In Thoroughbreds, Alvin Staufer and Edward May's definitive book on the New York Central Hudsons, Al summarizes the attraction of this engine in a few perhaps-biased but nonetheless eloquent words: "The Hudsons had it all: looks, performance, and timing. … [The] forte of all Hudsons was power at speed…. That [the NYC Hudson] was the first of her wheel arrangement in the United States matters not nearly as much as what she hauled and how she hauled it. The Hudsons were designed to haul the Great Steel Fleet on the Water Level Route [the NYC's raceway from New York to Chicago, home of the 20th Century Limited and the Empire State Express, and the bane of rival Pennsylvania Railroad, whose route lay over the Allegheny Mountains]. The Hudsons were a New York Central phenomenon. They were a special machine for that special road. They were synonymous with the best. They were the best."
Thanks to Joshua Lionel Cowen, the Hudson also holds a special place in the history of 3-rail O gauge. Lionel's 700E scale Hudson, manufactured from 1937 to 1942, set a standard of detail for 3-rail engines that was unmatched for nearly 50 years, until Jerry Williams and Mike Wolf began the trend toward scale detailing that continues today.
Like Lionel in 1937, we believe our model of this engine exemplifies the best in today's O scale locomotives. The legendary J1e returns to the Premier Line in 2023, upgraded with Proto-Sound 3.0’s quillable smoking whistle.
Did You Know?
Built mainly in Alco's Schenectady shops in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the NYC Hudsons were part of the "super-power" era of steam technology that began with Lima's A1 Berkshire in 1924. Super power engines were the external combustion engine refined to its finest form, with technological advances such as bigger fireboxes supported by 4-wheel trailing trucks; higher pressure, more efficient boilers; superheaters to increase the heat of the steam so it could do more work; and larger drivers for speed and power (79" on the Hudsons).