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Kato RS-2

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Kato RS-2
Posted by tstage on Thursday, December 06, 2018 8:32 PM

Greetings -

How is the detail of the Kato RS-2s?  And how would they compared to the Atlas or Athearn RS-3s?  Are there any issues with the Kato units?

Thanks,

Tom

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, December 06, 2018 9:24 PM

Well...

How about some (dusty!) photos?

 KATO_rs2 by Edmund, on Flickr

I give a good score to the handrail and grab iron moldings Yes. The factory Kato LED is green, at least on my first-run models. Easy to modify when installing a decoder. 

 KATO_rs2b by Edmund, on Flickr

The fan grating, IMHO, is one area that could be improved. Perhaps there is an aftermarket available?

 KATO_rs2c by Edmund, on Flickr

The Automatic Train Stop MG set is a brass detail part that I added. Many NYC road units had these.

 

 KATO_rs2d by Edmund, on Flickr

All three could use a replacement brake wheel but, so far, I haven't been able to find just the right one.

 KATO_rs2e by Edmund, on Flickr

 KATO_rs2f by Edmund, on Flickr

I see I have a handrail that popped out of its socket.

 

 Atlas_RS3b by Edmund, on Flickr

 Atlas_RS3 by Edmund, on Flickr

The Atlas has really klunky handrails and grabs. Footboards are also iffy.

 

 Proto_RS2b by Edmund, on Flickr

I added the roof-top air reservoir (even though this is an RS-2 and I believe this modification was only made to some passenger RS-3s) I thought it made a neat detail. I did find some Alco RS steam generator stacks that I haven't installed yet.

 Proto_RS2 by Edmund, on Flickr

Short answer, all three manufacturers of my RSs are very good. I am anticipating the Bowser RS-3 possibly by mid-2019? I run the Atlas ones the most since they have Loksound Select factory installed, which I upgraded to Full Throttle. The Kato's I originally had old Digitrax DH-121 decoders in and have since upgraded them with NCE D-13-SRJs. The Proto 1000's are also very good but lack some of the hand grabs. All are smooth runners and actually, the Katos are just a bit noisy. But, I've had them almost twenty-years!

If I think of any thing else I'll mention it. Or if you need more details or photos, let me know...

 I don't have an Athearn RS-3 but there was some (vintage) discussion here:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/191910.aspx

I believe the Athearn models were former Model Die Casting designs.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by tstage on Friday, December 07, 2018 11:24 AM

Thanks for your thorough feedback and the photos, Ed.  Those really help. Yes

I have one of the Athearn RS-3 and the detailing is very crisp.  The pickups, however, make the unit run so-so - at best.

I have two of the Atlas RS-3s but would like to possibly add an RS-2 to the roster.  I found an undecorated Kato version on eBay that would be fun to detail for an early RS-2.  The majority of the painted Kato NYC RS-2s appear to be painted gray.  The early NYC RS-2 photos on the Fallen Flags website, however, still look black (or faded black) to me rather than gray.

If I do pick up a Kato it will most likely be an undecorated shell so that I can paint and detail it myself - i.e. unless you can convince me, Ed, that the NYC RS-2 were actually painted gray. Stick out tongue

So, the Kato RS-2s came out in the late 90s or so?

Thanks,

Tom

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, December 07, 2018 2:38 PM

I'd have to check my books re the color, but it would make sense that some RS-2s would have been delivered in the two-tone gray passenger scheme, since some RS-2s were bought to be used for passenger service. Just like there are some GM F-3 freight engines in the black lightning stripe scheme, and F-3 passenger engines in the gray scheme. As rail passenger numbers declined after WW2, NYC pretty quickly realized they had more passenger engines than they needed. A good number of passenger engines had their steam generators removed and were repainted from gray to black lightning stripes, so it could be the passenger RS-2s only wore gray for a few years. 

Stix
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Posted by tstage on Friday, December 07, 2018 3:46 PM

Thanks, Stix.  The NYC RS-2 were acquired in Jan '49 & Feb '50.  When would they have likely been repainted?

Tom

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, December 07, 2018 4:18 PM

My guess would be before the 'cigar band' scheme came in c.1958-59, although I suppose some may have gone directly from the gray lightning stripes to the later black scheme.

Stix
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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, December 07, 2018 9:11 PM

 NYC_RS3 by Edmund, on Flickr

Photo by Gerrit Bruins

Another photo on page 94 of Brian Solomon's "New York Central Railroad" shows DRSP-6g, 8330, on a turntable in North Brtgen, NJ April 1958, with light and dark gray paint.  

Regards, Ed

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Posted by tstage on Friday, December 07, 2018 10:16 PM

Good stuff, Ed. #8228 and #8330 are both RS-3s.

I'd love to find out if the 1st release NYC RS-2s (#8202-8209) were all black, or a mixture of black & gray.  Pg. 81 in the '77 Q2 issue of the NYCSHS Central Headlight definitely shows #8205 in the black paint scheme, as well as #8213 on pg. 83:

I'm more a freight modeler than a passenger modeler so I'd like to stick with an RS-2 with the black paint scheme.  That said, I very much enjoy my two Hudsons & Niagara (plus my 20th Century Limited passenger cars), as well as my NYC Aerotrain.

Tom

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Posted by fmilhaupt on Saturday, December 08, 2018 6:13 AM

I really like the mechanism on the Kato RS-2, but I have an issue with the radiator fan. It sits very noticeably too high, to my eyes. Cutting down the fan while keeping it level is one of those things that, after three attempts, I decided I just couldn't do well. If I had a milling machine, maybe I could do it.

Since I was looking to replace a pair of Proto 1000 RS-2s that had worn-out mechanisms, my solution was to get a couple of used Kato RS-2s, cut the coupler mounts off the Kato frames, drill holes through them to clear the coupler mount studs on the Proto walkways, then drop the Proto 1000 shells onto them. This was a perfect fit.

Voila, a proper-height fan, and a greatly-improved mechanism, compared to the original Proto drive.

-Fritz Milhaupt, Publications Editor, Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, December 09, 2018 10:56 PM

DRS-2 was the NYC designation for a freight RS-2, and DRSP-2 was for passenger RS-2s. DRSP-2A engines 8200 and 8201 were built in Feb. 1948, and were reclassified as freight engines (steam generator removed, ballast added) Dec 1959 and March 1960 respectively. DRSP-2C engines were built February 1950, and were reclassified as freight engines between April 1958 and May 1960. These engines were retired or sold between 1961 and 1967.

This was from "Diesel Locomotives of the New York Central System" by W.D. Edson, H.L. Vail Jr., and C.M. Smith, published by the New York Central System Historical Society. 

The color can be difficult...one problem is the main passenger gray often used on models is much lighter than what NYC actually used. The lightning stripes were light gray on both freight and passenger units, but freight engines were mainly black and passenger engines were very dark gray. Maybe "charcoal gray"? Anyway, much darker than the Kato engines, based on the photos that have been posted so far.

http://www.railpictures.net/showimage.php?id=300556&key=5523601

 

Stix

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