The distinctive Electro-Motive BL2, envisioned by legendary EMD chief engineer Richard “Dick” Dilworth as a diesel road-switcher with style and panache, is ready for Train Simulator duty! Dressed in Western Maryland Railway liveries, the BL2 is joined in this DLC by WM Alco FA2 and GE 44-tonner diesels and a selection of Western Maryland freight equipment!
Secure in churning out streamlined freight F-units, passenger E-units, and end-cab diesel switchers by the hundreds, Electro-Motive had been slow to embrace the road-switcher concept. But the success of the Alco RS1 and RS2 diesels in the 1940s, along with the presence of similar models offered by Baldwin and Fairbanks-Morse, EMD took notice.
Electro-Motive’s Dick Dilworth was unrivaled in creating locomotives of both mechanical perfection and style, and thus when he put EMD’s first 1,500-horsepower road-switcher to paper, he wished to give the diesel panache beyond that of a typical angular road-switcher design. The result, in the form of EMD BL1 demonstrator No. 499 of 1948, was a semi-streamlined diesel with a beveled rear hood and slightly narrowed nose to provide bi-directional visibility. Internally, the BL2 was, for all intents and purposes, identical to the EMD F3. Still anxious to not undercut its own F-units as masters of the main line, EMD’s “BL” designation stood for “Branch Line.”
The BL1 demonstrator was followed two months later by production models designated BL2. In a production run that lasted 13 months, EMD produced 58 BL2s for nine railroads and the buyer list was as eclectic as the diesel itself, ranging from New England’s Boston & Maine to the Midwest’s Rock Island. Also among the BL2 buyers was the Western Maryland, which purchased a pair of the unique diesels as the railroad dieselized in the late 1940s
Despite the BL2s uncommon external appearance, it was a reliable and trust worthy locomotive and many of the units enjoyed lengthy careers, including Western Maryland’s duo. Early in their lives, Western Maryland BL2s 81 and 82 could be found roaming the “Wild Mary’s” main lines, then later in life the pair became regular denizens of WM’s sprawling hometown yard at Hagerstown, Maryland. The Western Maryland BL2s remained in service to acquire Chessie System road numbers (7181 and 7182) in the 1970s and worked into the 1980s. Western Maryland BL2 81 is today preserved at the Baltimore & Ohio Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and sister No. 82 found a home on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. A number of other BL2s also remain extant and operational in museums and on tourist lines.
Beautifully re-created by DTM (Digital Train Model), the BL2 for Train Simulator wears two classic Western Maryland liveries – its original “Fireball” scheme and the WM “Speed Lettering” livery which it wore for most of its career. In addition to the masterfully modeled BL2, which features an authentic cab and customizable details, this DLC is loaded with content – it also provides Western Maryland Alco FA2 diesels in three liveries (“Fireball,” “Speed Lettering,” and “Circus Colors”), the WM’s General Electric 44-tonner diesel, and a selection of five types of freight equipment! And the DLC includes a selection of realistic career scenarios for the popular CSX Hanover Subdivision route (which was originally a Western Maryland line).
Climb aboard and take the controls of EMD’s distinctive road-switcher with style – the unique BL2 – available now for Train Simulator!
- Electro-Motive BL2 semi-streamlined diesel road-switcher in Western Maryland “Fireball” and “Speed Lettering” liveries
- Authentic cab and operating controls
- Standard and snow-dressed versions
- Western Maryland Alco FA2 in “Fireball,” “Speed Lettering” and “Circus Colors” liveries
- Western Maryland General Electric 44-tonner in “Fireball” livery
- Five types of freight equipment including WM steel caboose (in three liveries), boxcar, two types of covered hoppers, and open gondola.
- Four realistic career scenarios for the Train Simulator CSX Hanover Subdivision route
- Quick Drive compatible