Skip to content

Cart

Your cart is empty

Article: The Top 5 model trains N scalers want for Christmas!

The Top 5 model trains N scalers want for Christmas!

The Top 5 model trains N scalers want for Christmas!

     Christmas is just around the corner, and if you have an N scale model railroader in your life (or maybe you want to treat yourself for Christmas!), we have a long list of models that are coming out next year that you are going to want to get your orders in for! We encourage everyone to patronize their local hobby shops whenever possible. For those without a BLI reseller within a reasonable proximity, we recommend the following online dealers who regularly and reliably ship BLI products worldwide. You can find the list of dealers near you, here. 

 

5. Cryogenic Tank Car (2 pack or single car)

     The N Scale Cryogenic Tank Cars are a great piece of rolling stock to add to your layout. It not only adds a unique piece of rolling stock, but is sure to catch the eyes of anyone watching your train pass by. Some history about these tank cars, they were used for the transportation of super-cold fluids such as liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon. These tank cars solved the problem of maintaining extremely low temperatures while transporting large quantities of these materials over long distances.


     Curious as to how cold these cars could keep liquid oxygen? How about -297 degrees F. Liquid nitrogen kept at -320 F. And liquid argon at -302 degrees F. These high capacity tank cars could transport more than 15,000 gallons of liquid oxygen--which is about double what any of its predecessors could do.


     If you've got cold liquid gas hauling to do on your railroad, these are the cars for you.

FEATURES:

  • Precision Paint, Color, and Lettering Schemes
  • Many Separately Applied Details including Hand Rails, ladders, brake wheel, roof walkway
  • Beautifully Detailed and Accurately Modeled
  • Precision Paint, Color, and Lettering Schemes
  • Composition: ABS
  • Couplers: (2) Operating MicroTrains Compatible
  • Compatible Tracks: Code 55, 70 and 80 Rail
  • Minimum Operating Radius: 9.75 in

 

4. Stock Cars, (with/without sounds)

     These cars are FUN! These N scale stock Cars come in a variety of different paint schemes and sounds. Plus there's a good mixture of some fantasy schemes too. Each prototypical paint scheme comes with the option of Cattle, Mule, and Sheep sounds. Fantasy Scheme includes Acme Glue, Halloween, Independence Day, and two holiday schemes. 

     Stock cars were used to transport a variety of live animals, such as cattle, mules, horses, as well as hogs sheep and calves. Animal transport was and still is an important revenue stream for many railroads.

     Our stock car model is based off a Pennsylvania Railroad K7A car. Our sound equipped stock cars are equipped with motion-operated on/off technology so that livestock noises can be heard when the train moves or is jostled, just like in real life!

     Note that our holiday-themed cars do not make livestock sounds, but rather play appropriate songs and sounds associated with the holiday. Our Halloween-themed car plays spooky music and sounds randomly as it travels along the track. Our Christmas themed cars play Christmas carols and Santa sounds, and our Independence Day car plays our national anthem and the song Stars & Stripes forever.

FEATURES: 

  • Integrated Motion Activated Sound
  • Authentic Livestock Sounds for Prototypical Cars
  • Intensity of Noises Varies with Motion
  • Sensitivity and Volume are Adjustable with Included Magnet
  • Functions on DC and DCC Layouts (no DCC control)
  • Precision Paint, Color, and Lettering Schemes
  • Accurately Modeled w/ Numerous Separate Details
  • Composition: ABS
  • Couplers: (2) Operating Microtrains-Compatible
  • Compatible Tracks: Code 55, 70, 80
  • Minimum Operating Radius: 9.75 in.

3. USRA Heavy and Light Pacifics

     Next up on our list is the N Scale USRA Heavy and Light Pacifics. We have plenty of these locomotives available and if you want to guarantee yours intime for Christmas, now is the time to order! 

     This is our third production run of USRA Heavy and Light Pacifics. There were 20 original Heavy Pacifics built in 1919 for the USRA program, and all 20 went to Erie Railroad. From 1923, numerous copies were built, and many railroads operated similar locomotives. The Light Pacifics were limited to 54,000 lbs load per axle, versus 60,000 for the Heavy Pacifics, and this allowed the Light Pacifics to run on most main lines.

     Our Heavy and Light models follow the original USRA designs closely. Railroad specific variations are not modeled on these locomotives. Many Pacifics used the same 10,000 gallon tender as the USRA Mikados, and our models uses this 10,000 gallon tender. In addition to some of the prototypical USRA Pacifics, we are also decorating our USRA prototype in attractive paint schemes that similar Pacifics wore for other railroads, as well as a few striking fantasy paint schemes. Our models are available in our Paragon4 Sound/DC/DCC Series, or in our Stealth Series as No-Sound / DCC-Ready models.


Industry-Leading Features:

  • Paragon4 Sound & Operation System featuring ROLLING THUNDER
  • Authentic Sounds and Prototypical Operation in both DC and DCC environments
  • 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
  • Prototypical Light Operation with Golden White LED Headlight
  • Die Cast Boiler Body with Die Cast chassis for Maximum Tractive Effort
  • Traction Tires for Additional Tractive Effort
  • (2) Operating MicroTrains-compatible Couplers
  • Separately Applied Handrails, Ladders, Whistle, and Brass Bell
  • Will Operate on Code 55, 70, and 80 Rail
  • Recommended Minimum Radius: 9.75 inches

 

2. N Scale Reading T1 (with smoke!) 

     N Scalers have spoken and N Scale steam with smoke is a must! These locomotives are newly tooled featuring a diecast metal body and a brand new sound set direct from the prototype. If you'd like to see a video of a pre-production sample with smoke, click here

     The new T-1's entered service between 1945 and 1947 and were used primarily in fast freight service. Their operating territory included most of the Reading system, and they were also used in pool service with the Western Maryland Railway. The first 20 units were equipped for freight service. The last 10 were equipped for passenger service, but still primarily used for freight service.

     The Reading Railroad kept four of the T-1's for an excursion service that they called the Iron Horse Rambles. The plans were for 2100 and 2124 to pull the excursion trains, and they would keep 2101 as a back-up and 2123 as a source of parts. 2123 was scrapped in 1966, and 2124 was replaced by the recently purchased 2102 in 1962. The Iron Horse Ramble excursions last until 1964, and the remaining locomotives were sold in 1965.

     The four T-1's used in the Iron Horse Rambles still survive today. 2101 was famously restored and used to pull the American Freedom Train in the mid-1970's. It was then repainted into the Chessie System livery in 1977 to pull the Chessie Steam Special, an excursion train running to celebrate the 150th birthday of the B&O Railroad. 2102 ran various fan trips for several decades, and is currently owned by the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad and is occasionally brought outside for display. 2124 is currently on display at Steamtown USA in Scranton, PA.

     We are building our first production of Reading T-1 4-8-4 steam locomotives in N scale. We are building three in-service Reading models and three "Iron Horse Ramble" models. We are offering 2101 in the Chessie Steam Special livery and also its later Reading & Northern paint scheme. We are also offering one model in the 1976 American Freedom Train paint, and one model decorated like the Delaware & Hudson #302 locomotive. Finally, we are offering two fantasy paint schemes: one with a unique Christmas theme and a second with a United States Independence Day theme. The two fantasy models will have unique soundsets, and the others will have prototypically accurate Reading T1 Northern sounds.



Industry-leadingModel Features:

  • ALL-NEW 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 continuous heavy load towing and smooth slow speed operation
  • Operating Smoke Unit with On/Off Switch - Note that N scale smoke units require a thin-viscosity smoke fluid such as JT's Mega Steam or Marklin's #02421 smoke fluid
  • Extra Built-in Capacitance for more Consistent Elecrical Pick-up
  • Die Cast Locomotive Body with Die Cast Chassis for Heavier Weight and Maximum Tractive Effort
  • Rubber Tires on One Driver for Additional Tractive Effort
  • Premium Caliber Painting with Prototypically Accurate Paint Schemes and Road Numbers
  • Prototypical Light Operation with Separately Controllable Headlight, Rear Light, and Cab Light
  • Many Separately Applied Details such as Handrails, Ladders, Piping, Whistle, and Bell
  • Operating Microtrains-compatible Couplers
  • Will Operate on Code 55, Code 70, and Code 80 Rail
  • Minimum Operating Radius: 9.75 inches
  • Accurate Prototypical Sounds for Reading T-1 Northern

 1. Union Pacific Late Challenger (with smoke!)

     If the N scaler in your life purchased one of our N Scale Big Boys with smoke, they are going to want to get the Big Boy's sister locomotive, the Challenger! These locomotives will come in Paragon4 sound and feature diecast tooling. The pre-production sample shown here has a plastic body as we were testing and evaluating motor control and other aspects but nonetheless they will have that diecast boiler, chassis and have incredible details. This is a MUST HAVE for Union Pacific fans in N Scale.  

     These locomotives have an incredible history. 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 organization 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.

Notable characteristics:

  • Accurate front end modeling, including an appropriate aftercooler system for each class.
  • Accurate modeling of the 25-C-100 and 25-C-400 tenders, tailored to match each class.
  • An accurately modeled oil tender specific to No. 3985, representing its excursion service.
  • One model featuring Rio Grande lettering and paint.
  • One model featuring Clinchfield lettering and paint.
  • Two unlettered and black painted models—one with wind wings, and one without.

Industry-leading Model 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
  • Operating Smoke Unit with On/Off Switch - Note that N scale smoke units require a thin-viscosity smoke fluid such as JT's Mega Steam or Marklin's #02421 smoke fluid
  • 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

Honorable Mentions:

     If none of those models fit into your N scalers wheelhouse, we have plenty of other models you can place an order for. We have EMD SD40-2's arriving soon. In addition to that, we have EMD SD70ACe's, ES44AC's, AC6000 and EMD E7's, E8's and E9's will all be arriving at various times next year. You can visit our delivery schedule to see when those models will arrive.

 

Until next time, happy holidays and happy railroading! 
-The BLI Team 

 

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

All comments are moderated before being published.

Read more

The Broadway Flyer: November 2023

The Broadway Flyer: November 2023

    Hey everyone! Curtis here from Broadway Limited Imports again, we're back with a BIG edition of The Broadway Flyer! We hope you all had a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving. All of us at BLI...

Read more
Here are 3 New items at add to your layout this holiday season!

Here are 3 New items at add to your layout this holiday season!

Ken Silvestri showcases the latest HO scale, offering a new N Scale steamer and a fun accessory your layout needs! Also Curtis Koch previews some future projects and more.

Read more