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I bought (more like took it off his hands) this Williams J-106 PRR 4-8-4 from a friend at the Fort Pitt TCA meet this past Saturday.  First of all I know it isn't prototypically correct, but I like it.  It runs fine, though I haven't been able to get the True Blast II whistle and bell to work.  That's not a big deal to me.  However, since I was modeling in HO during the time period (late '80s to early '90s - I think) that it was made, I searched the forum for any information I could find on it.  All I found was a topic on Williams brass engines.  I made a similar post to this one there, and Pete @Norton told me this, "Mark, its not brass rather based on the Lionel Post War 746 N&W J. Williams repainted a few for other roads like yours."

Can anyone tell me anything else about this engine, such as year made, anything about the electronics, motor, etc?  Thank you very much!!



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Mark, I think that is more early 2000's and maybe carried over to the early Williams by Bachman stuff.

It should be all diecast with a can motor and electronic reverse etc.

I don't have any of that era Williams locos, but I think most said they ran well and were solid.

They were indeed made in the Asia Pacific region.  During this era, Willaims made a copy of the Lionel scale Hudson, the traditional turbine, berkshire, this loco and a few others including the 44 toner's, alco's etc.  They had a huge product range at the time concentrating on the low-middle price point that Lionel was sort of above with the early TMCC locos.

These are basically a copy of the Lionel postwar 746 N&W J,…….Williams made a sleu of these in different road names. As one recalls, they’d make a model in just about every flavor imaginable without changing anything on the model except paint. …as Dennis says, these are overseas made,…..usually pretty decent runners, as these have can motors. Once in a while you’ll run across one that’s kinda tight in the drive, and they’ll be amp hogs. I’ve fine-tuned a few of these for folks that were absolutely in love with them. Same drive block as the Williams traditional sized Berkshire from the same period as Dennis says,…..


Mine is the 746 replica with can motor. I ran a string of 8 diodes of the 6 amp flavor to tame the race horse speeds between a motor lead and e unit . Then added MTH smoke unit, the cab from Lionel j class work horse and fire box glow.Also couldn't stand the s gauge sized front pilot. A postwar 2055 pilot with flanges looks better! Good ol reliable can motor.

I've noticed a few new\old stock Williams i purchase either has a bad sound board or the telephone book sized e unit goes out. With what you pay for these, Dallee has nice small affordable sound boards and e units if you don't want to invest in a ps or err system.

Based on the box it is in, I would say early 2000's or later is when yours was produced.  This locomotive appeared in most of the Williams late catalogs prior to Bachmann purchasing the company and was also produced by Bachmann.  Like all later Williams products a good dependable conventional running locomotive. 

As an aside the PRR traded a T1 for a NW J1 for testing for a period of time.  While the NW J1 performed quite well for the PRR, they stuck with the less than stellar performing T1.  A "what if" scenario is certainly not out of line with the PRR having decided to build some NW J1s and calling them R2s along the same lines they took the C&O T1 Texas class and built their J1s which were quite successful.

Thank you, Dennis, Pat, Darrell, Donnie, Jonathan!

So this engine was built a decade or more after the brass engines.  I didn't know when the Tru Blast came out.  Mine runs nicely except when it crosses the newer Ross switches I added last winter.  Then it stops.  I had the same problem running MTH and Lionel engines over those switches, then forgot abut it when all the engines went over them without a hitch.  I thought the plastic frog must be a bit higher than on the older switches because I can even observe the rollers on caboose and passenger cars clunking over them.  That's another issue, but I think this engine runs fine.

I certainly may look into replacing the sound system, but won't go to the length of you, Darrell.   I am absolutely not surprised in the least that you gave the engine the works!  It's great!   Donnie, you gave yours quite a lot of improvements as well!

I like that scenario, Jonathan! 

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