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Kato Metra Christmas Train - when did it run?

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  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 3 posts
Kato Metra Christmas Train - when did it run?
Posted by Bal-Sagoth on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:13 PM

 

Hello, I have recently (April 2016) gotten into US N scale model railroading. All of my equipment is Kato. I am modelling Chicago area passenger (Metra commuter and Amtrak) and UP freight trains.

 

I purchased the Kato Metra Christmas train a few weeks ago and would like to run it reasonably prototypically. I have had a look at YouTube and have seen that the train, besides running during the holiday period, ran for a number of weeks afterwards though not as a complete train. I have seen a video that shows the locomotive, Metra F40PH number 125, at the head of a train where the adjacent bi-level coach is in normal Metra livery (without the Operation North Pole vinyl overlays).

 

My question is:  How long after the holiday period did the 2015 Operation North Pole (ONP) train run before its decorative vinyl’s were removed? Did the locomotive run separately to the ONP coaches after the holiday period and, if so, were the coaches kept together or were they split up?

 

I hope this makes sense, please feel free to ask me any questions if clarification is needed.

 

I am very impressed by the quality of the Kato equipment and will definitely be continuing my journey into US N scale model railroading. I am in the UK and have not yet visited the USA (but I keep dropping hints to my wife that I would like to) so please excuse any incorrect terminology that I have used.

 

Thank you in advance for all replies received Smile.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 3 posts
Posted by Bal-Sagoth on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 6:13 PM

Hi,
Since no one has any information or queries, I will post what I know in the hope that it is useful to someone in the future.
Kato bought out an N scale Christmas train pack in 2016 based on the prototype Operation North Pole train that ran in December 2015 on the Union Pacific North West line using Metra commuter equipment – an f40PH locomotive and five bi level commuter cars.
(From the Kato USA website): “Operation North Pole (ONP) is a volunteer-based public charity. ONP works with Chicago’s major children’s hospitals, providing a day of fun and fantasy for families who have a child battling a life threatening illness by hosting a fantasy trip to the North Pole. The magical experience includes, breakfast, a festive train ride to the North Pole, a visit with Santa, winter wonderland fun, entertainment, treats, personal wish list gifts, and much more! It's ONP's goal to provide these families an unforgettable experience amidst very challenging times”.
More information on Operation North Pole’s excellent work can be found here: www.operationnorthpole.org
Information on the Kato N scale Christmas train can be found on the Kato USA website:  http://www.katousa.com/N/ONP/index.html
The Kato model of the Christmas train consists of an N scale F40PH and three Nippon Sharyo Gallery Type Bi-Level Passenger Cars, one of which is a cab car. The locomotive and cars are painted in a representation of the vinyl wraps applied for the 2015 Operation North Pole train. The locomotive is #125, the cab car is #8472 and the remaining cars are #6131 and #6054.
The prototype train ran with the locomotive and five cars, all “wrapped” in Operation North Pole vinyls as can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6OgVU8ogIc and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnjLEPHUar4 .
The train ran between Des Plaines and Pingree Road stations (and back again) on the Union Pacific North West Line on 12th December 2015.
This Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBJNx0Bn2xw shows F40PH #125 still in the 2015 ONP wrap on 23rd January 2016. The video description states that the five Bi-Level Passenger Cars were still in the ONP wrap on this date but not running with F40PH #125.
I have seen an undated photo showing four of the 2016 ONP cars including the cab car with at least three other (non ONP vinyl wrapped) Metra Bi level cars. The four ONP cars are marshalled together and the cab car is at the rear on the train (red lights are lit). I do not recognise the location.
I do not know when the wrapped locomotive was separated from the wrapped cars or for how long after 23rd January 2016 the locomotive and cars retained their ONP 2015 wraps. I also do not know if the wrapped cars were separated or remained together before having their wraps removed other than noted in the previous paragraph.
I hope this information is of use to somebody. Thank you to the people who filmed the above videos and posted them to Youtube, the people who took the photos that I have consulted and thank you, of course, to Operation North Pole.

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