Union Pacific GTEL 8500 "Big Blow" N Scale

spiffy trains Jan 26, 2017

  1. ogre427

    ogre427 TrainBoard Member

    Thank you for the info.(y)
  2. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I just noticed that a re-stock of GTEL occurred since my last observation. A major east coast retail/distributor has plenty in stock now. Should be no problem getting these over the next few weeks... except if there is a particular 'version' of GTEL you are looking for.

    Sent from my SM-G530T using Tapatalk
  3. Eugen Haenseler

    Eugen Haenseler TrainBoard Member

    No Carl that's home made! :)
  4. Steam-Monsters

    Steam-Monsters TrainBoard Member

    These Gas Turbines are one of the best detailed engines released so far.
    Besides their super detail, I was surprised with the weight of the A&B units.
    Their weight is equal to the Overland Brass 3-unit Gas Turbines A&B.
    They also nailed the turbines jet like sound.
    Have a VHS video showing the "Big Blow" double headed with a Big Boy exiting a tunnel. They were so loud you couldn't hear Big Boy until it was direct in front of the camera, but could still hear the Turbine quite well.
    Below is Scaletrains "Big Blow" #5 & #18, the rear set is Overland Brass #3.
    Can't tell which is plastic or brass, their just that good.
    I haven't yet tested the Scaletrains version against Overland Brass to see pulling ability compared to the brass, but expect Scaletrains to pull as good considering to me the exact weight.


    SLSF Freak and RedRiverRR4433 like this.
  5. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member

    I recently programmed the three units for DCC. All three units have to be programmed individually on the programming track. #14 now runs beautifully after the sound decoders were programmed. I' haven't changed the couplers yet, But I added a dab of CA cement to lock the knuckle couplers in the closed position since these units will never be uncoupled. I'm also considering using the Red Caboose #51060 Unimate coupler to close couple the three units together. I used these couplers on all my Intermountain "F" units to close couple them together many years ago.

    I then tried running a 55 car train pulled by the GTEL units. The heavy weight of the "A" & "B" units easily pulled the 55 cars up the long 1 1/2% 40 foot grade on my around the room layout. The locked knuckle couplers of the three units didn't break down, but I'm still going to change out those couplers as they are the weak link of this fine locomotive and I don't need any unwanted uncoupling of a long train on my layout.

    I still am ambivalent about purchasing another set of these GTELs. I'll let my old friend Ernie (Steam-Monster) evaluate the GTELs before I make a decision regarding a second purchase.

    Staying cool and having fun with it..........:cool::cool:

  6. MartyAT&SF

    MartyAT&SF TrainBoard Member

    I have three of these engines (three of the Overland brass ones as well) and they are awesome models. We have a 2% ruling grade on my club layout and I tested one with 50 cars on it. It struggled a little but did not stop. My club layout is open to the public six days a week and I ran yesterday pulling a 35 car train all day non stop. I did not have one single problem with the engine. That was seven hours of continuous running.

    I have done a little work on them to improve them in my eyes. I replaced the pilot coupler with an MT True Scale coupler. They do have a problem common to all N Scale models, the A and B are too far apart so I put a drawbar between the engines to bring them to the correct distance of 30" car body to car body. I can't prove that is the correct distance but that is correct for E's and F's so I followed suit here. I also used a black wash on the trucks to tone down the bright silver.

    While testing them I noticed that the A and B did not run at the same speed so I set CV54=0 and calibrated them. Now they all run at the same speed, that also had the added benefit of reducing the top speed as well. I ran yesterday at speed step 22 (out of 28) and it ran at 60MPH.

    I am impressed with these models and looking forward to their next N Scale engine.

  7. MartyAT&SF

    MartyAT&SF TrainBoard Member

    The book that comes with the model, and yes it is a book, has a parts list for that engine. It is not a generic document. My engines are all different.

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