MTH Pere Marquette #1227 N1 Berkshire 2-8-4 Sm Letter Steam Loco ProtoSound/DC/DCC – 8032911


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The Nickel Plate’s 2-8-4 Berkshires belonged to one of steam’s finest family trees. The first 2-8-4, Lima Locomotive Works A-1, inaugurated the superpower era in 1925. A four-wheel trailing truck allowed the A-1 to have a larger firebox and boiler, producing a combination of power and speed never seen before in a steam locomotive. Initially tested on the Boston and Albany Railroad, the new wheel arrangement was dubbed the Berkshire after the mountain range it conquered on the B&A.

At about the same time, the Van Sweringen brothers of Cleveland, Ohio assembled a group of railroads under their control, including the Chesapeake & Ohio, the Nickel Plate Road, the Pere Marquette, and the Erie Railroad. Under the leadership of talented designer John Black, an Advisory Mechanical Committee was formed to design engines for the Van Sweringen roads. The group turned out some of the finest locomotives of the super power era, and perhaps its crowning achievement was the “Nickel Plate Berk,” a 2-8-4 introduced in 1934 and called by steam historian Eugene Huddleston “the greatest 2-8-4 ever to take to the rails.” Alco won the bid to construct the initial 15 S-Class Berks in 1934. But the Pere Marquette’s 1937 order for near-identical engines went to Lima, which also built subsequent orders in the 1940s for 65 more Nickel Plate 2-8-4s, classes S-1 through S-3. Delivered in 1949, the final engine in the group, No. 779, would also prove to be the last Lima-built steamer.

Engineers as well as railfans loved the 700-series Berkshires for their looks, speed, power, and wonderful sound. As one engineer recalled, “It was a thrill to operate them.” Intended for fast freight, they could also take off with an 18-20 car WWII troop train. After the war, the eighty S-Class steamers played a major role in transforming the Nickel Plate into a highly efficient railroad known for fast speeds and high traffic density. Officially known as the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis, the road offered the shortest route between the Chicago area and Buffalo, with lots of flat, straight track where the Berks could just buckle down and run.

Six of the Nickel Plate engines and two Pere Marquette Berks have survived into preservation. Nickel Plate 765, fresh from a 12-year restoration by the Fort Wayne [Indiana] Railroad Historical Society, appeared last summer at Train Festival 2009 alongside sister Pere Marquette 1225 – the prototype for the locomotive in the movie Polar Express.

The Van Sweringen Berks re-join the M.T.H. lineup in 2020. The Nickel Plate version is modeled as built. While these are not the first HO models of these iconic steamers, we believe they are surely the best, with superb detailing, die cast construction for great pulling power, synchronized puffing smoke, steady speeds down to three scale miles per hour, and great sounds that include the actual bell and whistle from restored No. 765.

Intricately Detailed, Die-Cast Boiler and Chassis
Intricately Detailed, Die-Cast Tender Body
Authentic Paint Scheme
Real Tender Coal Load
Detailed Locomotive Trucks
Handpainted Engineer and Fireman Figures
Metal Handrails and Whistle
RP25 Metal Wheels
Sprung Drivers
(2) #158 Scale Kadee Whisker Couplers
Operating Kadee-Compatible Remote Controlled Proto-Coupler
Prototypical Rule 17 Lighting
Constant Voltage LED Headlight
Operating LED Marker Lights
Operating LED Numberboard Lights
Lighted LED Cab Interior
Operating Tender LED Back-up Light
Powerful 5-Pole Precision Flywheel-Equipped Skew-Wound Motor
Synchronized Puffing ProtoSmoke System
Quillable Steaming Whistle
Locomotive Speed Control In Scale MPH Increments
Wireless Drawbar
1:87 Scale Dimensions
Onboard DCC/DCS Decoder
Operates On Code 70, 83 and 100 Track
Proto-Sound 3.0 With The Digital Command System Featuring Quillable Whistle With Passenger Station Proto-Effects
Unit Measures: 15 3/8″ x 1 1/2″ x 2 1/4″
Operates On 18″ Radius Curves

Steam DCC Features
F0 Head/Tail light
F1 Bell
F2 Horn
F3 Start-up/Shut-down
F5 Lights (except head/tail)
F6 Master Volume
F7 Quillable Steaming Whistle
F8 Rear Coupler
F9 Forward Signal
F10 Reverse Signal
F11 Grade Crossing
F12 Smoke On/Off
F13 Smoke Volume
F14 Idle Sequence 3
F15 Idle Sequence 2
F16 Idle Sequence 1
F17 Extended Start-up
F18 Extended Shut-down
F19 Labor Chuff
F20 Drift Chuff
F21 One Shot Doppler
F22 Coupler Slack
F23 Coupler Close
F24 Single Horn Blast
F25 Engine Sounds
F26 Brake Sounds
F27 Cab Chatter
F28 Feature Reset

Additional information

Weight 80 oz
Dimensions 24 × 7 × 7 in