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Article: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: N Scale Late Challengers, HO Scale AT&SF Berkshires, and HO Scale ES44AC

NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: N Scale Late Challengers, HO Scale AT&SF Berkshires, and HO Scale ES44AC

NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: N Scale Late Challengers, HO Scale AT&SF Berkshires, and HO Scale ES44AC

Introducing Broadway Limited Imports' newest steam locomotive in N scale, the Union Pacific Late Challenger! N Scalers have been asking for more steam, and we are excited to bring these! 



Between 1936 and 1944, the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) constructed a total of 105 Challengers in five classes for the Union Pacific. These locomotives were approximately 122 ft (37 m) long and weighed 537 short tons (487 tonnes). While primarily used for freight service across the Union Pacific system, a few were also assigned to passenger trains like the Portland Rose. The design and operational experience of the Challengers played a crucial role in shaping the renowned Big Boy locomotive type, which, in turn, influenced the design of the last three orders of Challengers.

The Challengers boasted several technical breakthroughs that contributed to their success. Operating with a high boiler pressure of 280 lbf/in2, a feature typically reserved for passenger locomotives such as the FEF Series, they sported 69-inch drivers—impressive mammoth wheels typically found on passenger locomotives. Most freight engines required smaller wheels to generate the necessary torque. Surpassing speeds of 60 miles per hour, which was unprecedented for most other railroads using articulated steam locomotives, became a regular occurrence on the Union Pacific.

During Union Pacific's fourth order in 1943, ALCO built thirty-one locomotives adhering to the same specifications. However, due to the War Production Board's intervention, six completed locomotives were diverted to the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad through a lease facilitated by the War Department's Defense Plant Corporation. These locomotives, numbered 3900-3905, formed the Rio Grande's Class L-97. Later, in 1947, they were sold to the Clinchfield Railroad and renumbered as 670–675, becoming the Clinchfield's Class E-3. Unfortunately, these six Challengers were eventually retired in 1953.

Among the surviving Challengers, Union Pacific No. 3985 stands out. Restored by the Union Pacific in 1981, it operated in excursion service as part of the heritage fleet program. Recently, it was donated to the Railroading Heritage of Midwest America in 2022, where it is currently undergoing a second restoration. The only other surviving Challenger, UP No. 3977, is on display in North Platte, Nebraska.

Broadway Limited Imports' first production run of Challengers features the following notable characteristics:

  • Paragon4 Sound & Control System featuring ROLLING THUNDER
  • Integral Dual-Mode Decoder with Back EMF for Superb Slow Speed Operation in DC and DCC
  • Precision Drive Mechanism Engineered for Heavy Towing and Smooth Slow Speed Operation
  • Operating Smoke Unit with On/Off Switch
  • Six Drivers and All Tender Wheels Pick-up Electricity from Track
  • Die Cast Locomotive Body with Die Cast Chassis for Heavier Weight and Maximum Tractive Effort
  • Rubber Tires on Two Drivers for Additional Tractive Effort
  • Premium Caliber Painting
  • Prototypically Accurate Paint Schemes and Road Numbers
  • Many Separately Applied Details such as Handrails, Grab Irons, Piping, Tender Ladders, Whistle, and Bell
  • Prototypical Headlight and Rear Light Operation
  • Separately Controllable Cab Light
  • Prototypically Accurate Sounds for the Union Pacific Challenger
  • Operating Microtrains-compatible Couplers
  • Will Operate on Code 55, Code 70, and Code 80 Rail
  • Minimum Operating Radius: 9.75 inches


Each model is equipped with Broadway Limited Imports' Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC sound system, complete with smoke and integral GoPack capacitors.

Additionally, apart from the Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC sound models, Broadway Limited Imports offers these locomotives as part of our Stealth series. These models, known as No-Sound / DCC-Ready, operate on DC straight out of the box. Alternatively, modelers can easily install their preferred DCC decoder. The front and rear lights are directional by default, and other lights are always illuminated with track power. However, certain lighting features may be dependent on the aftermarket decoder chosen by the modeler.

These models are expected to arrive in the Spring of 2024, with an order deadline of November 16th, 2023.


Last month we announced the B&M Berkshire locomotives coming to HO Scale. Our first 2-8-4 type to be made by BLI. 

When we made the announcement many customers asked about other variants of the locomotive and we are pleased to announce that the Santa Fe version of the Boston & Maine T1a and T1b 2-8-4 Berkshire locomotives will be coming soon. 

During World War II, the Santa Fe needed more locomotives to assist in hauling freight across the country. While the railroad would’ve preferred the EMD FT diesels, diesel motors were going primarily to marine applications to win the war.

Santa Fe ended up purchasing seven T1a’s and the railroad placed them into service to the Missouri Division. They also were the only Lima locomotives on the AT&SF’s roster. Shortly after arrival, Santa Fe crews quickly understood the frustration B&M crews faced with these locomotives as derailments were often reported in backing with this design. The trailing truck wheels were 36” and 45” in diameter. Locomotive

In our first production, we are offering models of four fully decorated T1a's.  AT&SF 4193 will feature the main driver spoked, per the prototype. AT&SF 4194, 4195, and 4196 will have disk main driver as the locomotives received those by the end of 1948. Our models have die cast locomotive and tender bodies for maximum weight and tractive effort.  Each model comes with our Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC sound system with synchronized puffing smoke and integral GoPack capacitors.   

In addition to the Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC sound models, we are also offering these locomotives as part of our Stealth series. These are No-Sound / DCC-Ready models that operate on DC out of the box, or a modeler can easily install their DCC decoder of choice.  Out of the box, front and rear lights are directional, and other lights are always illuminated with track power.  Additionally, some lighting may be missing depending on selected aftermarket decoder the modeler installs.  See below for additional model features. 

Industry-leading Model Features:

  • ALL-NEW Paragon4 Sound & Control System
  • Synchronized Puffing Smoke with Chuff Sound
  • Variable Puffing Smoke Intensity and timing
  • Integral DCC Decoder with Back EMF for Industry Best Slow Speed Operation in DC and DCC
  • Precision Drive Mechanism engineered for continuous heavy load towing and smooth slow speed operation
  • 5-Pole Can Motor with Skew Wound Armature
  • Heavy Die Cast Boiler, Tender Body, and Chassis for Increased Tractive Effort
  • Premium Caliber Painting with Authentic Paint Scheme
  • Separately Controllable Headlight, Reverse Light, Cab Light, Front Marker Lights, and Rear Marker Lights (T1b only)
  • Factory-installed Engineer and Fireman Figures
  • Optional Piping Shroud (sometimes present above walkway near cab) will be included in box with model.
  • Prototypically Accurate Details for Each Road Number
  • Many Separately Applied Details such as Handrails, Ladders, Piping, Cab Glass, Whistle, Brass Bell, Markers, Numberboards, Air Tanks, and Many Others
  • Equipped with Rubber Traction Tires for Increased Pulling Power
  • Recommended Minimum Radius: 18 inches
  • Accurate Prototypical Sounds for the Boston & Main Berkshire locomotives

Like the N scale Challengers, these are expected to arrive sometime in Spring 2024, with an order deadline set for October 5th, 2023. 

Our final locomotive in this announcement is the HO Scale ES44AC. 

These six-axle, 4400 HP locomotives were manufactured by General Electric from 2002 to 2019, with a total production exceeding 3,700 units. Presently, they are in service on every Class I railroad in North America.

In 2024, we are introducing models of the ES44AC in a variety of paint schemes never before produced by us. This includes heritage units from the Canadian National and Iowa Interstate, as well as Norfolk Southern and CSX. Additionally, we are offering the Canadian Pacific "Saint John Express" unit, along with several fantasy paint schemes that adapt older railroad liveries to the modern ES44AC diesel body. All of our models are equipped with our new Paragon4 DC/DCC Sound and Control system featuring Rolling Thunder, and they come with integral GoPack capacitor packs. Each model boasts road-specific details and lighting.

List of individually controllable lights in our GE ES44AC models:

  • Headlight
  • Rear Light
  • Cab Light
  • Numberboard Lights
  • Front Ditch Lights

Industry-leadingModel Features:

  • Paragon4 Sound & Control System featuring ROLLING THUNDER
  • Integral Dual-Mode Decoder with Back EMF for Superb Slow Speed Operation in DC and DCC
  • Precision Drive Mechanism Engineered for Heavy Towing and Smooth Slow Speed Operation
  • All Wheel Electrical Pick-up
  • ABS Body with Die Cast Chassis for Maximum Tractive Effort
  • Premium Caliber Painting
  • Prototypically Accurate Paint Schemes and Road Numbers
  • Many Separately Applied Details such as Handrails, Grab Irons, Horn, Bell, Wipers, and Etched Metal Grills
  • Prototypical Light Operation - accurate for each paint scheme
  • Prototypically Accurate Sounds for the GE ES44AC Diesel Locomotive
  • Metal Kadee-compatible Couplers (2)
  • Will Operate on Code 70, Code 83, and Code 100 Rail
  • Minimum Operating Radius: 18 inches

Just like the Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC models with smoke, these locomotives are also available in our Stealth series.

 

1 comment

I’m glad to see you guys putting out more locomotives for everybody to enjoy. But two I would like to see and steam is a ho version of the set of southern Pacific type 4-10-2s

And a limit run of the Santa Fe 2-10-4 #5000 madam Queen in brass

Kevin harper

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