B&M P4 Pacific
The Boston & Maine placed an order with the Lima Locomotive Works for (5) 4-6-2 class P4a heavy pacifics in December of 1934. Numbered 3710-3714, they were equipped with 80″ drivers, a large firebox and massive boiler, allowing them to easily cruise at 70+ mph with a 14 car train. The P4a’s were delivered with smoke deflectors and partial sky-lining over part of the boiler. Like most engines with sky-lining, it was found to be problematic when needing to service the areas covered over, so the sky-lining was eventually removed. A second group of pacifics were ordered in 1937. These were the last 4-6-2 pacifics built by Lima. They were numbered 3715-3719, and were delivered with smoke deflectors, but without the sky-lining. Upon the delivery of the last locomotive, the B&M held a contest at all the local schools to allow the students to pick names for the (10) P4 pacifics. The names selected were: #3710 – Peter Cooper, #3711 – Allagash, #3712 – East Wind, #3713 – The Constitution, #3714 – Grey Lock, #3715 – Kwasind, #3716 – Roger’s Ranger, #3717 – Old North Bridge, #3718 – Ye Salem Witch and #3719 – Camels Hump. Each engine’s name was diplayed along the locomotives running boards on a plaque also displaying the student’s name and the school they attended. This same process would be repeated again when naming the B&M’s (18) 4-8-2 R class locomotives. All the P4 locomotives were delivered with a single air compressor mounted on the pilot, and were painted in standard black with white trim on the running boards, along with the white rectangular B&M herald on the tender. In the early 1940s, the B&M borrowed a number of passenger cars from the PRR, resulting in the B&M deciding to change their passenger car scheme from Pullman Green to the PRR’s Tuscan Red. A new paint scheme was also adapted to all the steam locomotives, the running board trim was now red, and the cab and tender lettering was now an Italic font in yellow cream with a red shadow behind, named “Speed Lettering”. In the 1945, a second air compressor was added to each of the engines. Towards the end of the 1940’s as diesels arrived, the P4’s were bumped from express trains to commuter service. They were found to be unsuited for this kind of service, and were eventually scrapped in 1953. Only (2) of the P4’s serviced the scrappers torch, #3713 and 3714.
In 1954, #3713’s tender was scrapped, along with locomotive #3714. So #3713 was paired up with the 3714’s tender. Together they were fired up in early 1956 to be use a snow melter. Her final run was on April 22, 1956, where she was assigned to pull the B&M’s final steam powered revenue passenger train, named “The Farewell to Steam”. The sold out trip was ran from Boston to Portland, with a stop in Dover for a photo runby. After the Farewell to Steam, #3713 was sold to F. Nelson Blount and was moved to Vermont to join his Steamtown collection.
Today, the 3713 is in Scranton, PA, still with the Steamtown Collection. A group named “Project 3713” is currently restoring the engine to operating condition.
An arrangement was made with Project 3713 so that part of each sale of the K&L 3713 set will be donated towards #3713’s restoration.
B&M P4 Pacific set includes: (3) Engines and Tenders, (2) Baggage cars, and (2) American Flyer coaches
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