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Thanks Don.  Great comparison photos.  The K-Line model seems to have a bit more detail than the Williams and Lionel versions.  I have been looking at some on Ebay and notice the third rail shoes are molded into the truck sides on the K-line model.  It also has the small pantograph detail on the roof.  I never understood what this little pantograph was for.  One thing I did notice is the main pantographs is the contact shoe.  It looks wimpy next to the Williams and Lionel pantograph shoes.  I plan on running my locos under a catenary system and I wonder if the K-Line pantograph shoe is capable of that.  

Last edited by Former Member

Dan P.,

The K-line engine is really a beautiful model and often it is very reasonably priced. The truck mounted shoes do interfere with some track work and close clearance bridges. I ran mine on a friends layout and it did not clear an MTH truss bridge that I have never had any problems with.  

The small Pantagraphs were for running in GCT the track was so complex that the third raid is eliminated in some areas. If you look at the NYC S motors they had them too. 

I have never run with cantary so I can't answer that question.

If I remember right, those third rail shoes you mentioned on the K-Line version didn't play nice with Ross switches. They would hit something on the switch (the switch machine perhaps?) and either cause a derailment or stop the train or something.


Hopefully someone will chime in and refresh my memory.


J White


The zinc problem was effectively eliminated in Western industrialized nations decades ago; in the young, inexperienced and, ah, less "conscientious" industrialized nations of the Pacific Rim and the Indian Ocean (China, India, even Japan), the problem re-appeared here when the items showed up.

Last edited by D500

I seen a few K-Line version with broken pilots so check it out carefully before buying. If your buying in ebay ask questions and save the e mails so you can have then for the buyer protection if you need them. I have a MTH Premiere which is a little longer than the williams version and MTH also made a shortened Rail King version.

I have the K-Line NH EP-5 #379 (the version with TMCC and cruise). These are scale engines, and very nice. It's been said that they're probably the best EPs made to date. Some operators have reported some problems with the old K-Line cruise control, though, and changed over to ERR cruise with great results.

The main downside to the engines is that some of them had the brittle metal on some parts (the zinc rot, presumably) as mentioned previously. Most of the damage which I've seen (in two of them) and heard about from others, has been in the pilots, like Gene mentioned above, and they would break into pieces. Also, some very small decorative extensions on the trucks would break off. 

Those little extension portions aren't any big deal, and to take care of the pilots I was able to get replacement parts, which have held up so far, but I'm careful with them. The breakage would occur in an area of the pilot that is has very thin extensions - probably accurate, but it might have helped if some accuracy had been sacrificed for the sake of robustness. Even that might not have helped offset the rot, though.

Glad to hear Jeff's (Captaincog) report about the truck side frames, and how they can be replaced with Lionel versions, should that problem arise with my EP. After Lionel took over K-Line for a while back a number of years ago, they produced some more EP-5s under the K-Line by Lionel name, including a Great Northern version. It may be that the zinc rot problem was corrected by that time. I haven't checked to see if replacement parts like truck frames and pilots are available from Lionel for these, which presumably would fit the earlier K-Line models.

Last edited by breezinup

Some K-Line engines(EP-5's and GG-1's) and passenger cars(heavy weight series, 3 axle trucks) suffered very much from "zinc pest" as the foreign countries didn't filter their zinc properly or were too cheap to care.

You might be able to modify a Lionel part to use with the K-Line engine.

Don't know about the Williams EP-5 but the Williams engines I have all run very well. Only problem is that when you buy the Williams engine or passenger cars they now belong to you for life(nobody wants to buy a Williams), at least that is my experience here in southeast Florida.

Lee Fritz

Dan Padova posted:

"(nobody wants to buy a Williams)".....Lee Fritz

Having not been too familiar with Williams releases, with the exception of their very early products, why is it that no one wants Williams locos ? 


That is the feedback I get from hobby shop owners here in southeast Florida. The one owner said as soon as the customer sees the Williams box the sale stops!

I have taken some Williams items to train shows and can't sell them either down here.

However I have 12 Williams engines and 3 sets of Williams passenger cars. They are good quality but lack some detail at times on certain models.

Lee Fritz

Last edited by phillyreading

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