Oriental Limited/Samhongsa (Korea) Brass EMD E6/E7/E8

E6AE6A & E6B

E8A & E8B

Introduced: 1983 (E7 & E8) and 1985 (E6)

These OL/Sam EMD "E" units all came out at basically the same time, and as such I'm assuming they all feature the same basic chassis/mechanism. So, to save myself a bit of time (and money) I'm going to review them all here based on the E8A unit I actually purchased.

This is a very typical 1980s Samhongsa design. All wheels are geared, although only 8 of them provide pickup (via wheel wipers). Current is ferried to the 5-pole motor via a veritable rat's nest of wiring. The driveshafts are plastic and the truck gearing is metal. I'm not sure what kind of gears are hidden away in the truck towers (and frankly, I'm not really interested in dismantling them in order to find out). My E8 is a very impressive performer, particularly for an old 1980s Sammy. Pickup is great, throttle response is very smooth, slow speed creep is excellent, and the top-end speed isn't too crazy. Better still, it's a surprisingly quiet runner. Despite the 3-axle trucks, mine has no problems navigating narrow (9.75") radius curves. No traction tires.

Shell detailing is typically wonderful. Also typical is the lack of couplers, lighting, and window glazing. One interesting feature (and something that I've never seen on any other brass model) is the cute little cab interior.

Only the E6's were sold in A/B pairs. All the rest of them were sold individually. Both the A and B units are powered. The E8s were available with a number of variations (horizontal or vertical grills, single or dual headlights, dynamic brakes or no dynamic brakes). PRR E7s and E8s with rooftop antennae were also available.

Note that although Oriental Ltd imported EA/B and E1A/B models circa 1982, those were manufactured in Japan (by Kumata), and consequently have nothing in common with these models.

To remove the shell, unscrew the four tiny screws holding the fuel tank to the chassis (and the chassis to the shell). The shell should then lift right off.

Grade: A

E8A w/o dynamic brakes


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