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Closer view of what I believe to be the last Hess locomotive manufactured before the company closed it’s doors in 1934.
Closer view of the “Red Cliff” locomotive. If this loco was named after the Colorado town of Red Cliff and it’s railway, I am surprised that this loco does not have the uniquely American cow catcher on the front. Hess made toys to ship worldwide and many locomotives shipped to the United States had cowcatchers either added to an existing product or as in the case of the Hess 1023 loco, a cowcatcher that was an intregal part of the frame.
Hess was constantly changing the way they manufactured an item and it is really evident with these two locos. While they appear identical, the loco on the left has a one piece stamped tinplate wheel. The loco on the right has an extremely complex wheel consisting of many pieces that had to be assembled. The amount of time it took for assembly of this wheel made Hess quickly look for a more economical alternative.
The Hess 300 series loco and cars were the next larger size up from the 575 series. As in the past, this loco was made for other manufacturers such as Bing and Carette and possibly others as well. The 300 series loco and cars made for Carette are marked “908” with some also carrying the “GC&Co.” mark. The loco color for Carette was green and rolling stock graphics changed as well.

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