Nickel Plate Berkshire #1

In December of 2001, MTH released a Premier model of the  Nickel Plate Berkshire (2-8-4) #779.  This was the second model of the Berkshire that they did (#765, which still runs in excursion service, was the first).  This second model had even more detail than the first, and the sounds are exquisite!  Best of all, purchase of this locomotive helped with the funding of the rebuilding of the prototype #765, owned by the Fort Wayne Railway Historical Society.  As far as the prototype goes, the Nickel Plate Berkshires belonged to one of steam's finest family trees. The first 2-8-4, Lima Locomotive Works A-1, inaugurated the superpower era in 1925. A four-wheel trailing truck allowed the A-1 to have a larger firebox and boiler, producing a combination of power and speed never seen before in a steam locomotive. Initially tested on the Boston and Albany Railroad, the new wheel arrangement was dubbed the Berkshire after the mountain range it conquered on the B&A.  One of the best examples of such superpowered locomotives was the Nickel Plate Berk, introduced in 1934 and called by steam historian Eugene Huddleston "the greatest 2-8-4 ever to take to the rails." Engineers loved its looks, speed, power, and wonderful sound.  Intended for fast freight, the 700-series Berks could also take off with an 18-20 car WWII troop train.  As you can see in this True HD 1080p video, the model lives up to the prototype, with great detail, excellent sound, and wonderful operation.

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