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I have some interest in the K-line EP-5 locomotives featured on ebay. But I am totally unfamiliar with they're performance and reliability and whether they can operate on 36" radius track. I have never owned a K-line locomotive. Did K-line make a shorter version?  Need some advice and thanks!

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And once two-railed, it rivals (maybe betters) the brass import:

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@joe krasko posted:

I have a TMCC EP5,I run on super O no problem....beware of zinc rot,also the pilot is very fragile overall the best looking EP made...however the horn is NOT a Hancock 4700,it's a standard diesel single note...hope this helps.....joe

I have a stock three-rail also and it has the Hancock.

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I have some interest in the K-line EP-5 locomotives featured on ebay. But I am totally unfamiliar with they're performance and reliability and whether they can operate on 36" radius track. I have never owned a K-line locomotive. Did K-line make a shorter version?  Need some advice and thanks!

FYI, Williams, back in the day, made a very presentable EP-5 (nice trucks, 2 motors, powered and dummy available), and, while they are decent models and good-looking, they appear to be a little short (not sure), but 1:48 in all other ways. So, if length is an issue, these are probably around.

I have a PC set, have run them on a club layout years ago, and they ran well. I have never "scale measured" them.

The K-Line model is the most accurate one made in 2 and 3 rail.  It is better than Overland's in terms of prototype fidelity. 

I just recently found one for a very fair price online.  It is arriving in a few days, so I'll post some pictures.  I have avoided purchasing one from Lionel, MTH, or WIlliams because they are proportionally so far off to my eye.  However, that is just me. 

I have the K-Line EP-5 and it is a very nice engine. The K-Line speed control works very well which has been an issue on some K-Line engines. No zinc rot seen.

I've only had two issues with it. The pilots are fragile because there is not enough metal between the front part of the pilot and the back part that bolts to the truck. One of mine got bent down and when I tried to bend it back up front part snapped off. Fortunately I found a replacement which I imagine are no longer available.

The other problem was one time Railsounds quit and just made a screeching sound. I reseated the RS4 board which fixed it. No further problem.

Ken

The question way above and a PM about the Hancock air horn made me go look at mine:
It turns out that I have three and know nothing about their provenance:
1. The two-rail one (in the photos above) was stripped of all of the three-rail features before it was converted and I got it.
2. The three-rail one may have some of the appropriate K-Line features but I have only run it on a friend's DCS-based layout in conventional. It ran quite well, btw.
3. The third one was gotten from an OGR post just for the body shell/pantographs as one of the non-K-Line pans on the two-rail one is broken, I will replace both so that they   match; the chassis was totally stripped, but it is a rolling chassis with no sideframes. The original box was included and stated that it had Cruise control, TMCC, Railsounds, & Electrocouplers.
All three bodies have the Hancock Airchime and were obtained at different times and different sellers (but not Peter!).
A note on the K-Line pans: they are quite good and work very well, not to mention that they "Reach for the sky!".
@GG1 4877 posted:

  I have avoided purchasing one from Lionel, MTH, or WIlliams because they are proportionally so far off to my eye.  However, that is just me.

Is the MTH Premier version substantially off-spec in length, etc? They always catch my eye, as double-ended electrics tend to do.

I am sure that a RK version is much too small, and Lionel's version never pretended to be accurate anywhere, above or below, except the general "look" of the body. The Wms are a bit short, but otherwise look good, as I mentioned up above, but the MTH Premier versions that I have seen look pretty much right. I have not measured any of them.

BTW, the Wms that I have show no sign of zinc issues anywhere.

@D500 posted:

Is the MTH Premier version substantially off-spec in length, etc? They always catch my eye, as double-ended electrics tend to do.

I am sure that a RK version is much too small, and Lionel's version never pretended to be accurate anywhere, above or below, except the general "look" of the body. The Wms are a bit short, but otherwise look good, as I mentioned up above, but the MTH Premier versions that I have seen look pretty much right. I have not measured any of them.

BTW, the Wms that I have show no sign of zinc issues anywhere.

For me it is a question of proportion on the MTH version.  It looks short, though to be fair I haven't measured it either.  It also rides a bit high.  When I compare the K-Line version to the Rapido HO version, they have the same look and feel.  I also got my information on the Overland comparison from a prominent 2 rail modeler who used to post here more regularly and has a wonderful 2 rail NE themed layout that features NH, PRR, & B&O models mostly.

For the money, the Williams are of course a great buy.  I've never had zinc rot on a Williams locomotive and they just run forever.

I will likely 2 rail my K-Line one to go with my 2 rail FL9 A-A set.  However, it is such an iconic locomotive, I'm just happy to add one to my collection for now and I do love a nice electric.  Like you the double ended electrics catch my eye too! 

@D500 posted:

Is the MTH Premier version substantially off-spec in length, etc? They always catch my eye, as double-ended electrics tend to do.

I am sure that a RK version is much too small, and Lionel's version never pretended to be accurate anywhere, above or below, except the general "look" of the body. The Wms are a bit short, but otherwise look good, as I mentioned up above, but the MTH Premier versions that I have seen look pretty much right. I have not measured any of them.

BTW, the Wms that I have show no sign of zinc issues anywhere.

I don't know what the exact specifications are for an actual New Haven EP-5 but for whatever it's worth I have an MTH Premier version of this engine and it is 18 inches long coupler to coupler.  When I purchased it brand new many years ago at Antique Trains in Turnersville, New Jersey the owner, the late Rich Bimmer, told me it was a scale sized engine.   In my opinion this is beautiful engine.

Last edited by OKHIKER

Well, I've had two of them pass through my hands, and both had zinc rot of the sideframes.  That being the case, it sure wasn't "isolated".

Out of curiosity, I looked on the big auction site last night and saw three of them for sale. Two had obvious zinc rot.

What a shame. It is a very nice looking model, but if I decide to get one I think I can live with the Williams version.

They're beautiful engines, but have a history of zinc rot on the pilots and trucks. These have been talked about on the Forum in the past. Many of them have it, but not all. Also, as Ken pointed out, there is the narrow metal issue of the pilot that makes the pilots somewhat delicate.

I've had three of the NH versions at different times. Two of them had zinc rot problems with the pilot and small parts of the truck sides. The current one I have is fine, so far. When I start to run it more, I plan to coat the inside of the pilot with JB Weld to strengthen it and (hopefully) keep it from breaking should it impact something.

K-Line made several versions of the engine, with the different engine numbers. One was conventional, one had TMCC/RS, and the third (no.379) had TMCC/RS and cruise control. From past discussions, some folks have found the K-Line cruise to be problematic, and replaced it with ERR, and then it operated very well.

If I were buying one, I'd check the Bay for ones that haven't had any zinc rot (obviously) but also ask the seller to pull it out of the box and wiggle the pilots and side trucks to make sure they're sturdy. In addition to the K-Line replacement part noted by Joe above, someone had posted a while back that Williams F3 pilots (I think it was), which are available, will fit the EP-5 with a couple of additional holes drilled for screw placement. I bought a couple of these Just in case.

I'll have to keep an eye on mine.  Living in the desert southwest, I don't think we quite have the issues with zinc rot as the humidity tends to stay fairly low.  Not saying it doesn't happen, but I know from purchasing trains out here over the last 30 years that many known offenders of zinc rot do not tend to be in this market.  I have found this mainly in the HO world as I have purchased lots of Varney, English, and Mantua locomotives that appear to be like new when their counterparts in more humid environments tend to have more issues.

This is purely anecdotal based on my experience and if my next destination is in a different climate than I will be able to gather more empirical evidence.

I had one that had no issues for about 15 years.  Then zinc rot caused both pilots to fall apart.  I sold it online.  The buyer knew about the rot but didn't seem to mind because he got it for a low price.  I don't know if the buyer has a way to replace the pilots or was going to convert it to 2-rail, etc.  It is a shame that these fine engines have this rot problem.  NH Joe

@GG1 4877 posted:

The K-Line model is the most accurate one made in 2 and 3 rail.  It is better than Overland's in terms of prototype fidelity.

I just recently found one for a very fair price online.  It is arriving in a few days, so I'll post some pictures.  I have avoided purchasing one from Lionel, MTH, or WIlliams because they are proportionally so far off to my eye.  However, that is just me.

Jonathan,

Relative to your comment  “I have avoided purchasing one from Lionel, MTH, or WIlliams because they are proportionally so far off to my eye.”

I compared dimensions (in side-view) of my MTH Premier New Haven EP-5 (20-2195-1, PS1, 1999) with a detailed drawing in New Haven EP-5 Jets by Joe Cunningham (1991). The following dimensions on the model scale up exactly to the drawing:

Length over coupler pulling faces = 68 feet

Total wheelbase = 52 feet 6 inches

Distance between bolsters (truck pivots) = 44 feet

Truck wheelbase = 15 feet

Truck axle spacing = 8 feet and 7 feet

Distance between pantographs = 33 feet 9 inches

The K-Line models have better detailing but PS3 versions of the MTH model are slightly closer to prototype than my original PS1. This model has been running on my layout for almost 24 years and has required just lubrication, replacement of traction tires, and a BCR instead of a battery.

I hope you enjoy your EP-5.

MELGAR

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