Another Loco from Broadway Limited, this time something a little smaller.
The EMD E8A, along with some other E series locomotives were produced around 1945 to about 1949. and were synonymous with the late 40s, early 50s streamliners. Most famously they pulled the likes of the Santa Fe "Super Chief", Great Norther's "Empire Builder", and even our lovely model train manufacturers namesake, the Pennsylvania Railroads "Broadway Limited". BLI does a good job in keeping up with the sleek art-deco lines of the original locomotive and its robust sound set definitely turns heads.
Little known fact: trains love belly rubs
The sound comes from a single speaker, but its definitely loud enough to contend with some (not all) HO sound. Like the centipede it has 3 horns to choose from which can also, with proper set up be quilled. It of course sounds a little weird on a diesel horn, but should theoretically sound awesome on a steam engine.
Under the hood of course is the expected 5 pole motor, and with the sound muted, runs both smoothly and quietly. The drive shafts are also equipped with a pair of flywheels to assist in smooth starts stops.
The money shot
On to detailing, The most important part!
If theirs one thing Broadway is consistently good at, its making things look good. The model it self absolutely gorgeous. The separately applied grab irons look awesome, the paint is sharp and vibrant, and most interesting is that this engine, unlike any E unit I have or have seen, actually has a functional rear diaphragm. I've never seen anything like that before, but its certainly a nice touch (I mean it, its fun to play with).
Just looking at it makes me want to poke it
But as nice as this engine is, and I certainly do like it. Its become one of my most run engines. There are a few things of note that I have some quibbles with.
First and most importantly is pickup, specifically around switches. I'm not sure if this is limited to just mine or all E8's as I only have 1, but like the centipede, this thing struggles on code 55 track. I'm not sure why, as I've gauged all the wheels and consistently clean them, but this thing stalls on nearly every switch where other DCC engines do not. It runs great on code 80 track, switches and all, so I'm not sure what the issue is here.
also to note, I have the CB&Q version, as that is slowly becoming my railroad of choice, but while the paint is definitely amazing in all respects, its just ever so slightly a different shade of silver than the Kato made CB&Q units I have. It almost has a goldish hue to it when in the right light. I know its 2 different companies, but if something like that is important for, like, Uniformity reasons, it might be of some note.
But in all I do rather like this engine, and would like to get a matching B unit for it ,which I don't think BLI makes for the CB&Q. But if your in the market for some really sharp looking DCC streamliners I would recommend looking at one of these as a DCC sound ready option. Just make sure you register that engine so you have an active warranty. You know, just in case...
"this is New Port station to 9916, you are go for green"