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May 2008 - Page 48


2 -8-8-8-2 TRIPlEX
The MTH replica of the unusual Erie Railroad 2-8-8-8-2 Triplex captures the massive presence of the proto type, and it is equipped with both D ee and sound.

By Dean Windsor


n 1 9 1 3 the fi rst of three "Tri plex" locomotives was ordered from Baldwin Locomotive Works by the Erie Rai l road 's mechanical department. B y placing an en

g ears located i n t h e gear towers of the front and center engine assembly. Vari ous i d ler gears transfer power to the t h i rd set of drivers in each engine. The fourth driver set in the center engine are fitted w i th traction tires. Bronze bushings on each of the 1 2 ax les are sprung and the engine frames are cast metal as w e l l . A l l other drivers are powered v i a t h e stamped side rods. The third engine u n der the ten-

der i s not powered and i s completely free wheel ing. Sprung steel pins i n each engine fra me r i de the tires of each of the 24 dri ver wheels to prov ide electrical contact. Pow er is then routed via w i re to the tender that contains the decoder and sound system. Tw in speakers are mounted in the bottom rear of the tender. These same electronics

g i ne beneath the tender Baldw i n created a 2-8-8-8-2 out of a 2-8-8-0. The center high pressure cyl i n ders each fed two of the lower pressure cyl i n ders. The fi rst, named the M att Shay, hauled a 250 car train u p a . 09 grade and around a curve. The test also showed that i t cou ld not maintain as constant speed of more than 1 5 mph. This test is considered to be the longest, heaviest train ever hauled in the h i s tory of ra i l road ing. Because of the s l ow speeds these locomotives stayed in p u sher service u n t i l they were di sman tled. This unit features a die-cast frame and boiler, housing a fi ve-pole skew-wound can motor w ith a stai n l ess steel drive shaft and a sing le turned brass flywheel. The driveshaft connects to brass worm


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