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Thank you for the link, Chuck.

Well, there is a new boiler casting and the tender casting now has a recess to place a 'real' coal load. They did not do a very good job of eliminating the parting lines in the boiler casting before painting.  My big concern continues to be in operations and final execution. Lionel has a history with Flyer of getting things right in the second production run. I'd be much more comfortable seeing a video with sound of an advanced near complete sample in operation.

Wait and see for me.

Respectfully,

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

Just a reminder:  The American Flyer Facebook page allows one to view without joining.  You just can't comment or otherwise participate.

I'm not on FB and was able to view the photos.

Rusty

Really?  My browser (or FaceCrap) wouldn't allow me to see more than 1 second before it informed me that I needed to be on FaceCrap. 

Chuck,

Thanks for posting the photos!  It's more than I would ever expect from Lionel.  I'd prbably get one when (and if) it comes out, but it will more than likely come with more electornics than I'd want.

@poniaj posted:

Really?  My browser (or FaceCrap) wouldn't allow me to see more than 1 second before it informed me that I needed to be on FaceCrap. 

Chuck,

Thanks for posting the photos!  It's more than I would ever expect from Lionel.  I'd prbably get one when (and if) it comes out, but it will more than likely come with more electornics than I'd want.

I'm using Firefox and it works just fine.  When the Pop-Up shows itself, just click on the "Not Now" at the bottom of to Pop-Up, it retreats and you can scroll around.  It may pop again if you spend a lot of time there:

Some groups, like the S Scale FB Group have disabled this feature.

Rusty

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Last edited by Rusty Traque
Well, some of us are on dial-up, and Facebook and dial-up do not play together, not even "well," so these posted photos are greatly appreciated. Yes, I even have a facebook account from the days before they "upgraded" their system some year ago and left dial-up behind. Broadband is not yet everywhere, yet we are definitely treated as second-class folks! Supposedly they are putting in some fiber optic cables in this area so I should be able to have broadband in a few months. . . ??? 37k "speed" is getting very old here.

I have two on order. I hope there are a lot of separately applied parts.

Gunny, sorry to hear about your non working Berkshires. I bought a first run edition and ran it for three months with no issues. When Lionel originally cancelled the Legacy Berks I had the FlyerChief version converted to TMCC. It is a daily runner on the layout, so far no issues.

Ukaflyer,

The following is a list of failures

Erie-Returned twice both times for board failure

Southern Returned twice first for board failure second time it quit and they sent a different one

Southern The one they sent broke off a connecting rod screw after 1 hours running. I have yet to call for a return authorization because of the shut down.

NKP Front pilot broke

Polar express smoke unit and board failure

NKP #2 board failure

All the engines EAT traction tires after a few hours running on Fastrack or S helper track. The quality is not in these engines.

I will be buying any new engines from AMERICA MODELS. I have five from Ron and they all are flawless and they have been test run before they ship them to you with a lifetime warranty.

Gunny

@Brendan posted:

Good.  Now they can concentrate on the tooling for the next most popular loco, the BL2.

Brendan

You mean, like this one? 

Serious or not, it would be cool.  But there's not a lot of room inside for Lionel's high end electronics that a lot of guys want.   BTW, this one is my Bill's Train House kit I assembled in 2004.  With an all but bullet proof AM drive mechanism,  it's still running great.  I can even swap in a set of scale wheels for operation on a scale layout.  The only electronics inside is a Dalee reverse unit for AC use and a DPDT switch to allow DC operation if desired.

Still,  I can't deny that the Berk looks pretty good...

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@poniaj posted:

You mean, like this one? 

Serious or not, it would be cool.  But there's not a lot of room inside for Lionel's high end electronics that a lot of guys want.   BTW, this one is my Bill's Train House kit I assembled in 2004.  With an all but bullet proof AM drive mechanism,  it's still running great.  I can even swap in a set of scale wheels for operation on a scale layout.  The only electronics inside is a Dalee reverse unit for AC use and a DPDT switch to allow DC operation if desired.

Still,  I can't deny that the Berk looks pretty good...

BL2's are definitely cool, but Lionel doesn't have one in O, so you won't see it in Flyer.

Let's see the Legacy Berk delivered before we start fantasizing about what Lionel's not going to make next. 

Rusty

BL2's are definitely cool, but Lionel doesn't have one in O, so you won't see it in Flyer.

Let's see the Legacy Berk delivered before we start fantasizing about what Lionel's not going to make next. 

Rusty

Nice BL2, Jerry.  Your paint skills?  I say it tongue in cheek, but I do love me some BL2.  I have the BTS version, but still need it painted in Monon livery.  My serious wish list would start with an SD40-2.  

Brendan

@Brendan posted:

Nice BL2, Jerry.  Your paint skills?  I say it tongue in cheek, but I do love me some BL2.  I have the BTS version, but still need it painted in Monon livery.  My serious wish list would start with an SD40-2.  

Brendan

Brendan,

Thanks.  I did the painting myself and also had to have the C&O script custom made.  Stripes are stripes.  And as soon as I was finished with mine, commercial decals were made available.  Story of my modeling life.  I also did a few other C&O BL-2s for other guys, but am out of the custom painting business.  It wasn't worth my time since I wasn't getting any of my own projects done. 

I wanted to answer off list, but couldn't find an email address for you.  Sorry, rest of the list....

I downloaded the product manual for the Legacy Berk and read through it looking for mention of the Kadee coupler compatibility that was originally to be included. I couldn't finds any reference in text or on the diagrams. I have a feeling this feature will not make it to production which will be very disappointing. 

Last edited by jonnyspeed

Had Lionel offered the legacy SD40-2 in S I would most likely still be there in S with you all.  It was my most wanted locomotive.  I have many in O now.  I can’t resist them.  I spend a pretty good amount of disposable income every year on trains, and I wanted it to go to S, now it’s just a bit of a dabble in the S waters for me.  Oh....if only the S gauge/scale SD40-2 would have come true.  

Ben

@jonnyspeed posted:

I downloaded the product manual for the Legacy Berk and read through it looking for mention of the Kadee coupler compatibility that was originally to be included. I couldn't finds any reference in text or on the diagrams. I have a feeling this feature will not make it to production which will be very disappointing. 

Kadee mounting holes or bracket are not listed in the catalog feature sidebar, either.  Nor was it listed in the 2018 V1 catalog.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque
@Chuck K posted:

I sure hope that's not true. We were specifically told on this forum by Lionel that these would have Kadee mounting pads.

You are right, Chuck.  Here's the quote from the thread:

"Now onto the tender:

The tender has many separately applied grab irons. There are also separate steps, ladder, and coupler cut bar. There's a working backup light. The hatches on the tender deck do not open; the volume pot will be accessible from the bottom. The bottom has the track IR and a few separate details. It will have mounting for a scale coupler. Lastly, it'll have a separate coal load like the O Scale steamer."

The thread is at https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ire-information-2018

Thanks, Mike A.

@Chuck K posted:

FB_IMG_1591452349706FB_IMG_1591452345813FB_IMG_1591452341955FB_IMG_1591452336977FB_IMG_1591452331642FB_IMG_1591452325868FB_IMG_1591452317726FB_IMG_1591452309868

The pictures look great, and glad to hear they have gone to production.
I have a 1st generation Polar Express, and a 2nd generation Southern.
My Polar Express has pulled 8-16 cars around our 26X36 Club layout 5 days a week, 3-4 hours a day  for multiple years and is still running. The only issues I have had are same as others, the lights in the passenger cars, and the wires on the locomotive pickups. Both problems caused by short stiff wiring jobs. Once these were fixed with more flexible wires all have run quite well.
Looking forward to the NKP Legacy Berk I have on order.
Aflyer

In an earlier "Dave and Ryan" video, Dave Olson mentioned that the Legacy Berkshire had Mars light that would light/fade/light/fade in a simulation of an oscillating light. The 2018 and 2020 catalogues show that only the American Railroads #759 has the Mars light, but the Nickel Plate #765 did have such a light for a good portion of its life. The restored version today no longer has the light. However, there have been a few Lionel O gauge Nickel Plate #765 releases that did include the light and a number that have not. I'm hoping that the American Flyer version of the Nickel Plate does include the light in addition to the American Railroads #759 and that Dave was not referring to just one of the Berkshire offerings. I remember the NKP Berkshires running near my house with both of those massive lights ablaze.

@TOKELLY posted:

In an earlier "Dave and Ryan" video, Dave Olson mentioned that the Legacy Berkshire had Mars light that would light/fade/light/fade in a simulation of an oscillating light. The 2018 and 2020 catalogues show that only the American Railroads #759 has the Mars light, but the Nickel Plate #765 did have such a light for a good portion of its life. The restored version today no longer has the light.

The prototype 765 currently does have it's Mars light.  As I recall, it was reinstalled in 2016.

Here she is on the Joliet Rocket in 2018:

Rusty

Around 2014 Lionel offered an O gauge Nickel Plate Berkshire that came with the single headlight installed and a second boiler front with the Mars light installed. It required some tricky "surgery" to remove the boiler front, remove the headlight, insert the headlight into the second boiler front, reinstall the Mars light boiler front, and connect/reconnect the wires tucked into the boiler. Lionel was supposed to explain how this was done, but Eric's Trains posted a Youtube video showing how do do it properly. Eric's Trains Mars Light Installation

I doubt the S gauge version would include a second boiler face, so I'm hopeful that Dave Olson was referring to a Nickel Plate #765 complete with the warning light. That light made quite an impression on a 10-year old kid when those locomotives were running at night--especially on a foggy night.

Any update from Dave on the apparently missing Kadee mounting pads? Wonder what other changes were made? I was told a year ago by a knowledgeable member of the NASG that there were several changes made and we would not be getting the model as previously described by Dave. Time will tell I guess as they are supposed to ship in Sept. Anyone want to buy my Erie if it doesn't live up to the original billing?

I hope you have better luck with yours then I am having with my six Flyerchief versions! I just got three back from Lionel (sent back in February) two work fine the third has a loose pilot wheel axle.

They had to replace a complete frame on one and trailng truck assemblys on two. The three all required new boards. I hope my American Models pacific engines come in soon.

Gunny

I called the Concord mall store last week and he told me he could have RP&P Legacy Birk in the store in 4 days if wanted to order it. (They were in the warehouse located at a different location.)  Since I had order one thru the Rail yard in Roanoke VA.  I decided to wait and get it thru the Rail Road.............I,m still waiting..#$@%$#@

 

So Kids(😉), Who will be the first to post pictures, videos, a review, Or all three, of the new S Scale/gauge Lionel American Flyer Legacy Berkshire steam Engine? The dream comes True!!

This has to be one of the most anticipated S .gauge releases ever, especially since the demise of MTH(S Helper/Showcase Line)! Now we can only cross our cumulative fingers And hope it is a signal of things to come(listen up American Models) and Not the sunsetting on S gauge......  🤞🤞🤞

Laurin

 

@FlyerRich posted:

Berk 1Berk 2Berk 3

The C&O arrived. I'm definitely disappointed with the location of the headlight based on the original Dave Olson drawings but the rest seems well done at first glance. Can't run it at the moment.

Probably because the 2697 was an ex-Pere Marquette locomotive and I don't believe the C&O lowered the headlights on the ex-PM 2-8-4's.  I think this was brought up when the CAD drawings were first published.

It'll be interesting to see if the NKP 765 version gets the Mars light like the AR 759 is supposed to have.

Rusty

 

Last edited by Rusty Traque

That turned out pretty decent. That's not a bad example of an AMC Berk at all. Comparing the model to the photos of the real C&O 2697 looks like they got most of the main features correct or really close. I think it passes the "good enough" eyeball test. 

Can you flip the tender over and take a photo of the coupler area please? Wondering if they did the Kadee mounting pad or not.  Hopefully it has the NKP 765 RailSounds file with 4 chuffs per rev.

Patiently waiting on my Erie and NKP to be delivered.

Thanks.

@Chuck K posted:

Unfortunately, those holes are not for a coupler box as promised by Lionel on this Forum. Looks like I'll be modifying mine like I did to my Flyonel Y-3.

These came with the metal bracket and screws for attaching the scale coupler. Highlighted in green. The mounting holes are seen in the die-cast part of the rear of the tender.

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@Dave Olson posted:

These came with the metal bracket and screws for attaching the scale coupler. Highlighted in green. The mounting holes are seen in the die-cast part of the rear of the tender.

Sorry Dave.  I should have waited until I received mine.  After I ordered mine, I became aware that this feature was not listed in the catalogue, and so I have been anticipating that these would come without scale coupler adaptability.  I am delighted to see that the catalogue was wrong and the originally promised adaptability is there.

@Dave Olson posted:

These came with the metal bracket and screws for attaching the scale coupler. Highlighted in green. The mounting holes are seen in the die-cast part of the rear of the tender.

Credit where credit is due... Thanks for following through Dave. This model turned out better than expected. I have two on order and I think I might add a couple more. Is it too early to talk about the next Legacy scale model? After seeing this model, I say bring it on!

@jonnyspeed posted:

The only thing I don't quite get is why the shiny handrails? Pretty sure they should be black. Easy fix though so not a big deal.

I had the same thought. The other feature that would have been useful is an extendable (kinematic) drawbar like the one on the Y3. Given features and appearance, it would appear that the Y3 remains the best AF steam engine ever done by Lionel.  However, the Legacy Berk is less costly. Someone should post about the Berk's performance - how well it runs and sounds. I have a Nickle Plate Road 765 coming and, like many of you, am looking forward to receiving and operating it.

Enjoy!

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck
@Bob Bubeck posted:

I had the same thought. The other feature that would have been useful is an extendable drawbar like the one on the Y3. Given features and appearance, it would appear that the Y3 remains the best AF steam engine ever done by Lionel.  However, the Legacy Berk is less costly. Someone should post about the Berk's performance - how well it runs and sounds. I have a Nickle Plate Road 765 coming and, like many of you, am looking forward to receiving and operating it.

Enjoy!

Bob

I should have mine by Fri or Sat. If nobody else has posted a video by then I'll shoot one and post it.

@richabr posted:

Got mine today. The detail difference is as expected. A few comparison pics.

A lot of added detail in the pilot.

Coal and rivet detail in addition to wire handrails.

A nice job by Lionel, can't wait to run it in the future.

Rich

A stark contrast for sure.  Delighted to see that the Legacy brand is being upheld by the detail on this one.

 I picked up the Nickel Plate Berkshire from Charles Ro yesterday. I was hoping it had the Mars light and a bit disappointed that it did not. This was on feature that Dave Olson had mentioned as being particularly cool when the locomotive was running and what I remember seeing as a kid when they blasted through Hobart, Indiana. The locomotive is packed tightly in its case and "locked in" with gray blocks to keep it and the tender from moving around in the slightest. Once the locomotive was out of the box, I noticed a tiny screw and a black plastic coupler in the styrofoam tray. Because neither was in the small plastic pouch containing two spare traction tires and the scale coupler bracket, I assumed the the screw was loose and fell of the front. The screw seemed to be magnetic, which made it a bit easier to reinstall. The unpainted shiny hand rails made the locomotive and tender seem more toylike, but as Jonathan points out, they can be painted.

The tender was to get a Kadee scale coupler installed, but the screw holding the large electro-coupler was accessible only when the body of the tender was removed. Even when I removed the body, the rear tender truck would not rotate enough to see the screw . A c-clamp holds the truck shaft through the frame, and this is hard to remove while being careful not to damage the wires from the truck through the shaft to the circuit boards on the tender frame. The electro-coupler came off easily, but its plug to the circuit board is too thick to pass through the truck shaft--I had to cut the wires to completely remove the coupler and its plug. 

The Kadee scale bracket comes with six screws: two for attaching the Kadee coupler to the bracket, two longer screws to attach the bracket to the body of the tender, and two shorter screws for the same attachment. The longer screws extend beyond the tender frame and are visible, so the shorter screws are the ones to use. (In my packet there was only one small screw and three long screws. Someone miscounted.) The bracket screw holes did not line up exactly with the holes in the tender. (Flyerrich's photo of the bottom of the tender shows two plugged holes that may have been a correction to a mistake in alignment. Although visible on the bottom of the tender, they do not appear on the surface.) I had to bend the bracket slightly to get it to match up with the holes on the tender.

The coal in the tender is held together and to the body with a yellowish glue. One corner of the coal load had lifted slightly from the body, but an easy push put it back in place. There were a few strands of the glue that lay across the edge of the coal pile, resting on the side of the tender. I lifted those with a tweezers to pull them off.

Once I placed the locomotive on the track, it did not respond to DC current, either forward or backward. (The Y-3 2-8-8-2 sometimes balks at DC forward but always responds to DC reverse.)  Turning power on/off, forward/reverse, increasing voltage to 14 volts--nothing got any movement. I then programmed the locomotive for the Legacy format and tried the Legacy control. The locomotive responded immediately. In fact, the response was a bit faster than I expected until I set momentum to high. Slow speed operation either forward or backward was excellent. The sound level was at its maximum volume setting, so I turned it down a half rotation. Setting the train brake slider on the left of the Cab controller to make the locomotive labor more, as if pulling a heavy load, brought out laboring sounds more noticeably than any of the other American Flyer Legacy steam locomotives.  The bell was that standard sound, but the whistle was marvelous--quite a bit different from the Challenger, Mikado, or Y-3 and just what I remembered as a kid when that sound alerted my brother and me to race on our bikes to see/feel/smell those Berkshires pound through the nearest rail crossing. There are brake sounds when the locomotive is brought to a halt rather quickly, but not when slowing down at a more practical rate. No more "elephant squeel" at any reduction in speed.

I put the programmed Berkshire back on the track to try DC power again, and it now responded to the controls. The Y-3 "woke up" at about 5 volts, but the Berkshire needed about 7 volts to light up and react to more voltage to move.

In the styrofoam case there is a plastic smoke fluid funnel and a metal wrench for removing drive rod screws if the traction tires ever need replacing. The explanation for this tool is on page 31 of the manual. This is a nice touch that Lionel included and should have emphasized as an additional feature.

The paint and detailing are first rate, as usual on Legacy models. The builder's plate is fully legible under a microscope, and there is added--not molded--piping everywhere across the boiler. The cab bulkhead is highly detailed and much more visible in this model than the equally detailed Challenger with its back doors closed.

I have to say I was initially disappointed with the lack of a Mars light, and then the small flaws I encountered. It's natural to compare the Legacy Berkshire to the previous Legacy steam engines and find a few deficiencies--until one reminds himself that the Berkshire is nearly half the price, is as fully detailed, and is designed to work on TMCC, Legacy, AC, DC, and DCC. It is a wonderful addition to our scale--a fully loaded steam locomotive that costs the same as a Legacy diesel! Lionel has done a great job with this one.  

I received my American railroads version today.  It arrived with a wheel in the pilot hanging loose, but I was able to snap it back in.  It has the Mars light which is very cool.  This, the cab detail and lights and the whistle are my favorite features.

Like TOKELLY, I installed a scale coupler.   I removed the tender shell (6 screws), unclamped the C clamp holding the rear truck on, unscrewed the electro coupler from the truck, and unplugged the wire connector from the circuit board.  As TOKELLY mentioned, the electro coupler’s wire connector will not fit through the hole in the chassis where the truck attaches, but instead of cutting the wires, I pulled them out of the connecter so they could be snapped back in (I sell these on ebay).

I also had to bend the coupler pad bracket because it does not fit the hole locations in the tender.

I had a lot of trouble trying to program it in Legacy.  Eventually I got it to take the number ID I was trying to assign.  The problem is it doesn’t respond reliably to my Legacy signal.  I have to try repeatedly to get it to start up or shut down, the speed control is all over the place, and I have no control over the smoke volume or forward/reverse.  I tried one of my other Legacy locos just to make sure something hasn’t gone haywire, but it ran fine.  So the Berk will have to be sent in for service, but I will run it for several hours first to see if any other issues arise before shipping it off to Concorde. 

The good news is that I then ran it with DCC, and it ran perfectly.

Here’s a video and pictures.

https://youtu.be/fDktULNZ8Mc

 

20200924_12121020200924_12122120200924_12122420200924_121239

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@Chuck K posted:

I had a lot of trouble trying to program it in Legacy.  Eventually I got it to take the number ID I was trying to assign.  The problem is it doesn’t respond reliably to my Legacy signal.  I have to try repeatedly to get it to start up or shut down, the speed control is all over the place, and I have no control over the smoke volume or forward/reverse. 

The good news is that I then ran it with DCC, and it ran perfectly.

Chuck, do the Flyer's use the handrails as antennas like the O gauge Steam.  What you described sound a bit like one of the handrails may be grounding itself to the loco.  Maybe check that all spacers/grommets are in place?

Just a thought since you say it does run fine on DCC

@EscapeRocks posted:

Chuck, do the Flyer's use the handrails as antennas like the O gauge Steam.  What you described sound a bit like one of the handrails may be grounding itself to the loco.  Maybe check that all spacers/grommets are in place?

Just a thought since you say it does run fine on DCC

I am not sure. I have two other AF Legacy steamers, but I have never taken the boiler shell off to see.  I do suspect it is an antenna issue though. I may get antsy and remove the shell to see if it is anything obvious, but the warranty can be pretty easily voided if you mess with them too much.

I got my American Railroad Berk today.  Chuck did a great job with photos so I won't go into appearance except to say that is a magnificent engine to look at.  The detail is so much better than the FlyerChief engine, which I still like.

When I got mine out of the box the front truck wheels/axle and the clips that hold them were out of the truck.  I put them back in and tried to address the engine.  It shorted out.  Since this wheel set picks up power from the track and one wheel is insulated I reversed the wheels and the short went away.

The engine ran perfectly after that using my Legacy control.  The most amazing thing is its smoke output.  I had it on low and it put out more smoke than any Fl;yonel engine I have had.  The directions say to start with 20 drops by-the-way.    

Great Job Lionel!!!!

I was a little concerned about the sound of the whistle.  It sounds a little too high to my ears, but after checking a couple of YouTubes, I'm guessing it's more the acoustics of the tender rather than the actual sound sample.

Over all, this appears to be a fine locomotive, second to the Y3.  Several others have mentioned features that would have brought the Berk up to the Y3's level, but this Berk is nothing to sneeze at.

Any yes, blackening the handrails make a good thing even better.

My LHS is sort of at the bottom of the distributor's list so it may be a week or two before mine shows up.

Rusty

I have ridden the 765 many times. Trust me when I say that the whistle is spot on! It isn’t my favorite whistle if I’m honest, but it is very accurate. Lionel has a really good recording. I will be taking a look at the speaker when I’m installing the Kadee, but overall I am extremely pleased with the sound package, and anyone that knows me knows that I am a sound snob.

Also, remember that this test is on a hardwood table which brightens and reflects the sound. On a layout with scenery it sounds a little less sharp.  

Here is a video I shot a few years ago when she came to town

 

Last edited by jonnyspeed

Jonathan: I had to turn the volume down a notch with the Legacy because it was to loud.  The speaker is adequate.

Rusty: You and your Y3.  My Y3 has problems with it's smoke unit and screws keep falling out.  You might even like the Berk better when yours gets there.

Headlights: I looked up the real engine for the 759 American Railroads engine and there were 3. So Lionel got it kind of right with 2.

  

Jonathan: I had to turn the volume down a notch with the Legacy because it was to loud.  The speaker is adequate.

Rusty: You and your Y3.  My Y3 has problems with it's smoke unit and screws keep falling out.  You might even like the Berk better when yours gets there.

Headlights: I looked up the real engine for the 759 American Railroads engine and there were 3. So Lionel got it kind of right with 2.

  

Same here Bill. It was so loud it actually hurt my ears this is about 50-60% volume.

 

Rusty: You and your Y3.  My Y3 has problems with it's smoke unit and screws keep falling out.  You might even like the Berk better when yours gets there.

Geeze, Bill.  You make it sound like a crime that I think the Y3 is the bee's knees....  Sorry if you had problems with your Y3, mine has had no problems.

The Y3 has two major things going for it that make it a cut above: The kinematic drawbar that keeps the tender nice and close and proper graphite paint instead of the gray Lionel is currently using.  And just for grins, make it three things...  I'll also throw in blackened handrails.

I have no doubt I'll enjoy my Berk when it comes in.  I'll probably deal with the gray paint and handrails after I get settled in my new digs.


Headlights: I looked up the real engine for the 759 American Railroads engine and there were 3. So Lionel got it kind of right with 2.

  

Three headlights????  While the 759 (and 765) have a pair of sealed beam lamps in the Pyle headlight casing, it's still considered one headlight.

The other light is not a headlight but a Mars light, a signal/safety light that operates in a figure-eight pattern, operates independently of the headlight and was not always illuminated.

Rusty

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Last edited by Rusty Traque

I noticed in Chuck's video that the flickering light in the cab is easily visible, and it shows up very well in mine. The cab is very open. When the light is on, the painted gauges are easy to see; and when the light is off and the layout is darker, it certainly looks like a fire sits in front of the two crew members. This is the first time I've really appreciated the "flickering" effect in an American Flyer steam engine.

The handrails are now black, and the locomotive looks like a serious model. I still miss the Mars light once shown on an early version. Maybe Lionel might offer it as an optional parts purchase.

AF Nickel Plate 765 with Mars lightNickel Plate Berkshire

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@TOKELLY posted:

I noticed in Chuck's video that the flickering light in the cab is easily visible, and it shows up very well in mine. The cab is very open. When the light is on, the painted gauges are easy to see; and when the light is off and the layout is darker, it certainly looks like a fire sits in front of the two crew members. This is the first time I've really appreciated the "flickering" effect in an American Flyer steam engine.

The handrails are now black, and the locomotive looks like a serious model. I still miss the Mars light once shown on an early version. Maybe Lionel might offer it as an optional parts purchase.

AF Nickel Plate 765 with Mars lightNickel Plate Berkshire

Yes indeed! Great job. Outstanding photo. (jealous)

Correct, Rusty. It's a former American Models Southern caboose with constant lighting and crew added. I repainted it after changing the end rails to Nickel Plate's designs and added brake piping, hand rails, hand grabs, chains, and a red LED warning light at the rear as was the custom for Nickel Plate. The decals come from Dan Navarre at River Raisin Models.

Terry

Last edited by TOKELLY

I was a little concerned about the sound of the whistle.  It sounds a little too high to my ears, but after checking a couple of YouTubes, I'm guessing it's more the acoustics of the tender rather than the actual sound sample.

 

Lionel's sample that they have used on the Nickel Plate Berks ever since Legacy was born was from the sound the 765's whistle had from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The whistle sound has changed over time, from weathering, aging, use, steam pressure, etc.. This tone was more high-pitched than the more throaty, raspy sound we're used to hearing today.

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.

The good:

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.

Enjoy!

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck
@cswalter posted:

I bought an Erie this morning at Trainworld. Just notice they are selling out. These are going to go fast.

 

That's good news. Hopefully they do and Lionel takes notice. More scale stuff!!!

Of course the easiest, and I predict next step for Lionel, will be a second run with new road numbers. Perhaps a Mars light on the NKP? I would certainly purchase another NKP and Erie road number if they were offered. I expect they will be.

Too soon to start poking Lionel for the next Legacy engine? The SD40 ( PLEASE do Chessie) HAS to be coming right??? Hey Dave, how about a hint? 

Now that MTH S is going away, will Lionel pay more attention to AF? Time will tell, but I sure hope so. These Berks are fantastic and it would be an absolute travesty if they don't continue on and make more Legacy models like this.

In the past two weeks I've purchased 2 Legacy Berkshires and 6 of the updated Cylindrical Hoppers. Keep the scale stuff coming Lionel...

@TOKELLY posted:

I noticed in Chuck's video that the flickering light in the cab is easily visible, and it shows up very well in mine. The cab is very open. When the light is on, the painted gauges are easy to see; and when the light is off and the layout is darker, it certainly looks like a fire sits in front of the two crew members. This is the first time I've really appreciated the "flickering" effect in an American Flyer steam engine.

The handrails are now black, and the locomotive looks like a serious model. I still miss the Mars light once shown on an early version. Maybe Lionel might offer it as an optional parts purchase.

AF Nickel Plate 765 with Mars lightNickel Plate Berkshire

Nice Photo! Can you please share more photos or video of you layout? Thanks!

Of course the easiest, and I predict next step for Lionel, will be a second run with new road numbers. Perhaps a Mars light on the NKP? I would certainly purchase another NKP and Erie road number if they were offered. I expect they will be.

They posted CAD drawings of a pilot with a lowered headlight. That might be in the offing.

Rich

@richabr posted:

Of course the easiest, and I predict next step for Lionel, will be a second run with new road numbers. Perhaps a Mars light on the NKP? I would certainly purchase another NKP and Erie road number if they were offered. I expect they will be.

They posted CAD drawings of a pilot with a lowered headlight. That might be in the offing.

Rich

I too would purchase another Erie Rich. Quickly!!!

Thanks, Jonathan. The NASG website has a section called "Layouts" that has a lot of information on various S scale layouts as well as strictly American Flyer layouts and SN3 layouts. The link to some of my photos of my layout are in this section: Terence O'Kelly's Layout. There are some truly inspiring--and intimidating--layouts to see there. Dick Karnes and Steve Doyle are particular favorites of mine, but don't overlook any of them. Simon Parent, Bob Frascella, and Bob Hogan show an artistry that is Jaw-dropping, and so many others model locomotives and cars that they built from scratch.

The entire NASG website is a treasure trove of information about what 1/64th-scale manufacturers offered and offer still, from rolling stock to vehicles to buildings, figures, and detail accessories. Peter Vanvliet keeps it up to date somehow, so it's interesting to check up on the new of new releases, too.

Terry

@TOKELLY posted:

Thanks, Jonathan. The NASG website has a section called "Layouts" that has a lot of information on various S scale layouts as well as strictly American Flyer layouts and SN3 layouts. The link to some of my photos of my layout are in this section: Terence O'Kelly's Layout. There are some truly inspiring--and intimidating--layouts to see there. Dick Karnes and Steve Doyle are particular favorites of mine, but don't overlook any of them. Simon Parent, Bob Frascella, and Bob Hogan show an artistry that is Jaw-dropping, and so many others model locomotives and cars that they built from scratch.

The entire NASG website is a treasure trove of information about what 1/64th-scale manufacturers offered and offer still, from rolling stock to vehicles to buildings, figures, and detail accessories. Peter Vanvliet keeps it up to date somehow, so it's interesting to check up on the new of new releases, too.

Terry

I thought that looked familiar! Yeah, I love what they've done with the the NASG site. I didn't connect TOKelly with Terence O Kelly... Duh. Beautiful layout!

I am planning a new basement size Hi-Rail layout using Fox Valley turnouts modified to support scale wheels as well. Hopefully I do a good enough job to get mine up on the NASG site someday. Can't wait to see my Legacy Berks pulling excursion passenger trains on it.

Last edited by jonnyspeed

Hi All

Based on the tread I decide to open my NPR box today and to my unhappy surprise I have one of the issues where the front pilot truck is broken it looks like the plastic axel pieces that hold the front axle assembly one side is broken and the other side the piece was laying in the box. I guess I will call lionel  in the AM  it would be nice if they would just send me a new front truck!

cannot believe wait for some time for this unit and cannot even run it! 

Hi Bill 

yes it is broken there are two bearing housing on each side of the truck it appears that they are glued on or bonded some how, one of those is completely off which I found in the wrapping, on the other side the bearing hub is broken the place where the axel goes, half of the hub is broken if they both fell off I could fix it.

I did call Lionel today and there computer was down and could not tell me what to do, if I do not get a call back tomorrow from lionel which they said they would; I will call Charlie Ro and return the unit.

I do like the locomotive big difference from the flyer chief unit.

 

Thanks, Rusty. I love that NASG website...it's like flipping through a Christmas wish list catalogue to see all that's available in our scale. Scrolling through the "News" section pops up dates when anything was changed, so it's very easy to find the latest news. Peter Vanvliet does and extraordinary job keep anyone in 1/64th scale--whether prototypical scale, high-rail, or American Flyer--informed.

I was looking at Dave Olson's original description of the Berkshire CAD drawings and information and noticed that he planned to have the headlight and boiler front hinged to swing open because they were held in place by a magnet. Sure enough, the front does open. I'm hoping that Lionel might offer a Mars light/headlight combination that could replace the single headlight on the Nickel Plate model as "easily" as on the Lionel O gauge version from 2014. The Mars light operation is only mentioned in the manual in the section on DCC commands and, for now, only applies to the American Railroads version. The opening boiler face is not mentioned at all.

the latest on the broken front truck, I call Lionel 3 times today only to go on hold and then 15 minutes later I get disconnected and they say the mail box is full and to call another extension which I have no idea, so after spending 3 hours today and 1 on Monday I called Charles Ro and they understood and they told me that Lionel is shipping them trucks as we speak and when they arrive they will send one out.

that is all I wanted and Charles Ro came thru!

Got mine today the american railoads one had the same problem with they wheel falling out put it back together and it ran ok for a few minutes then it started sparking from the tender wheel to the loco draw bar also the hand rail hits the switch on both american flyer switches and fastrack switches very disappointed here

DOUG-SR

You are having the same problem I had with my Flyer chief Berks. The pilot wheel assembly and trailing trucks are the same on both. Lionel has repaired all of mine and the last one they did came back with the pilot wheel loose in the box

Three repair orders state they had to replace the boards in the engine and the one I just got back is going to them again.I call it design flaws that they did not engineer out of the new LEGACY engines based on the problems noted on this topic.

Gunny

@Chuck K posted:

I received my American railroads version today.  It arrived with a wheel in the pilot hanging loose, but I was able to snap it back in.  It has the Mars light which is very cool.  This, the cab detail and lights and the whistle are my favorite features.

Like TOKELLY, I installed a scale coupler.   I removed the tender shell (6 screws), unclamped the C clamp holding the rear truck on, unscrewed the electro coupler from the truck, and unplugged the wire connector from the circuit board.  As TOKELLY mentioned, the electro coupler’s wire connector will not fit through the hole in the chassis where the truck attaches, but instead of cutting the wires, I pulled them out of the connecter so they could be snapped back in (I sell these on ebay).

I also had to bend the coupler pad bracket because it does not fit the hole locations in the tender.

I had a lot of trouble trying to program it in Legacy.  Eventually I got it to take the number ID I was trying to assign.  The problem is it doesn’t respond reliably to my Legacy signal.  I have to try repeatedly to get it to start up or shut down, the speed control is all over the place, and I have no control over the smoke volume or forward/reverse.  I tried one of my other Legacy locos just to make sure something hasn’t gone haywire, but it ran fine.  So the Berk will have to be sent in for service, but I will run it for several hours first to see if any other issues arise before shipping it off to Concorde.

The good news is that I then ran it with DCC, and it ran perfectly.

Here’s a video and pictures.

https://youtu.be/fDktULNZ8Mc



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What size is your layout, I would like to see more of it.

@Chuck K posted:

It's just 11×6 with a 3x3 yard attached to one end. Here are some links:

https://www.nasg.org/Layouts/S/indexKemperChuckY.php

https://www.youtube.com/channe...01VnCBCITGeGg0IyEUdQ

I found your youtube channel, I have so many questions to ask you. I have HO DCC, O 2 rail and 3 rail. I bought some American Models S scale trains. I got the powered AA set E8 DL&W in scale wheels and the DL&W heavyweight car set. Still new in the boxes, I just need someone to talk to in S scale. I want to put DCC in both A units, still don't know enough on which track to buy. I want to stay with scale wheels and kadee couplers.

@DL&W Pete posted:

I found your youtube channel, I have so many questions to ask you. I have HO DCC, O 2 rail and 3 rail. I bought some American Models S scale trains. I got the powered AA set E8 DL&W in scale wheels and the DL&W heavyweight car set. Still new in the boxes, I just need someone to talk to in S scale. I want to put DCC in both A units, still don't know enough on which track to buy. I want to stay with scale wheels and kadee couplers.

Send me an email and we'll set up a time to talk.

chuck7612@hotmail.com

Thanks, cocker and Bill,  my tender was shorting out on the track i tried  making a few a adjustments then it start running if i stayed under 10 volt findley keep making adjustment now it will do full voltage in both tmcc and dcc afraid to crank it up again just wondering maybe a board in side is a little loose.