Pacific Fast Mail/Samhongsa (Korea) Brass EMD F40PH

Introduced: 1986

Holy cow, it's another really nice looking brass locomotive from Samhongsa. I especially like all the various see-through vent screens. Better still, it actually comes with factory-installed Micro-Trains couplers (shell-mounted). On the debit side, no window inserts or lighting.

Apart from the gigantic can motor, the mechanism is very typical of 1980s Samhongsa design - IE, swiveling truck towers, wheel-wipers, and wires running all over the place. All wheels provide pickup (no traction tires). All truck gearing is metal. The driveshaft assemblies are plastic. The wheel flanges are reasonably sized, so no problems on Code-55 track.

I'm not sure what the story is on that motor, though. It almost looks too big for this model (what with the driveshafts running at odd angles in order to connect up with it). But I'll tell ya what, I certainly can't argue with the results. This is one of the finest running brass locomotives I've ever encountered. Throttle response is absolutely smooth at all levels, slow-speed creep is superb, and the top-end speed is very reasonable. And man, is this thing ever quiet! Honestly, if I didn't know better I'd think it was a Kato. No problems with turnouts or narrow radius curves. Plenty of pulling power. Yeah, I have my reservations about the current collection scheme (wheelwipers and wires - ugh), but overall this is a superb looking and running model.

Here's a "Phase II wide band" -

To remove the shell, simply unscrew the four tiny screws (two on either side of the fuel tank). The shell should lift right off at that point.

Grade: A

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