In actual history the AC&Y railroad was merged into the Norfolk & Western railroad in 1964. To quote Wikipedia “In 1964, the former Wabash; Nickel Plate; Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway; and Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad were brought into the system in one of the most complex mergers of the era.” The really cool part is N&W allowed the AC&Y to continue on without any re-imaging of their locos or rolling stock. The AC&Y may have been property of N&W but a casual observer would have never known by watching the trains.
I vividly remember Norfolk & Western locomotives plying the AC&Y rails. Sometimes the N&W locos were black which made them easy to spot. Other times a dark blue N&W loco would come down the tracks. The blue N&W used was very similar in shade to the dark blue AC&Y used. Both had only simple lettering on the side. One had to wait until the train passed by to determine if it was being pulled by N&W or AC&Y power. It seems fitting the N&W should have a token presence on the LK&O. After all, my memories are guiding the construction of the layout and I remember N&W locomotives being there.
I am not certain the locomotives I saw as a kid were EMD SD35 models but then again it doesn’t matter. The SD35s were built during the right time frame and N&W had 80 of them in their roster. It is logical to think a few made their way onto the AC&Y rails. And besides, I like the looks of this unit. Welcome the token N&W motive power on the LK&O!