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B & O Railroad "Atlantic" Grasshopper

By 1830, steam locomotives were regarded as being the most promising source of motive power for the fledgling American railroads.  However, locomotive configuration depended, to a large extent, upon the instincts of the builders.  Thus, the creative minds of Phineas Davis, Ross Winans, Peter Cooper and Israel Gartner gave birth to a unique design which was know as the Grasshopper type.


The first unit emerged from their Baltimore works in 1832 and was named the Atlantic. Weighing about 14,000 pounds, it featured a vertical boiler and two vertical cylinders driving an overhead beam which powered a crank mechanism geared to the front axle.  Since the front and rear wheels were now coupled, the Atlantic could have been classified as an 0-2-2, however it is usually called a Four Wheeler.


The Atlantic, with its bobbing beams and rods, resembled a huge grasshopper walking along the track hence its popular nickname.  She disappeared from service around 1836, however in 1893 the Baltimore and Ohio rebuilt the #7 Grasshopper, Andrew Jackson, to resemble the Atlantic as she appeared in about 1834.  This locomotive can now be seen in the B & O Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.  Aster chose to model in Gauge 1, the Atlantic as she currently appears in the museum.


The Aster Grasshopper found a new employment opportunity as a "backwoods" locomotive.  Check out Sonny Wizelman's article on detailing and weathering - "The Backwoods Grasshopper" -  on the reference page. 



Scale/Gauge  1/30, 45 mm gauge


Weight  0.94 kg (2.07 lb)

Length  172 mm, (6.71 inches)

Width  80 mm (3.12 inches)

Height  141 mm, (5.5 inches)


Wheel Arrangement  Four Wheeler

Wheel Diameter  31 mm, (1.21 inches)


Cylinders  Two, Bore 9 mm, Stroke 15 mm

Valves  Piston Valves with Reversing Block


Boiler Type  Vertical Type with four fire tubes

Pressure  0.8 to 1.0 kg/sq cm normal working

Capacity  45 cc water when 80% full


Fittings  Safety Valve, Check Valve, Water Plug

Lubricator  Roscoe Displacement Type


Fuel Tank Capacity  30 cc of Ethyl or Methyl Alcohol

Minimum Curve Radius  0.55 meters






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