The first modern design steam engine on the Norfolk & Western, the Y-6
class was an awesome figure on the popular railroad. The Y6 engine, called
the "workhorse of the N&W" was particularly well suited to
mountain terrain and its engineers said it was unstoppable as it labored its
way up a grade.
Often used to power coal trains, the Y6 and improved Y5 class engines
packed so much power they were rated at only two locomotives for a 10,300
pound load on the tough Radford Division eastbound Allegheny climb. Weighing
more than 600,000 pounds and producing more than 150,000 pounds of tractive
effort, the 2-8-8-2 Mallet was up to any task put before it.
Thirty new Y6b engines built at the Roanoake shops between 1948 and 1950
were the last compound articulated steam locomotives built in North America.
The reliable and powerful modern Class Y6 engines were the final steam
engines retired in 1960 when the N&W completed its transition to diesel
The M.T.H. RailKing 2-8-8-2 Y6b steam engine is a realistic version of
the N&W's famous workhorse, with its features listed below.