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Sorry guys I am phone posting, things might get a little sloppy! Let me know if you guys have any questions! 

I am still sorting out my plans for this engine. I am definitely pulling the class lights (already turned off) and I’m deciding on what color the smokebox will be. May also swap the headlight.

I am really stoked that Lionel supplied the Kadee adapter and mounting holes in the tender frame. That will definitely make my life easier at the workbench. Good job you guys!

I always wanted the 28072 from way back but this is much nicer. Many differences aside from the controls. 

Here are some initial observations using the 28072 Hudson from way back as a point of comparison. I chose the cataloged 5418 J3a because I liked the combination of the Scullins and the standard tender much like the old 28072 TMCC Hudson from way with the 5444 cab number. 

The standard tender model has a modern separately-applied coal load and proper Kadee mounts for those of us that like that sort of thing. The photo above shows the adapter box and mounting hardware. The tender frame is drilled and tapped to accept this setup. It appears to be set at the right height for the out-of-the-box tender ride height. I think the ride height looks pretty good so far. I really appreciate Lionel going through the trouble of doing this as it will save so much time on the workbench and it helps bring these models up to date with current model railroading trends. A quick thought - Al Staufer thought the PT tender was aesthetically abominable coupled behind a Hudson. I happen to agree! Paint finish has a nice matte finish to it. The engine-tender gap has been tightened up.

The locomotive shell itself is very much the same overall as the early 2000s model, with some minor alterations for the whistle smoke. There is a smoke hole under the whistle and the throttle dome is removable to access the whistle smoke fill. This is held on by magnets. You may want to pay attention to those magnets as mine seemed to want to go along with the dome after the second time I pulled it off. Nothing a bit of CA can't cure though. Overall, the fit and finish of the shell is nice but I do not like the parting line forward of the booster stack. I also don't like the oversized and incorrectly mounted class lights. These two items don't matter to me at this point as I am planning on removing the class lights and possibly painting the smokebox black. I can address the parting line then. Initial inspection of the smokebox front revealed a complete line of rivets around the outer diameter so removal of the class light may not be as much work as initially thought. The headlight is incorrect on this J3a and I will probably swap it with the PSC version. 

The locomotive drivers (Scullin disc phone dials on this cab number) are pressed to solid axles unlike the old model which had screw-ons on Magne-Traction axles. (Remember the first scale SF and NYC F3s having M-T too around this time?) The traction tires are on the rear drivers as opposed to the center blind ones like the old days. I'd imagine this will give the engine a bit more 'bite' on the rail. My tires are a little thick or maybe not seated perfectly giving the engine a bit of wobble at speed. You may see this a bit in some of the quick vids above by observing the cab roof. I may try to seat them a bit more or just run them in. I always expect a bit more traction tire-induced wobble on six-coupled driver steamers as opposed to the eight and ten wheeled steamers I usually run. There are three pickup rollers so it may be less prone to dropping out over power gaps. I usually put 'cheater plug' tethers on my steam engines if they tend to drop out too often, which is most likely to happen over my Atlas #5 switches. 

Running qualities are what I expect from Legacy with no jitter or shakes observed at low speed in either direction. Other videos on here were making me a bit nervous but all seems well so far. I really like Legacy's motion controls and think they still have the best in 3 rail O. This engine also sports the back-drivable gears that may have made their first Hudson appearance on the old CCII ESE Hudson.

So far so good. I recently sold off all my NYC freight power with the intention of sticking with PRR (and a few stragglers here and there that took a wrong turn somewhere) but always wanted a proper Hudson because everyone should own a Hudson at least once or twice. 

 

Last edited by Norm Charbonneau
Norm Charbonneau posted:

"Here are some initial observations using the 28072 Hudson from way back as a point of comparison. I chose the cataloged 5418 J3a because I liked the combination of the Scullins and the standard tender much like the old 28072 TMCC Hudson from way with the 5444 cab number."

"So far so good. I recently sold off all my NYC freight power with the intention of sticking with PRR (and a few stragglers here and there that took a wrong turn somewhere) but always wanted a proper Hudson because everyone should own a Hudson at least once or twice. "

Norm,

Looking forward to your chosen modifications. When Lionel does something well, it is usually fabulous. Their issues with incorrect paint colors, lettering or whistle sounds when the previous runs were correct I just don't understand.

I should have mentioned I am running it in full Legacy mode, base ver. 1.6 and CAB-2 ver. 1.61. I am using a 135W Powerhouse through a Legacy PowerMaster 180W version. I have yet to try Bluetooth, perhaps I'll demo it when I film a full video of it later. I filmed some unboxing and first run footage but it's kinda lame/boring.

Greg, bring it over. Maybe we can swap boilerfronts.  I see that it is unavailable on the parts breakdown on the CS site.

Bobby, looks like Lionel got the black right!  The graphite is a little too silver for my tastes, especially considering the darker colors Lionel has used in the past. I saw some fuschia colored Lionels last night when I picked this up and saw the new J. Glad my engine is black!

Norm thanks so much for sharing your videos and detailed info about the loco.  If you have any occasion to remove the shell, I would like to know what gear ratio Lionel used.

If you need an "excuse" to run NYC power on your layout, you can just call it a detour move ;-)  It's always amazing to see the fruits of your labors on the Forum!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

I may get into it at some point Ted. I hosed it pretty good with smoke fluid already to film the videos so I probably want to give it a thorough cleaning before weathering (and turning the smoke off for good probably). I am not sure what frame it's using as the original had provisions for a mechanical puffer-style smoke unit. I'd imagine it's been reworked for the modern lash-free driveline and smoke units.

In any case, here's a video of it on my layout pulling my GGD collection:

Norm Charbonneau posted

 I am not sure what frame it's using as the original had provisions for a mechanical puffer-style smoke unit. I'd imagine it's been reworked for the modern lash-free driveline and smoke units.

In any case, here's a video of it on my layout pulling my GGD collection:

Friendly FYI: The chassis/frame utilized for the Century Club II Empire State shrouded J3a (2005-6) was designed to accommodate the lash-free drive line and fan-type smoke unit to which you alluded.

Awesome pictures and videos of your J3a in action!! 

Bob

Great video....!!  And beautiful engine....  

I have a 5 year old son who is into trains (almost) as much as I am...  when he heard the video he ran over to see what was playing.  First thing out of his mouth was “Is this real life...?”  A true testimony to how authentic your layout is....  I keep waiting for the post announcing your first “How to make your layout look like this!” class...  Awesome stuff Norm...

 Happy Thanksgiving to all...!!

RickM46 posted:

Norm, first rate!!  I was blown away at 2:09 in your last video!!  Never knew that my loco's were capable of such performance!  Out of curiosity, when loading the smoke unit, how many drops were you adding at a time?  Thanks!

Thx Rick, I used about 10 drops at a time, hitting it again just as it petered out. Maybe I should use more but I'm about to slide the smoke switch to 'off' anyway and clean it up.

Ted S posted:

Norm thanks so much for sharing your videos and detailed info about the loco.  If you have any occasion to remove the shell, I would like to know what gear ratio Lionel used.

If you need an "excuse" to run NYC power on your layout, you can just call it a detour move ;-)  It's always amazing to see the fruits of your labors on the Forum!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Ted, I think the gear ratio is about ~20:1 judging by the exposed setscrew on the encoder assembly. I found I could turn the drivers and see the setscrew cruise by without taking anything apart.

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