Intermountain F3's (advice after the fact:-)

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Bob Morris, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris Member

    I've pre-ordered an F3A and F3B (NYC), on the strength of their exquisite rolling stock. Anyone had any experience with their engines? Do you know what drive units they utilize?

  2. brokemoto

    brokemoto New Member

    I have several sets of their FTs. They had some problems initially, but they made good on any problems. IM has excellent customer service; they want you to be happy with what you purchased.

    The locomotives are very nice: good runners, well detailed, good paint and lettering. They have very good slow speed control. Based on my experience with the FTs and the IM customer service, I would recommend them to anyone.

    The initial adverts suggested that IM was going to do the DCA-1s (the passenger F-3s; there were two A-B-A sets), but they are, in fact, doing the DFA/DFB-2a (early phase freight F-3s). I did speak to the IM representatives at Springfield. They acknowledged that the adverts showed the passenger units, but that their intent all along was to do the freight units. The representatives did indicate that the passenger units as well as the later phase F-3s were still under consideration for later runs.

    You do not state what period you model, but if it is before 1961, the NYCS FTs are still out there in lightning stripes, so you might also want to consider them (some of the NYCS FTs did last until 1964, but most went in 1961). Micro-Trains also sells NYCS FTs in 'as delivered' colors.
  3. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris Member

    Glad to hear you're happy with your FT's. Hopefully the F3's will be good runners too. You're right that the IM adverts show the F3's with smooth (passenger) pilots, but I've got a picture of a smooth pilot F3 (with a "B" and another "A") in freight service going through the wye in the area I model, so either will be o.k. with me.

    I'm modeling the 50's through late 60's (until the Penn Central takeover) so the FT's would work too, although I don't like the way IM's B units look. Is the wheelbase really prototypical on them with that overhang? I can't find a proto photo.

    The area I model had shared trackage with the E-L and NYC so fortunately there are a lot of great loco's available right now. My E-L roster is complete (GP7 torpedo tube, GP7 non-TT, U25b, and a PA for the passenger train. So far I've behaved myself with the NYC with an RS3 and the (pre-ordered) F3's. All are recent release Atlas with the exception of the PA (30 yr. old Con-Cor that runs like a swiss watch) and the F3's.

    Thanks again for your input. I'm looking forward to adding the lightning stripes to the roster!

  4. brokemoto

    brokemoto New Member

    The overhang on the FT-B is, indeed, prototypical. It is one of its spotting characteristics that separate it from other four axle Electro-Motive B units. I do not remember if either the Erie or DL&W had FTs, or even if any manufacturer issues them (if one or the other had them) in either road name(or E-L, for that matter). As E-L appeared in 1960, its components may or may not have traded them in as EMD announced in 1959 that it would start accepting FTs in trade.

    The DCA-1s were geared for dual service, so they would be seen pulling freight even when they were fairly new. Had they been strictly passenger, the NYCS would have classified them DPA-something (DFA-diesel freight cab unit, DPA-diesel passenger cab unit, DCA-diesel combination cab unit)

    So, if your budget permits, do not hesitate to buy the FTs. They should give you an idea of what to expect from the F-3s.
  5. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris Member

    Thanks for the input. IM makes an Erie version but not E-L. While the E-L did keep some loco's in the former Erie livery, all the lettering was changed over to E-L. I'll have to check my reference books to see if any of the FT's were kept in service past the merger.


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