Athearn HO Scale FEF-3 Locomotive 4-8-4 w/DCC & Sound, Union Pacific /Black #838 ATHG9209
HO Sound Equipped Steam
For use with your scale model railroad
"Features * Boiler backhead with full details and printed gauges * Individually applied detail parts like piping, valves and generators * Adjustable cab windows and opening doors * Cab hatches can be opened and closed * See-through running boards * Blackened metal wheels * 22"" recommended minimum radius * Pilot has opened and closed positions * Factory installed DCC sound board with dual speakers * Decoder automatically senses the power supply (works with both DC and DCC systems) * Includes hand-held remote control unit for DC operation * Smoke unit ready with no soldering needed Overview The Genesis 4-8-4 FEF Northern
The FEF was a series of three types of 4-8-4 steam locomotives owned and operated by the Union Pacific Railway. The classes were: FEF-1; FEF-2; FEF-3. "FEF" was an acronym for the wheel arrangement, "four-eight-four."
During the late 1930s, the rising trainloads started to exceed the limits of the then in use 4-8-2's, which were the mainstay of the UP passenger operations. One day, in 1937, with UP President William Jeffer's business car in the rear, a "7000" Cass 4-8-2 demonstrated the lack of steaming power inherent in the type. Even when the train was waiting for rescue, dialog by telegram was sent to Alco in Schenectady, with a view of something better. The result was a superb class of forty-five locomotives.
The first twenty locomotives, numbered 800-819, were delivered by Alco in 1937. The "800"s as a whole followed - like Northumbrian 108 years earlier - the simplest possible arrangement of only having two outside cylinders. Fitting Alco's lateral motion devices to the leading coupled wheels eased the negotiation of curves. Complicated accessories often spoilt the basic simplicity of so many US locomotives, but UP resisted most of them, resulting in an elegant, uncluttered appearance. Despite frequently moving at speeds over 100mph (160kp/h), the forces and stresses on the coupling and connecting rods were kept within acceptable limits. There were thus excellent results, and there were many reports of reaching the design limit of 110mph (176kp/h).
Except for the use of some substitute materials, the final batch of ten were nearly identical to the FEF-2. After World War II, coal supplies were affected by a series of strikes. In order to safeguard operations, UP converted the "800"s to oil burning, and a 6,000 gallon (27m3) tank was fitted in the bunker space. Otherwise, few modifications were needed to insure years of mainline service. These were the last steam locomotives delivered for the UP. 844, the last of the FEF-3 class, is the longest continuously operating 4-8-4 engine in the world, and the only one never retired by a Class I railroad. Like many of the "late era" steam locomotives, their final design was cut short by the advent of new monarchs of the rails, diesels. Although it is stated that the UP FEF series was designed to safely operate at 120mph, no one really knows how fast the final 4-8-4 could go (Steve A. Lee, Manager of Union Pacific Steam Program).