I think the Baltimore & Ohio EMD E6’s are the most handsome. The 63 set looks fabulous in their elegant streamliner paint scheme. As I work through my Broadway Limited Imports E6 collection upgrading the factory decoder with Soundtraxx Tsunami 2, new LEDs, and Sergent Type E couplers, I find that it takes about 4-1/2 hours to do a fully powered A-B set (I batch prep’d all of the LED assemblies and couplers ahead of time). A nice clean job to do. Once I had the first Tsunami 2 locomotive programmed using JMRI DecoderPro, I copy that file to program any following E6’s, making this job considerably easier and faster.
The B&O were diesel locomotive pioneers, at least in the northeast as the same can be said for the Santa Fe in the southwest. They purchased the very early Winton 201A powered EA/EB locomotive sets (50-56). Then followed the 567-powered E6’s (57-63 & A-unit 52 [2nd]). In 1941, the B&O could boast seven all-diesel powered premiere passenger trains – Royal Blue (Washington-New York), Columbian (New York-Washington), Diplomat (Washington-St Louis), National Limited (Washington-St Louis), Capitol Limited (Washington-Chicago), Shenandoah (Washington-Chicago), & Ambassador (Washington-Pittsburgh-Toledo-Detroit).
B&O 63 (the A & B-units were mated together using the same number initially, in 1947 an “X” was added after the number of the B-unit for a short time) were delivered in July 1941 (EMD serial number 1331 [A-unit] & 1335 [B-unit]). All early B&O EA and E6 locomotives were delivered and operated in A-B sets.
I find the book Baltimore & Ohio E-Unit Diesel Passenger Locomotives (Douglas B Nuckles with Thomas Dixon Jr, TLC Publishing Inc, 1994) a very good read with plenty of photographs and interesting information.
Also, in Classic Trains magazine (World War II: Railroading’s Finest Hour, Winter 2001), in the article “The B&O goes to war” (Page 32), mention is made of 63 (heading the National Limited) going through a stop signal, striking a derail, and turning over in a bad accident on September 5, 1945. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.
Here are more photos of my upgraded 63…