Thaddeus was soon joined by his brother In 1829, the brothers became involved in a hemp dressing business for which they built the machinery.
Though this business was unsuccessful, if gave rise to another invention by Thaddeus: the platform scale.
While its opposed-piston engine design was not as successful in locomotive application as with marine ships its locomotives were nevertheless revolutionary for their time, so revolutionary that it would take twenty years after the builder’s exit from the market for railroads to become interested in similar models!
Today the builder, now owned by En Pro Industries, continues to build marine engines as well as those for other applications.
Like nearly all of the Fairbanks-Morse locomotives (for many of the same reasons), sadly the Train Master was far too ahead of its time as railroads in the 1950s were not looking for locomotives with such power and ultimately only a little more than 100 units were ever sold.
With only marginal success with its diesel designs, complaints by some that its OP locomotive engines were troublesome to maintain and a market that was saturated with builders from (early on) Baldwin-Lima, EMD, Alco and later General Electric, Fairbanks-Morse decided to cut its losses and exit the locomotive market in 1958 after which time it again focused primarily on its marine and other engine designs.
After a few early trial designs (such as a railcar built for the Southern Railway) the builder began taking orders for its own locomotive line in the 1940s.
The H10-44, A Strong Sales Performer The H12-44 Switcher, FM's Bestseller The H15-44, The Light Road-Switcher The H16-44, FM's Most Successful Road-Switcher The H20-44, A Compact, High Horsepower Model The Six-Axle H16-66, "Baby Train Master" The Powerful H24-66, "Train Master," Too Far Ahead Of Its Time The "Erie Builts," FM's Passenger Model The Consolidated Line, " For more information about FM locomotives please click here.
Below is more information about each FM model type, number built, and horsepower.
The first of these were built in the 1940s and known as simply the “Erie” line because of their carbody design lineage by General Electric at its Erie, Pennsylvania plant.