> Until Proto 2000 came out with these 2-8-4 Berkshires, I have never
> heard the term "Van Sweringen Berkshires."
> This brings up two questions:
> 1. What is "Van Sweringen"?
> 2. Why are they (Life-Like) the only ones that seem to use this term?
> All the other references I have ever read about Berkshires, never
> use the term "Van Sweringen."
The Van Sweringen brothers, Oris Paxton Van Sweringen and Mantis James
Van Sweringen, were Cleveland real estate promoters who bought out the
NYC's interest in the Nickel Plate in 1916. They eventually controlled a
large business empire, which included railroads such as the NKP, C&O,
Erie, and Pere Marquette. Senior mechanical officers from these roads
were brought together in an organisation known as the Advisory
Mechanical Committee, charged with the task of developing standardised
motive power and rollingstock for the Van Sweringen roads.
The NKP 2-8-4s were a product of the A.M.C., derived from the Erie
2-8-4s and the C&O 2-10-4s. One could describe them as either A.M.C. or
Van Sweringen engines, I suppose, given their lineage. This also
accounts for the term not being used in relation to other 2-8-4s, which
were not derived from these designs
Life-Like have made an excellent choice of locomotive to model, since
this basic design was used, with detail variations, by six railroads:
The rather beautiful L&N M-1s were also closely related to the AMC