Kato UP 4-8-4 844

rrunty Jun 12, 2014

  1. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    The Kato FEF-3 844 is appropriate for running in "regular" service (both passenger, helper-passenger and fast freights as well as one excursion trip) from about 1957 t0 1959. Earlier than 1957, it would not have had the Worthington SA feedwater heater modifications to the firebox, under the fireman's side running board, and plumbing as Kato models it.

    However, other FEF-3's and FEF-2's were modified with the Worthington SA feedwater heater as early as 1953/1954, and were re-painted glossy black from their "white" two tone grey scheme (meaning all TTG UP engines had "white" striping and lettering in the early 50's) during that major shopping with the possible exception of one or two of the very first FEF's to get the Worthington SA feedwater heater mods. The 844 regrettably was one of the last to get the new feedwater heater modification in 1957, so it was never two tone grey in the form that Kato models it until it was painted with two tone gray with yellow striping and lettering as the 8444 while in excursion service in the late 1980's.

    I have found photos of the 844 in both standard and Worthington feedwater heater configurations in a couple of my reference books. In "Ogden Rails" by Don Strack, there's a great shot of 844 on page 68 in two tone grey in 1953 at Ogden Union Station going east pulling the San Fancisco Overland, the cars being in two tone grey also...a VERY nice looking train indeed! There are other shots of FEF's in two tone gray on the following pages. On page 73 there are two shots of black FEF's pulling Armour Yellow passenger trains...FEF-2 803 in August of 1955 (no Worthington SA Feedwater heater, with a single stack, with smoke deflectors) pulling an un-named Chicago-Los Angeles train designated No. 7. The other photo is of an FEF with double stack (can't see a number or what type of pilot, but it also does not have the Worthington SA feedwater heater) heading east with the Armour Yellow San Francisco Limited (a daily mail train) in August of 1957.

    One of the duties of FEF's was to perform helper service with passenger trains that had diesels as their primary motive power. On page 70 of "Ogden Rails" there's a great photo of FEF-2 823 on the head end of an AB lashup of yellow E-7's pulling an extra passenger section. The double-heading was for the steep Wasatch grade. On the opposite page is a photo of another double-stacked FEF-2 in two tone gray as the only power on an extra section of The Gold Coast...both photos were taken in 1952. I also have a photo of an FEF shoving on the back of a freight, pulling a yellow CA-4 caboose in freight helper service too.

    It's not a well-known fact, but FEF's were run once in freight service after they were shopped to see if all the repairs and adjustments were okay. It was a lot easier to park a freight train on a siding if the engine stopped working than deal with humans aboard a stationary passenger train with an inoperable engine. When photographed doing this, the FEF's are always clean and shiny...because they're fresh out of the shop.

    All of the FEF types (FEF-1, FEF-2, FEF-3) were equally represented doing exactly the same things across the UP system...there were just fewer FEF-3's (only ten).

    Jumping to another reference book "Otto Perry and the Union Pacific Nebraska Division" by Bartels and Reisdorff, there are several photos of FEF's in their last glossy black paint scheme. The earliest one taken in January of 1956 shows FEF-2 820 in glossy black heading up passenger train No. 28...no Worthington SA feedwater heater, but double-stacked with smoke "wings". Then, Otto Perry doesn't get back to Nebraska for two more years. In 1958 he takes some great photos of the 844 found on page 62 & 63, pulling a long freight and in the yard at North Platte, WITH the Worthington SA feedwater heater modifications in black, and looking dirty, but in excellent condition. I'm thinking these photos are close to what you are saying you want to achieve with the Kato 844 so I'm posting both of them here for your reference...

    Photo (1) - 844 in 1958 On the Nebraska Division Wearing Gloss Black (but dirty) with Worthington SA Feedwater Heater Modifications:

    Photo (2) - 844 Taking on Fuel at the North Platte Engine Facility in 1958:

    Just to more clearly illustrate the difference between the 844 when she had not yet been equipped with the Worthington SA feedwater heater (and is in two tone gray "white"), and post conversion in 1957, here are two photos of models to look at:

    Photo (3) - Key 844 in two tone gray "white" correctly without the Worthington SA feedwater heater with "white" (light grey) lettering and striping, which was correct for early 1950's:

    Photo (4) - Kato 844 Out-of-the-box with its excursion paint, equipped with the Worthington SA feedwater heater equipment which it received in 1957:

    The glossy black paint on the Kato model makes actually seeing parts of the feedwater heater equipment difficult, but you can see it easily in the prototype photos.

    So, the Kato 844 engine is correct for the 844 from 1957 until the 1991 shopping when it received a second generator up on top. However the tender is a different story as new safety and anti-spillage hardware has been installed around the original filler hatch to comply with federal regulations sometime after 1960. The steam-era 844 had a simple filler hatch and a vent, with no spillage dam or walkway around either.

    I am in the process of superdetailing and back dating one of my Kato FEF-3's to get it correct for my era (1947 thru 1956) mainly by scraping some of the cast-on piping off and replacing them with brass wire, and adding some free-standing grabs over the cab windows...and modifying the tender by backdating it as in the following photo of an HO brass FEF-3...

    Photo (5) - Oil Bunker Details for Steam-Era FEF:

    Hope this assists you to do what you want to do with your Kato 844!

    Bob Gilmore
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
    atsf_arizona likes this.
  2. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona TrainBoard Supporter

    Thank you, Bob!

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