keywords = Berlinerwerke railroad model stories tall tales apocrypha PRR Pennsy Pensylvania S. Berliner, III's Berlinerwerke Apocrypha Continuation Page 2
Updated:  03 Oct 2006, 21:30  ET
[Ref:  This is bw-apoc2.html  (URL]

S. Berliner, III's

Berlinerwerke Script


Apocrypha Continuation Page 2

Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"
Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

This site has now been visited times since the counter was installed.



BW Key

This page sponsored jointly (lots of 'em) by the
National Railway Hysterical Society
and the
National Muddle Railroad Association.

(Lighten up - they're spoofs!)

[See also the main Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page and Berlinerwerke Apocrypha Continuation page 1, as well as the HO (1:87.1) Berlinerwerke saga or the Z (1:220) Berlinerwerke-Z saga
    and Berlinerwerke Guest Apocrypha (for taller tales?).
    Also, see the fabled BW DDP45 and other EMD engines EMD may never have dreamed of!]

Insanity doesn't run in my family, it just sort of dawdles along.


(links truncated)

On the main Berlinerwerke Apocrypha Page:
  Eerie Multiplex 2-4-6-8-10-12, "Old 9999".
  PRR/BW DD3 Boxcab Triple-Power Diesel-Electric Locomotive 2-B+3-3+3-3+B-2.
  PRR Z6s Arctic 4-2-2.
  Berliners Bessere Biffi und Biffisch.

On this page:
  PRR V1 Rocky 4-14-2 {moved from preceding page 07 Mar 99}.
  BW V2 Hiss Bomb.
  PRR Genesis Engine (unlikely!).
  PRR Centipede Engine 4-D-D-4 (even more unlikely, but oh, 'tis true, 'tis true!).
  "Big Hooker" double-ended 250-ton Tunnel Crane
    and new pix of NYC 2x120-ton prototype.
  Super Garratt, BW-UP Garratt Boy, and BW-UP Bigger Boy.

Because the Apocrypha and Guest Apocrypha indices exceeded the capacity of the individual pages, they are now presented in full on a separate Berlinerwerke Apocrypha Index (including the Guest Apocrypha Index).   new.gif (03 Oct 06)

Before I continue, I should note that all this started with a secret project that is still unfinished and the next major development of the Berlinerwerke was their fabled DDP45:


For more about her and her family, see my EMD page.

BW Hist. Bulletin


Another Discovery at the Berlinerwerke

07 December 1995

PRR/BW V1 4-14-2
[Photo courtesy of Berlinerwerke Archives (and that alone should tell you something!)]

The boys in the back room at the Berlinerwerke were working (werking?) overtime late one night when they ran across the accompanying photograph and uncovered the history of a locomotive just too incredible to be believed.  There has been a lot of talk about a Russian steam locomotive with SEVEN coupled axles, but not too many have believed it.  However, some time towards the end of the Second World War, the Pennsylvania Railroad approached the management of the Berlinerwerke with another of their secret projects.  As rails were wearing out rapidly under the punishment of wartime traffic and replacements harder and harder to get, the PRR decided to investigate bigger engines with lower ground pressure.  To this end, the Philadelphia and Altoona engineering departments put their heads together and decided that a seven-axle version of the tried and true 4-8-2 Mountain should be able to fill the bill, provided the outer pairs of axles were fitted with Alco lateral motion gear to prevent even greater rail wear in curves.  Such a long coupled wheelbase precluded blind drivers as on the 2-10-0 I1 Decapod and 2-10-2 N1 Santa Fe; the inner drivers would have dropped to the ties on yard trackage curves!  The PRR was all too aware of the problems the Union Pacific had with their huge rigid wheelbase 4-12-2 Union Pacific-class steamers, even with the Alco lateral motion device.  Negotiations proceeded apace and the PRR and BW came to an agreement which resulted in the design and construction of a single prototype V1 Rocky 4-14-2 monster.  Extensive testing on the Altoona test bed and on the road, all done in the greatest of secrecy, proved that, while the engine could pull and track well, and the dynamic augment was not too bad at drag-freight speeds, the engine would pound the living hell out of the track and had insufficient firebox capacity for extended steaming at high speed.  The conclusion was that a 4-14-6 with an extended firebox would have been adequate but was deemed simply too long for practical use and the project appears to have been terminated.  The Berlinerwerke crew is hard at work to see if the prototype still exists somewhere so it could be restored.  The type name, Rocky, was chosen because it was basically a pretty rocky Mountain type.

Some of the employees feel that there might actually have been work done on the 4-14-6, using the firebox and trailing truck from the S1 6-4-4-6 "Big Engine" or S2 6-8-6 turbine, but nothing has turned up so far.  They also found hints of a fantastic mini-turbine 6-2-6; actual hardware may really exist from that one!

If anything more turns up on the Rocky or the other special engines, the Berlinerwerke will be happy to let you know just as soon as possible.  We really value our railfan and modeler friends.

Douglas Self in the U.K. (see below) covers all the 12-coupled locos known.

BW/WD  V2 Hiss Bomb
WWII V2 Hiss Bomb
- Sure 'nuf; something did turn up!  As I mentioned on Apocrypha Page 1, I'd always wondered at the incredibly tight security at the Berlinerwerke during WWII and stated. "Now it can be told"!  I referred you, for starters, to the wild site of Sig Case, "Rails to the Stars - Steam in Space", files from the National Aeronautics and Steam Administration* and said there'd be a tie-in to the Berlinerwerke V2 here.  Most historians and old folk know of the German V-1 Buzz Bomb and the V-2 rocket but few have ever heard of the BW's V2 Hiss Bomb!  Good espionage led the U.S. to learn about the Buzz Bomb (a pilotless aircraft with a pulse jet engine that made a buzzing sound) and then the V-2 rocket and the long-range steam locomotive before they were put in service.  In a frantic bid to get ahead of the Germans, the War Department contracted with the Berlinerwerke to make a newer version of the V1 (BW kind, that is), numbered as the V2 and suitable for vertical launching and long-range sub-space flight.  Means to make the drawbar rigid before erection (it's always better that way), an instant diverter dump valve in the steam chest, and a steam exhaust pipe running the length of the tender, with a nozzle at the end ("hisssss"), provided more than adequate propulsive force to send the engine and tender into a hyperbolic trajectory at near-escape velocity.  Judicious use of the snifter valves, the blast pipe, and the blowdown cock by radio control gave just enough lateral thrust to make mid-course corrections until dampfschluss (steam exhaustion), making it a partially-guided missile, something the German V-2 rocket (the first ballistic missile) could not do.  However, bureaucratic red tape slowed the project and the war in Europe was over before a BW V2 could be launched and the only V2 around was rebuilt back to the V1 we see here today (above).

However, whil(e)(st) I was in Berlin, in Sep 1987, just before the Wall came down, I saw an original German DB Class 50 2-10-0 Raumslok (space loco) upended on its launch pad off the southeast corner of the shell of the old Anhalter Bahnhof and took a photo or two which will appear here just as soon as it/they can be located (seriously, I kid you NOT).  Well, not QUITE; an "artist" (read "vandal") had welded it all together and plopped it upside down (wheels up) as some sort of misguided monument!

NOT "up-ended, and plunked pilot-end-down" as I had previously written!  Sorry 'bout that!

See the Anhalter Bahnhof coverage for a photo of this abortion.

* - Sig disclaims the NASA initials as definitely NOT being those of the esteemed Nepal Advisory on Summit Agriculture (www.nasa.oog), promoting the Himalayan muskmelon industry, nor that of the National Amalgamated Societies Association (; I happen to know the true derivation of the name and initials, it is much older than the Net, being those of the old Third Reich's Nordsee Amt für Sturm Abschaffung (North Sea Office of Storm Abatement, ß.nasa.ord), which pioneered weather control by dropping silver iodide crystals on storm clouds from the Raumslok tender.

[Photo courtesy of
Berlinerwerke Archives
(and that alone should
tell you something!)]
{missing V2 image recreated 20 Apr 03}

Now, for us Pennsy fans, this is a Genesis engine what's a Genesis engine!  

PRR Genesis Engine
[Sorry - I can't remember who perpetrated this picture.]

See also Genesis Redivivus!.

But, also for us Pennsy fans, truth is always a 1,000 times stranger than fiction and who needs a PRR Genesis engine when they could have a real PRR (4-D+D-4)+(4-D+D-4) Centipede?

PRR Centipede
(Page 8 from 1949 Pennsy brochure, "Modern Power for Today's Trains", "'Two Unit Permanently Coupled Diesel-Electric Locomotive' - Baldwin Centipedes #5824", courtesy of Rob Schoenberg's Pennsy site.)

Of course, there's always the GN W1 GE electric B-D+D-B (all axles powered) or the middle unit of the staggering UP #80 Coal Turbine made from a GN W1!  I have a W1 in HO and it's so huge I had to remove the cab steps at each end just to clear my 40"-44" mainline radii!  Happily (and foresightedly), they were held in place with screws.

Here she is (a bit damaged - but whadda monster!): GN W1 Electric in HO
Photo by SB,III
(relit and reshot)

The Big Hooker

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, though I can't remember exactly when (ca. 1970?), a flyer for a book on the New York Central came in from Wayner Publications and caught my eye; it had a weird NYC crane pictured on it, with two booms!  They stuck out on each end of a fixed cab (no rotation).  Incredibly, I was able to go right to my storage dresser at the layout on 16 Nov 99 and find not only the Athearn box with all my crane scrap and such but even the original (undated) Wayner flyer!  The book was "The Great Steel Fleet", by Robert J. Wayner, himself, and a magnifying glass shows the crane is almost certainly #X45.

NYC X45 2x250ton Tunnel Crane
(Photo by S. Berliner, III, of detail from ca. 1970 Wayner flyer - 16 Jan 99)

The picture of the crane was only a small part of a small photo of the book cover, only 3-3/8;" long, but it really caught my fancy.  Without researching the prototype at all, but after carefully disassembling my ancient, metal Athearn 200-ton big hook for detailed analysis (I DID reassemble it), I immediately bought two plastic Athearn 200-ton big hooks, a pair of brass 8-wheel Buckeye trucks, a zillion brass Athearn scale sheaves (pulleys, actually 42 of 'em by my current count!) {ol' Irv Athearn was really intrigued!}, and a spool of braided 5-lb test NYLON fish line.  Soaking the line in black RIT dye (not intended for NYLON) resulted in a fairly good rusty look; braided so it would lie flat, spool freely without fuzzies, and not curl permanently around the sheaves.

Not having the foggiest notion how the booms should work, I invented a set of pivots for stiff legs, using the cut-off rotating rings from the Athearn chassis's for the bases, extending the hinged flap over the internal rigging for an upper pivot, and shortening the small ends of the booms to approximate 250-ton booms.  After an agonizing few days of spooling the line through all those sheaves, using a microscopic hook ground into the pointed end of a pin, she scooned!

At a subsequent meet of the Sunrise Trail Division, Northeast Region, NMRA, I set it up on the abutment of an unfinished bridge and ran the big hook down to grade.  Later, I dropped the small hook all the way from the benchwork to the floor.  Someone took photos of all this; does anyone out there have them?

More recently, ca. 1990, one of the booms was accidentally pushed down, breaking the stiff leg off at the base and snapping off the upper pivot and throwing yards of line off the sheaves at one end; she sits today in that condition.  I dragged her out of the basement on her travel track (she is screwed on for travelling) and took some digital shots on 16 Nov 99:

BW 2x250ton Tunnel Crane
Poor sick ol' model!  She's old, cranky (!), busted, dusty, and sprayed with hot fat!

BW 2x250ton Tunnel Crane
A detail view of the left end showing the stiff leg (without travel stays).
[Note the two MILW flats numbered 6711 and 7116;
Isn't it simply amazing that I have a third,
behind my original metal Athearn big hook, numbered 67116?]
{I'll have to drag out the old metal crane for a comparison shot.}

BW 2x250ton Tunnel Crane
A detail view of the left end showing the boom traversed left.

BW 2x250ton Tunnel Crane
A detail view of the right end showing the damage to the stiff leg
and a block of wood holding the boom in place.

BW Crane Parts
(Photos and   1999 by S. Berliner, III - 16 Jan 99 - All Rights Reserved)

Wonder of wonders, not only did I find the flyer,
I even found the pillbox with the boom and windlass cranks
and the microscopic boom stays I made
(yes, Virginia, I DRILLED holes in the cast-on straps on the boom and deck for the stays!).

According to notes in my own handwriting on the flyer, Bill Edson of NYC Equipment or Paul Brustman of NYC Cranes told me that there were two 2x250-ton tunnel cranes, X45 and X99, and they came on the road circa 1935 or 36 and one (or both) was (were) shipped to Russia during WWII on a ship that sank at sea on the Murmansk Run (deep-dive salvage, anyone?).

More wonders of wonders - in came an e-mail on 22 Feb 00 from Aaron Falis (thank'ee, Sor!) with news that the X45 still exists, up at the nearby Danbury Railway Museum with a picture, no less, and the information that she rides on four two-axle trucks and has two 120-ton booms (as contrasted to my free-lanced double 250-tonner on two four-axle Commonwealths) and is electrically-powered from third-rail shoes.  Aaron said he had to shoot into the sun to get this picture and it was one black blob, so I enhanced it heavily to show the details (note an LIRR FA-1 (or -2) Power-Pak in the background):

NYC X45 2x120t Tunnel Crane
(Photo, 2000, by Aaron Falis; all rights reserved)
[image heavily enhanced by S. Berliner, III - 22 Feb 00]

For far more on X45 and other heavy cranes, go to my Big Cranes page.

There is also another Big Hook, in N scale, an Ibertren (Spanish) #471 model of a heavy RR crane on which everything works (at 1:160!) on that Big Cranes page.

Beyer, Peacock Super Garratt 2-6-6-2+2-6-6-2,
    Berlinerwerke - Union Pacific Garratt Boy 4-8-8-4+4-8-8-4, and

Berlinerwerke - Union Pacific Bigger Boy 4-8-8+4-8-8-4+8-8-4!

On 20 Sep 2002, I received an e-mail from Alain Chateau (whose English is FAR better than mon mâigre Français) about a 1928 Beyer, Peacock standard-gauge 2-6-6-2+2-6-6-2 Super Garratt, no less; what I failed to realize was that M. Chateau had attached a drawing (Patent No. 230,888) for same:

B/P Super Garratt
(Super Garratt Drawing courtesy of A. Chateau)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image]

Well, that made me think back to some stuff that was on the back burner at the Berlinerwerke for some 40 years now and inspired me to freshen up the concepts et, le voila, the projected Berlinerwerke - Union Pacific 4-8-8-4+4-8-8-4 Garrett Boy (never really given serious consideration beyond design studies, and the fantastic Berlinerwerke - Union Pacific 4-8-8+4-8-8-4+8-8-4 Bigger Boy:

BW-UP Garratt Boy
(25 Sep 02 drawing by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image]

BW-UP Bigger Boy
(25 Sep 02 drawing by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image]

The whole idea here was to get greater distance without oiling or watering stops and not require pans and scoops (with their inherent problems).  The tenders were made up from those salvaged from scrapped Challengers and other Big Boys, as was the Garrat boiler.  Hopes were high for these designs and the road number 4800 was assigned to the Super Garratt in hopes of a new class; 4080 was used for the Bigger Boy to start a numbering subset.

Notice that in order to get visibility on the Garratt Boy (those monster tender bodies precluded normal cab placement) a cab was fitted into the front of the forward tender.  There is also a tiny hostling cab in the left rear of the rear tender (which doesn't show in this right side elevation).  That idea worked well and so it was carried over into the Bigger Boy.  The fireman was still in the regular cab (a drawback harking back to Camelbacks and Mother Hubbards), which was also fitted with a conductor's desk, obviating the need for a caboose far away at the end of a long string and necessitating the invention of the FRED end-of-train device, and both cabs were fitted with early TV cameras and monitors, as well as interphones, to keep all crew members in regular contact.  Entrance to the forward and rear cabs was over the front and rear decks.

The Bigger Boy, which clearly could not be accomodated on any turntable, was intended to be turned on any wye that could handle the Big Boy.  These engines were envisioned as oil burners from the very beginning.

Merci bien, chèr M. Chateau!

On 10 Jan 03, the U.K.'s Douglas Self sent me his "locoloco" URL and permission to duplicate his Baldwin Quadruplex drawing here:

Baldwin Quadruplex
(Drawing courtesy of D. Self - all rights reserved)

It's a Spanish language drawing, so the 1D+D+D+D1 translates to a 2-8-8-8-8-2.

Doug not only has the Beyer-Peacock Super-Garratt Drawing (Patent #230,888) shown above, but he also has a PHOTO of the beast.  Doug complained that the photo showed much shorter tanks than the patent drawing; by the time the Berlinerwerke Photo Department processed the photo, the latent image of the full-length tanks became quite apparent:

DS/BW Super-Garratt Photo
(Photo courtesy of D. Self {BW version}- all rights reserved {but to whom?})

M. Chateau took exception to my "photo"; he said the original photo was correct for the unit shown, which was a narrow gauge loco for South Africa, and that a standard gauge unit had been proposed for North American service and, on 20 Apr 03, he sent along the full diagrams to prove it:

B/P Super Garratt NG B/P Super Garratt SG
(Super Garratt Diagrams - SG, l., and NG, r., - courtesy of A. Chateau)
[Thumbnail images - click on pictures for larger images.]

André Otto of South Africa added that the design was patented by Beyer, Peacock Ltd. in 1925, with a version for Cape Gauge (3' 6''/1,065mm) which would have had the same wheel arrangement, 3' 9½'' diameter driving wheels, a boiler pressure of 200psi, tractive effort of 71,200lb (75% B.P.) and a fully laden weight of 206 metric tons, with a maximum axle load to be 13 metric tons.

Now, they say that truth is a thousand time stranger than fiction; I wouldn't bank on that, not on THIS page!  Nevertheless, the Erie's Matt Shay and two sister 2-8-8-8-2 Triplexes and the Virginian's lone 2-8-8-8-4 Triplex (with a booster on the trailing truck, no less, making it an honorary quadruplex!) are pretty strange, indeed:

Erie Matt Shay

Virginian Triplex
(Photos courtesy of D. Self - all rights reserved)

You really MUST have a look at Doug's updated Quadraplexes {sic} page, "Dreams of Quadraplexes - Four Locomotives in One. - With A Little On Quintuplexes..."!

Et encore!  M. Chateau sent me a present; a drawing of a Climax-Garratt proposed in 1931 by Vulcan Foundry, of Newton-Le-Willows, England, not the American one well known for multi-trucked steam, for a C+C locomotive for the Rimutaka Incline railway near Wellington (New Zealand).  M. Chateau is sure that the Berlinerwerke could have built such a locomotive.  He is quite correct, of course; however, this one is quite legit. and is a copyrighted image and so has been withdrawn until (hopefully) permission can be worked out or a substitute found: {image withdrawn}

Greenbrier, Cheat & Elk #13 13-truck Shay

Because of a typo, the list of damaged equipment in the B&O Roundhouse roof collapse includes reference to "TRACK #16, BAY #16-17 - GC&E #13-truck Shay"; the Berlinerwerke made that loco in conjunction with Lima.  Information on this oddity has been moved to Berlinerwerke Apocrypha Continuation page 1.

See also the HO (1:87.1) Berlinerwerke saga or the Z (1:220) Berlinerwerke-Z saga
    and Berlinerwerke Guest Apocrypha (for taller tales?).
    Also, see the fabled BW DDP45 and other EMD engines EMD may never have dreamed of!

Because the Apocrypha and Guest Apocrypha indices exceeded the capacity of the individual pages, they are now presented in full on a separate Berlinerwerke Apocrypha Index (including the Guest Apocrypha Index).   new.gif (03 Oct 06)

[See also the HO (1:87.1) Berlinerwerke saga or the Z (1:220) Berlinerwerke-Z saga.]

If you like this sort of nonsense, take a gander at Jim Wells' incredible Whitby Locomotive Works; Jim's overall Fantasonics "Model Railroad Magic Website" has become too complex for me to navigate.  Unfortunately, the AW NUTS Magazine, site of the A.W. N.U.T.S. Garden Railway Society is no longer available, nor are Lion Air (I'd be Lion if I didn't warn you to keep your tongue in your cheek on this one!) or D. Dickens' The Patiala State Monorail Tramway site (whooie - and it's for real)!

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag


THUMBS UP!  -  Support your local police, fire, and emergency personnel!

S. Berliner, III

To contact S. Berliner, III, please click here.

prevpage.gif    frstpage.gif    nextpage.gif
of this series of Berlinerwerke Apocrypha pages.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 2006 - All rights reserved.

Return to Top of Page