Key/Nakamura (Japan) Brass 2-6-0 1880's Baldwin Mogul

Introduced: 1982

This set includes a non-powered 2-6-0 Baldwin Mogul steam locomotive and five passenger cars (with propulsion actually being provided by the baggage car). There have been two versions of this set that I know of - the first version doesn't have an ornate end-platform on the observation car and the second version (as pictured above) does. They show up on eBay with amazing regularity, so either they're hopping around like so many fleas in a dog pound or the production numbers were pretty high.

This is a very nice looking little train (and an interesting experiment for 1982). Unfortunately, the baggage car "locomotive" is simply not up to the task of moving this thing around.

Yes, it's a very solid looking little mechanism - big motor, plastic gearing, minimal wiring, etc. And when faced with your basic "test track" situation (IE, no turnouts and no grades), it runs quite smoothly and quietly. However, mix in some turnouts and/or grades and things start to get ugly in a hurry.

The basic problem with this pseudo locomotive is the trucks. All the wheels are geared, but only two wheels per truck actually provide pickup (the other two being equipped with traction tires). Worse still, the pickup is divided between the trucks (IE one truck picks up the right rail and the other truck picks up the left rail). And sadly, said pickup scheme is a total recipe for nigh endless stalls over turnouts. Worse still, the actual motive power of this car is not enough to adequately pull this very heavy train up any kind of grade (remember, it's all brass). The traction tires will inevitably start slipping and rumbling when faced with any kind of uphill climb, and before you know it the thing will have managed to rumble itself right off the rails.

So, there ya go - the world's most expensive "around the Xmas tree" train. Enjoy.

As delivered, the locomotive comes with a wood load. However, an ala-carte coal load is provided should you want to switch. The locomotive does not have any window glazing in the cab (and maybe that's prototypical, I dunno). All of the passenger cars do in fact have window glass.

To remove the baggage car shell, simply unscrew the two screws on one end of the shell (note, that's the shell and not the chassis - it took me a while to figure out that whole deal).

Grade: D

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