At the far southern end of the prototype Hills Line sits a relic of times long vanished…
The Plymouth HLC-2 locomotive dates to 1928 and spent most of its life as Union Railroad of Oregon #1. After 40-some years of work as the sole locomotive on the line, it was retired and sold to Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc. in 1992 to work their plant in Hills, Iowa. In more recent times, Stutsman acquired a trackmobile to shuttle and spot cars. The Plymouth has been parked beyond the red board in Hills for more than a decade.
How could I not model that?
I didn’t need much, since it was going to be a static display. Fortunately I was able to pick up a used DC-powered Walthers ML-8 Plymouth locomotive, already in green, for next to nothing from the consignment table at my local hobby shop.
I plan to hack, carve, and otherwise disassemble the unit until it comes close to replicating the prototype, then bury it in scenery so you can’t tell that it’s not an exact match. But since the town of Hills and the Stutsman complex are the first things you see when you enter our basement, it’ll make a great conversation starter that will help tell the story of The Hills Line.