Received my NKP Legacy Bershire yesterday. I unpacked the locomotive today, lubed it, and gave it a test run. To say that this Berk is heads and shoulders over the FlyerChief Berk that I had on loan for a week is an understatement.
1. It's here! At last!
2. Operations, sounds, smoke, and all functions under Legacy control are great. It creeps nicely with the "roll" setting.
3. A very good model, particularly at this price point and for the intended purpose.
4. Operates on Gilbert track just fine. There may be the very occasional Gilbert turnout it does not like, but we are generally OK here.
The nits to pick (for reference for a second production run):
1. The unpainted wire hand rails. I couldn't take it. I got out my Lionel engine black paint and addressed the issue. A perfect match. Ah, much better.
2. Smoke may be too strong. The gradation of smoke levels from 'low' to 'high' with Legacy control could be, well, more gradual.
3. The packaging could stand some improvement, particularly around the front of the model. The scale appearance coupler for the pilot and its tiny attachment screw was not mounted on the pilot properly and fell out of the box. Others have had pilot wheel sets drop out of the pilot. These (correctible) issues along with the unpainted handrails indicate that Lionel still needs to improve its attention to the details and lessen the the tendency for customers to hold their breaths as they open a new Lionel piece (Revised comments).
Overall, a very good job. As I stated a few pages back, I believe the Y3 to be the better piece due to the kinematic drawbar, better spaced gradations in smoke level and speed, and superior fit and finish. But, for the money (for ~$300 less) the Legacy Berk is a success and a shot in the arm just when 'S' needed one.