LGB Uintah Mallet Loco - Review

LGB Uintah Mallet Loco - Review

Post by Wayne Parso » Tue, 12 Mar 1996 04:00:00



Re: LGB Uintah No. 51 Mallet Locomotive 20882

I have just purchased this loco with sound from my LGB
Authorized Train Stop.  Here is one man's opinion on
this model.  Sound: best there is.  Motion: models the
real engine very well.  Appearance: Outstanding.  
Multi-Train operation: not suitable

SOUND
This was the main selling point for me.  I rate the
sound of the Uintah as the best anywhere; better than
any other LGB sound, better than the P&H kits, and
better than the Buchman.  Uintah sound effects include
a great whistle, hand rung bell, chuff-chuff running
effects, steam venting, and the fireman shoveling coal
(two scoops).  One of the four run switch positions
enables the loco to stay stopped but continuously
making steam sounds as the fireman keeps shoveling
periodically.  Every time you "hear" the fireman open
the door, the red firebox light comes on.

MOTION
The Uintah runs "slower" than other LGB engines.  At 14
volts the Uintah Loco moves at one third the speed of
the LGB Santa Fe Loco, and one fourth the speed of my
starter set engine.  My test was on straight track with
loco only.


                            in feet      seconds
Starter Set Loco 2117D     12.0         5.0      2.4
Santa Fe Loco 22560     12.0           6.5        1.8
Uintah Mallet Loco 20882        12.0          18.5        0.6

Thus the Uintah's speed models the "deliberate" pace of
a working logger.  Taken on its' own terms, with the
sound effects varying with the turns and straight
sections, the movement is quite realistic.  

MULTI-TRAIN OPERATION
This low actual speed makes the Uintah impractical for
multi-train operations where LGB stopping points are
used to control driving voltage circuits in block
control.  The Uintah loco travels so slowly that at
17.5 volts or lower the engine's stopping point is on
the 1700 track contact.  If a 17.6 or higher voltage is
used the Uintah bogie will clear the 1700, but this
voltage gives a speed too high for other locos in a
traditional multi-train operation.  Voltages given are
for my layout.  The point is it takes a HIGH voltage to
get enough speed for the 1701 magnet to clear the 1700
track contact.  I suppose all of this might be moot if
you used LGB's digital multi-train system.

APPEARANCE
This model is big, 620 mm / 24.4 inches, with quite
good detail.  Metal wires representing piping are well
attached and sturdy.  The foot plate area has many
valves handles and an engineer.  The model is a gray
black color.  LGB must have chosen this shade of black
for a reason.  The stakes on the Uintah lumber flatcars
are much "blacker."  Lettering and numbering is sharp
and clean.  The motion and appearance of the driving
and connecting rods is very nice.  Unfortunately the
front of the engine has a DUMMY knuckle coupler.  Due
to height this dummy can not be replaced with a working
knuckle coupler or a hook and eye coupler.  This
precludes No. 51 from yard make up and switching work
in complicated layouts

SUMMARY
With a strong boost from its' sound system, over all I
think the Uintah is the best steam model that LGB
makes.  In my opinion LGB should fit a sound system of
this quality to many of its older forney and mogul
engines.  As for the Uintah No. 51, it is the premiere
logger in any layout.

I am interested in knowing how others are setting up
their Uintah and how it's being used.