Hi Guys,

Looking for reviews, comments on MTH's P&LE 2-8-4 Berkshire.  I realize that this model was offered by MTH many years ago, but I wish to see if it has a favorable review or not.

I'll be looking for one if the reviews, comments are favorable.

Steve

 

 

Original Post

I am very fond of my MTH 20-3128-1 "P&LE" A2a Berk.  I get a kick out of running it at the local toy train shop when a NYC fan sees it and drools thinking it is a NYC Berk they did not know about.

And as stated above it is a 2.4v battery or at least according the the manual.

IMG_1446

Ron 

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I have one. I wish that it was TMCC/Legacy as that is the system I use, essentially. I am looking long and hard at an ERR upgrade. But, the PS2 (in this loco at least) works so well that I hate to rip it out....but I probably will. I did that to an MTH Niagara, but its PS2 was faulty anyway.

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"I am very fond of my MTH 20-3128-1 "P&LE" A2a Berk.  I get a kick out of running it at the local toy train shop when a NYC fan sees it and drools thinking it is a NYC Berk they did not know about."

Technically, they were P&LE locos, and the P&LE was controlled by the NYC, but never merged into it. The P&LE exercised some independence in motive power decisions and even appearance. Heck, the A2's were green with - originally - gold lettering. Wow. Grey and white and silver and black was what the NYC typically used. But, the A2 was designed by Kiefer, head of NYC motive power design (he gave us little items like later Mohawks, Hudsons and Niagaras). It was well-suited to its task, and is continually under-appreciated. Also, it was thrown in the water just as the diesels began to swim around big time. Short-lived, like the Niagara. It was essentially a steam version of a heavy road-switcher, and, with its train, serve industries up and down the line, even doing some of the industrial switching, I have read.

My favorite 2-8-4.

My hometown was the terminus point for the P&LE.  I have a vague  recollection of seeing the A2a's on the east side.  In fact until I was five lived about 2-miles from were "Gateway Yard" was built.

Yes the P&LE was or at least supposed to-be independent.  But the P&LE had already made plans on buying diesels.  Then the NYC told them they were going to buy 10 of these A2a's from Alco.  It ended that only 7 of the 10 actually got built.

Ron

I have one.  It's a very cool and ultra-modern-looking steam loco.  The army green paint job makes it even better!  The worst thing I can say about it, is that the drivers are a little large (68" compared to 63" for the prototype.)  That difference doesn't spoil the appearance for me.  It runs about the same as any other Premier Berk.  Which is to say, pretty good as long as the PS2 is working.  Top speed is ridiculously high, but you never have to run it that fast.

I think I would like the Niagara better without its smoke deflectors.  But between these two, you can definitely see the NYC "family resemblance"!

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Very cool locomotive, I was super happy to get mine....I had to search for one for quite a while...these are kinda tough to come by on the secondary market. When they do show up, you’ll pay a premium. Well worth the extra $$$ IMO ....she’s a beast and a real work horse....Ted is correct, it’s not 100% to the prototype, but dang close nonetheless........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

I had borrowed my friends MTH P&LE A2 before he moved to Texas. I ran it as a passenger excursion on my layout after seeing 765 run. It was an awesome looking engine with a great paint scheme and was one of my favorites. I tried buying it from him before he left, but he did not want to part with it. Till this day I still look in every new catalog hoping MTH reproduces it.

I have the MTH version. I wish I could get it 2 railed. If Joe was still in business I would offer to pay him $500 for the conversion. From the prices above it looks like the Overland version is out of my price range. I was lucky to get the MTH version. A friend told me about an unadvertised sale but they do come up for sale from time to time. Good luck with your hunt. 

I figure some day MTH will re-run it but I bet it won’t have scale wheels. 

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

SubwayLover posted:

I had borrowed my friends MTH P&LE A2 before he moved to Texas. I ran it as a passenger excursion on my layout after seeing 765 run. It was an awesome looking engine with a great paint scheme and was one of my favorites. I tried buying it from him before he left, but he did not want to part with it. Till this day I still look in every new catalog hoping MTH reproduces it.

As to that paint scheme, there is no evidence that it was planned.  The 7 A2a's were delivered in a Huntingford Green with gold lettering and numbering.  Within days the lettering and numbering was change to white.  Also the smokeboxes and front were coated with a black heat-resistant graphite paint.  A P&LE engine is quoted to have said "Steam locomotives are supposed to be painted black."  The engines were not repaint since is was thought why spend the money on an engine that had a short life expectancy on the railroad.

The only supposition on the green paint is that these 7 A2a's were the last ALCO steam engines produced along with 50 Mountain type for the Argentina State Railway which were green.  In fact when the P&LE 7 A2a's were built the ALCO tender shop was transformed into diesel production.  The tenders were subcontracted to LIMA.  That is why the tenders ware the LIMA builder's plate.  Which is replicated on the MTH model.

An interesting fact the GP7's freight engines were paint a green that was called Pacemaker Green.

Ron

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