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The 4-6-4 steam locomotive is generally referred to as a Hudson locomotive. The real life Hudson locomotives were built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) and the Lima Locomotive Works between 1927 to 1938. These locomotives were primarily sold to the New York Central railroad and the locomotives quickly became known as the Hudson. The name came about because they were a common sight along the Hudson River in New York state -- and eventually throughout the northeastern portion of the United States.

In Lionelville, the Hudson is generally a mid-level steam locomotive, with the exception of the infamous 773 scale-like Hudson from 1950 and 1964. The Hudson was a staple in many 027, O and Super O sets sold between 1950 through 1966.