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Model Railroading > Piko HO Krauss-Maffei & Whitcombs Live! 9/20 6PM ET

Date: 09/16/23 12:08
Piko HO Krauss-Maffei & Whitcombs Live! 9/20 6PM ET
Author: trainworld

Piko Trains Extravaganza! Live Stream Event!
Join us on TrainWorldTV and TrainWorld FB live on Wednesday, September 20th 6PM ET With special guests CEO Dr. Rene Wilfer' and US Manager Jon Meador of Piko America. Tony Cook of Model Train Resource and Model Railroad News will be on air with Ken Bianco Jr. putting this incredible must-watch event together. They will be discussing the new G-scale American items plus brand new HO and N-scale trains! For you HO fans PIKO will be highlighting the new Krauss-Maffei.

  • =10ptPrototype Info:  These are models of the fan-favorite Krauss-Maffei (pronounced “moff-EYE”) ML4000 “Prototype” diesel-hydraulic locos.  The later “Series” locos had the same model number, but looked totally different, more like an SD40.  There were 6 Prototype locos built – 3 for SP and 3 for D&RGW – all delivered to Houston in 1961 on the ship MV Christen Smith.

    4000HP from one loco was unheard-of in 1961.  And there was great appeal in having no pesky maintenance-intensive traction motors and all the related electrical gear.  The diesel-hydraulic concept was well-proven and popular in Europe.  As “prototypes”, it was expected that they would be modified to address issues.  KM sent resident engineers to both roads.   Both roads started making their own modifications almost immediately.  The first were to address cooling issues – something similar to the EMD “Tunnel Motors” that both SP and D&RGW had a few years later, quite curiously!

    Both roads seemed determined to push the KMs to the breaking point.  Especially on SP, they were routinely expected to haul far more tons per horsepower than typical diesel-electrics.  D&RGW eventually sold their 3 to SP, and some ran in Grande Gold with SP lettering for a while.  In the end, they were perhaps more than anything, victims of a difference of cultures and a fear of anything “different”.  Engine crews also did not like the idea of a big drive shaft spinning just inches below their feet.

    PIKO has done all the research with the world’s foremost KM expert, Bob Zenk, as our partner.  Read Bob’s fantastic book “Southern Pacific and the KM Hydraulics”.  This is the best-written locomotive history book I’ve read!  Bob’s 2nd edition book is coming soon from the SPH&TS.  We have tooled-up for more than 20 detail and paint scheme variations.  SP “As Delivered” is first.  But D&RGW fans should not be too discouraged!  Patience will be rewarded.
  • =10ptOne basic paint scheme for this year – SP “As Delivered”, but #9000, 9001 and 9002 have differences in the large roadname lettering, and even differences left-side versus right-side.
  • =10ptEach road number is available in non-sound DC, and DCC/Sound (most popular, by far) and 3-Rail DCC/Sound (for those who are into that).
  • =10ptWheels conform to NMRA RP-25.  Good on Code 100, 83, 70 and even down to Code 55 rail.
  • =10ptAll models come with well-proven PIKO plastic knuckle couplers.  These operate smoothly, have little to no droop, are mounted at the correct height and have a slightly-reduced size head, for compatibility with both traditional Kadee® #5 and newer scale-head couplers.  For those who insist on changing, the coupler box accepts Kadee® couplers, but try them first – you will be pleased.
  • =10ptPIKO-brand (not made by another company!) Smart Sound Decoder 5.1 on sound versions follows typical American function order – playable horn, manual notching for those who use it, many other sound functions.  We have filled-up function numbers up to 28, with most-used functions on lower numbers. 
  • =10ptThe cab/radio chatter is something no other brand would ever have.  It features many recorded segments of authentic 1960s Central California SP cab sounds, even down to some typical train numbers hauled by KMs!
  • =10ptMany lighting functions – Directional “Golden Glow” LED headlights, two different Gyralights (white and red), lighted indicator (number) boards, lighted markers, lighted cab interior, lighted control stand, lighted engine room, all individually controllable on DCC.
  • =10ptApproximately 22 oz. weight for great pulling power and overall excellent operation. There is a large keep-alive capacitor and PIKO locos are known for extremely smooth and quiet operation.  
  • =10ptTruly scale-size metal handrails all around. Numerous lift rings and etched metal KM-signature lifting hooks, etched metal fan screens, air intake grilles cab sunshades and windscreens.  Over 80 metal detail parts on each loco!  Free-spinning fans.  Full cab interior.  Engine room detail visible through portholes.  No angle has been spared detail, even down to brake rigging and gearbox detail on the undersides of the trucks.  Compare this to other brands of “high-end” models!
  • =10ptModel has no traction tires.  All 12 wheels are gear driven.  Pulling power will be impressive!
  • =10ptDue in November.
tBefore we get to the KMs, we will also show, but not operate, the new paint schemes of HO Whitcombs:  Undec Black, and ACL #70 and 71.  70 and 71 feature quite a few different details in the decorations, according to prototype research.  These are available now, joining USATC, MMID and Industrial Blue/Orange.

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