Kato (Japan) GE P42 Genesis

Introduced: 2002 (DCC-Ready version), 2017 (DCC-Equipped version) and 2022 (DCC-Sound version)

Another great looking and smooth running Kato diesel. The chassis / mechanism is very similar in design to the one Kato used in their earlier E8 and PA models -

These locos are absolutely state of the art - DCC-Ready split-frame metal chassis, 5-pole motor, dual flywheels, all-wheel drive and pickup, low-friction current collection, body-mounted automatic couplers, directional LED lighting, low-profile / blackened wheels, etc. Mine (pictured above) has a Digitrax decoder installed in place of the stock lightboard. Starting with the 2017 production run, these models were also available with factory-installed TCS K0D8-A decoders.

A new feature on these models is "flicker free" lighting (accomplished courtesy of a couple of capacitors on the lightboard).

Performance is breathtakingly smooth and quiet at all speeds. The hefty chassis makes for superior pulling power. And these models might just have the most amazingly affective flywheels I've ever seen - drop down from full throttle and these will coast a full twelve inches before slowly gliding to a stop. The shells are gorgeous, with fine paint and detailing.

Prototype information -

The General Electic P42 locomotive is also known as the "Genesis" locomotive. The P42 is a modern 4200 horsepower passenger locomotive used across the United States and Canada. Amtrak's P42 has replaced the EMD F40PH in revenue service and today they are used throughout the United States and often operated in a mixed consist of Phase IV and Phase V schemes.

To remove the shell, insert a couple of toothpicks between the shell and chassis to spread the sides of the shell apart. It should then lift up and off quite easily.

Grade: A

Reviewed: 07/02 Model Railroader ("Kato's N scale P42 is an exquisite replica of Amtrak's long-distance workhorse... this new locomotive is truly a delight to the eyes. It's also a powerful and smooth-running model... Kato's P42 matches prototype drawings... The body shell comes off the one-piece cast metal alloy frame easily. Just gently spread the sides of the fuel tank until the mechanism slips out. The double-ended, five-pole motor mounted on a plastic frame nestles inside a cavity in the one-piece metal frame. A PC board attached to the plastic motor mount holds two white headlight LEDs and a pair of phosphor-bronze strip contacts that transfer electricity to the motor from tabs mounted certically on the side of each truck... Turned brass flywheels on boths ends of the motor shaft smooth out the motion. Acetal plastic drive shafts and universals transmit the rotation from the motor to the truck gears via a brass worm in each truck gearbox. The wheels on our sample were chemically darkened and met NMRA standards...

"The body-mounted magnetic knuckle couplers are compitible with Micro-Trains and similar types, although they're mounted a bit low. Kato has included a pair of extended shank couplers if your P42 will be working on curves of 9.75" radius or less. "Superb" best describes this model's mold work, from the grills, to the recessed handrails, to the radiator fan, and the power receptacles on the ends. The painting and lettering are crisp and legible, and it's a treat to read the GE logo underneath the cab windows and the caution signs on the roof. Kato made two obvious concessions to durability. The Sinclair-style radio antenna on the right-hand side of the cab roof is a solid casting, rather than a more delicate replica of the prototype antenna. And the windshield wipers are cast into the windshield, rather than mounted below the windshield as on the prototype. Separate headlight lenses, front numberboards, and front and rear MU hoses are included... The trucks have excellent relief detail. Each is marked as "front" or "rear" with directional arrows on the bottom to aid with reassembly and keep the trucks oriented properly. This model also has a cab interior, albeit rudimentary, which I believe is a first for a mass-produced N scale locomotive... Our sample started creeping at 1.3 volts and performed smoothly throughout its speed range. The top speed is high, but after all this is a passenger train unit and it's meant to run like a greyhound. Drawbar pull is .96 ounces, good for about 11 passenger cars... Kato's P42 can justifiably take its place among the best N scale locomotives produced to date. $98 each, $196 two unit set")

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