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Dear N Scalers: Walthers (Lifelike/ Proto) has announced new 2-8-8-2's with Sound!

Here are the details;

Proto N Heritage Steam Collection Y3 2-8-8-2-w/Sound & DCC :


Available October 1, 2007
*Now Available With or Without Quantum(R) Sound & DCC
* Traction Tires for Superior Pulling Power
* Electrical Pickup on Loco & Tender
* Railroad-Specific Details
* Accumate(R) Knuckle Couplers
* Flywheel Equipped for Smooth Operation
* Constant Intensity & Directional Headlights
* RP-25 Wheels Operate on Code 55 or Larger Rail
* Heavy Diecast, Split-Frame Chassis
* Five-Pole Skew-Wound Motor

Sound can be operated with standard DC power pack or DCC controllers. Sound features include: Exhaust, Whistle, Bell, Squealing Brakes, Doppler Effect, Air Let Off (in neutral), Turbo Generator Whine, and Trailer to mute whistle and bell for double heading.

First built for the Southern Pacific in 1909 to tame its tough western grades, the 2-8-8-2 articulated Mallet soon caught the attention of roads facing similar problems. In 1910, Norfolk and Western ordered five 2-8-8-2s (Class Y-1) similar to the SP models from Baldwin. By 1918, lessons learned from the first group led to an improved version, the Y-2; with minor changes to the cylinders, these became Class Y-2a, which served as the basis for the United States Railway Administration (USRA) 2-8-8-2.

Although delivered too late for the war effort, the N&W received 50 of the USRA engines in 1919, which it classified as Y-3. In 1923 another 30 were ordered with larger tenders (Y-3a), followed by 10 more in 1927 fitted with feedwater heaters.

During World War II, several Y-3s were sold to various western railroads that were desperate to ease motive power shortages. Although well suited to coal-hauling duties in the Appalachians, the big articulateds proved too slow for most of their new owners and they were retired or sold following the war. At home, Y-3s remained in service until 1958.

Proto N Heritage Steam Collection Y3 2-8-8-2-Standard DC: