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 This probably does not deserve to be in this thread as what's going on in my makeshift workspace is just a glorified tire change. But the set of which this unit is part has no fewer than 12 traction tires and getting them all off and on as a practical matter requires removing the body shells:


This is an MTH UP coal turbine 3 unit set (ALCO lead control unit, turbine B unit and tender). In fact this was a conversion of the first conventional Protosound version to PS2, which was done for me by Mike R. and Phil when they were still with TAS. In fact as you might be able to tell from the photo, this conversion put a second sound system in the B unit, which is so much better than the latest and almost certainly last MTH PS3 version that only has sound in the lead unit. I remember it was Phil who suggested installing the extra sound after he took it apart. 

4 motors, 10 powered axles and 3 smoke units call for occasional heavy duty maintenance although this engine, known to my family as "Ol' Smoky" for obvious reasons, is generally only run on ceremonial occasions:


In all the years I have had this, I think I have only had both the powered units apart 3 times and the first of these was right after I got it back from the conversion, when the B unit simply would not start up at all. That turned out to be shipping damage as the front mount of the B unit PS2 board had cracked and the main wiring connector was dislodged. My Heath Robinson repair got it running and it has been reliable ever since.

It does rumble around the track like a giant dinosaur and I have no problem with the fact that the prototype was a failure, largely because trying to burn pulverized coal damaged the turbine. 

(P.S. All evidence of recreational beverages, bottle(s), glassware etc. was removed from the vicinity before the photo was taken!)


Images (2)
  • Ol_Smoky_2018
  • IMG_0643
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