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Union Pacific / Black #8444 FEF-3 4-8-4 (w/DCC & Sound) (TWTL-G97378)
Manufacture: Athearn Genesis
GENESIS STEAM FEATURES:
Illuminated number boards
Individually-applied detail parts, including brass- painted bell and whistle, piping, valves, generator, steps, air pump, air tanks, reverser and coupler lift bar
Front coupler pocket can be inserted to mount operating coupler
Non-operating classification lights
Firebox with rivet detail
Adjustable cab windows
Boiler backhead with full details and printed gauges
Blackened metal wheels
Tender-mounted DCC decoder with ESU® LOKSOUND® sound
Featuring all new sound recorded off UP #844 October, 2016!
Sound units operate in both DC and DCC
Synchronized chuff, whistle, bell, blow-down, air compressor, dyno and pop-off valve sounds
User-controlled whistle, short whistle, bell, squeal, coupler crash, injector, water stop and light dimmer
Some functions are limited in DC Versions
Chuff, whistle and bell sounds work in DC
All functions NMRA-compatible in DCC mode
Slow speed control
Many functions can be altered via Configuration Value (CV) changes
CV chart is included in the box
Accurate oil tender details
Double or triple smokestack per prototype
Feedwater heater per prototype
Single or double generator per prototype
ATS cabinet per prototype
Side rods colored to match the prototype
Illuminated red signal light except on 2016 version of #844
Swing coupler pocket
Modified for excursion service tender with ATS cabinet
Minimum radius: 22”
In 1939, 15 FEF-2 class 4-8-4s, numbers 820 through 834, were acquired. They shared a family resemblance to the big Challengers and Big Boys. The FEF-2s were built as coal burners with single exhaust stacks, drop coupler pilots and “centipede” tenders that carried 25 tons of coal and 23,500 gallons of water. When they were rebuilt, they received double or triple exhaust stacks.
During the traffic crunch of World War II, ten more 4-8-4s of class FEF-3, numbers 835 through 844, were acquired. The FEF-3 boiler was slightly longer than the FEF-2; plus, the FEF-3 featured double exhaust stacks, cast pilots and cabinets on the tender. Within six months of delivery, they were fitted with “elephant ear” smoke deflectors. Several FEF-3s also received triple exhaust stacks.
All of the 4-8-4s were converted to burn oil after the Second World War. They also wore two-tone gray paint from April 1946 until the mid-1950s. While UP streamliners were all diesel powered, the FEFs worked the secondary trains such as the Pony Express and Overland as well as mail trains. At the time, those trains were usually quite long and consisted of heavyweight cars, requiring all of the power the FEFs could deliver.
Instead of retiring FEF-3 844 in the early 1960s, UP kept it for excursion service and renumbered it to 8444 in 1962 to make way for GP30 844. From the mid-1950s until 1987, FEF-3 8444 was painted in the black paint scheme. In September 1987, it was repainted into the two-tone gray scheme with yellow stripe and lettering. After returning to Cheyenne from the Los Angeles Union Station 50th Anniversary celebration in June 1989, FEF-3 8444 was renumbered back to 844. The two-tone gray paint lasted until September 1991. This release features FEF-3 8444 as it appeared from September 1987 to June 1991 with two-tone gray paint and yellow trim.
Beginning in late 1991, 844 was given a complete overhaul that lasted five years. The 844 was returned to service in black paint on September 20, 1996. A boiler tube failure in 1999 took 844 out of service for rebuilding until May 5, 2005. The model represents the 2016 version in black paint with the red signal light removed.