our production will include #4503 as you see here in this photo plus an extra set of spoked wheelsets for backdating its pilot truck for those of you desiring a more "as delivered" look.

  • GPM-4503.2 - Pre-1950 - FFF
  • GPM-4503.3 - Post 1950 - Hungerford Era
    (Black w/ White Lettering)

  • Here is Engine #4519 heading up the "Will Rogers". She's all nice and shiny, for the occasion. It looks mighty cold here, doesn't it ?

    #4519 is riding atop its as-delivered "Boxpok" drivers. Look closely and you'll see a plume of steam beneath her cab, indicating her engineer's making good use of the booster engine built into her trailing truck to get her underway.

    Click on the photo for a closer study.

    GPM-4519-1 - Will Rogers Special

    Here is 4-8-4 number 4521, proudly wearing her "FRISCO FASTER FREIGHT" logo. She's just been serviced and with her tender carrying a full load of coal, is ready for the road.

    Notice that she has the spoked lead truck wheels that she was delivered with. All of the Northerns would eventually be retrofitted with the safer-at-speed solid disc wheels in later years.

  • GPM-4521.2 - Pre-1950 - FFF Paint Scheme
  • GPM-4521.3 - Post-1950 - Hungerford Era
    (Black w/ White Lettering)

  • Engine number 4524 was the final one of these great locomotives to be constructed. In this classic pose her Baldwin Disc drivers and Spoked Pilot Truck Wheels show nicely. As do the "Buckeye" style tender trucks.

    That "FFF" (Frisco Fast Freight) striped tender paint scheme that these locos carried was really something to see!

    Most of these locomotives were equipped with the "Boxpok" type drivers you see in these photos.

  • GPM-4524.2 Pre-1950's - FFF Lettering

  • This how the mighty Northerns ended up looking after President Hungerford abolished all decorative painting on the steam engines. She's painted

    Steam locomotives were rapidly falling out of vogue by then, their days being numbered as construction stepped up mightily soon after the end of WWII of the cookie-cutter appearing "growlers" and their resulting proliferation ever displaced more and more of once kings of the rails.

  • GPM-4524.3 - Post-1950 - Hungerford Era
    (Black w/ White Lettering)

  • These Great Locomotives are in a class by themselves. Handsome, Colorful, Purposeful, Beautiful.

    They were created in Lifetime Brass to our specifications by South Korea's Premier Builder of Brass Models, Boo-Rim Precision with a level of detailing and operation only dreamed of a few years ago.

    Whether you are a serious FRISCO Modeler, or an astute collector of Fine Hand Crafted Brass Models, we feel certain that you were NOT disappointed with your new aquisition !

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