Based upon the early 1800's Baltimore and Ohio Crab, the Little Engines Crab is a powerful, easy-to-build model that is both inexpensive and unique. Since 1 1/2" scale is gradually becoming the most popular scale, the Crab is an engine that operates on all 1 1/2" club track and, at the same time, will negotiate a 10ft radius curve in a small back yard. It can pull four+ adults and carries enough fuel and water for over a mile of hard running. At 135lbs, the Crab is easily transported and stored. It is also possible to easily convert to a 1" scale operation.
The Crab was used by the B&O railroad as a short wheel base engine designed to negotiate tight radius curves on the Baltimore docks. Most of the Crabs did not have cabs but were open with railings. We chose the less common cab type since we were able to make the cab do double duty as a water tank housing. It does make an interesting model.
The Crab is not only a good machining project, it is also a fine second engine for those times when there is not time or energy to take that large locomotive out. The Crab is unique and for everyone.
Weight (Engine Only)
Bore & Stroke
Drive Wheel Diameter
Minimum Turning Radius
14 1/2 inches
7 1/4, 7 1/2, 4 3/4, and 5 inches
1 3/8 x 3 inches
4 1/4 inches
8 5/8 inch diameter steel
Recommended machinery for building from rough parts:
6 inch swing lathe
milling machine (small)