The BL2 locomotive was built by General Motors in the late 1940s as a stopgap between their streamlined F units and more utilitarian GPs. The odd shape was a result of the structural integrity of the F unit’s lower bodywork being combined with a reduced width engine hood to allow visibility from the cab in both directions. Certainly not designed for its looks.
Popular mythology has it that one railroad thought them so ugly that they only ran them at night… Not quite true, there was a lot of street running involved and operating at night avoided most of the road traffic… But I digress.
I sometimes dispatch a passenger and mail train on “international” runs when playing TrainStation on FaceBook. This particular six car train, two mail cars, two first class coaches and two second class, looks quite good behind a BL2 but it is actually designed to run with another loco.
That other loco is taking some getting. First off I needed to acquire a specific maglev train one car at a time as rewards for running other trains, a task which in itself took quite some time, and now I have to complete fifty, five oh, twelve hour journeys with that maglev train. It’ll be worth the effort though because the completed set gets a healthy 300% bonus on top of the 228,235 that it earns when not with the correct loco.
The first of those maglev journeys to get the correct locomotive was dispatched shortly before nine this evening. It looks as if the BL2 will still be in passenger service for a while yet. After that? There are some jobs that only call for short trains so it’ll still be used from time to time. One loco doesn’t use up much storage space in the grand scheme of the game.
Ugly ducklings can become beautiful swans. The BL2 is still waiting for that to happen, but I like them all the same.