BQ23-7 would actually set the standard for wide cab locomotives that we see today. The Q stood for quarters which could comfortably house the crew of the train without a caboose. As we know, the caboose's days were numbered. It was mainly a different cab for a standard B23-7. The SCL ordered 10 of the BQ23-7's in the late 1970's. They went to CSX through the merger in the mid 1980's and remained with CSX until the late 1990's. As you might know, the BQ23-7 did not catch on and were actually considered dangerous by CSX. They were rated to only trail position, reclassified as B units and even had their windows plated over.
|The 10 BQ23-7's were all in FLS paint and were originally numbered 5130-5139 (Photo by Raymond Stewart RRpicturesarchives.net)|
|Windows plated over and rated as a B unit. (Photo by Ken Roble RRpicturesarchives.net)|
|CSX paint. (Photo by Sam Beck RRpicturesarchives.net)|
|#3001B (Photo by Richard Gorddard Beck RRpicturesarchives.net)|
To model this locomotive, you have a few choices: a expensive OMI brass one (did see one for $300 one time) or the terrible Bachmann one from the 1990's. They even painted one Chessie! Enter Shapeways. Shapeways is the a 3D printing company that's been around for a few years. I accidentally stumbled on a N scale BQ23-7 cab while browsing the Shapeways offerings. Of course this did not help me. I emailed the producer and asked if he planning on making a HO one. He promptly emailed me back that he was. I finally could produce a quality BQ23-7 without a complete scratchbuild or breaking the bank. Atlas produces the B23-7 now so one could be easily made. Shapeways has many different things for the HO modeler like complete freight cars, vehicles and tiny detail parts. Make sure you check out their model trains page. You just might find what your looking for!
|The Shapeways BQ23-7 cab|
|Another view. Primer gray has been added|
|Atlas undecorated B23-7|
|The shell fits right on the shell.|