July 22, 2011 - M.T.H.'s O Gauge Premier Line Genset Diesel locomotive has begun arriving at your local M.T.H. Authorized Retailer. Check out the model's details in its U.S. Army livery in the photos below or click on the video icon to the left to see the engine in action.
Known also as an Ultra Low Emissions Locomotive (ULEL), the GenSet engine was the brainchild of Mike Iden of the Union Pacific. Looking to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, Iden envisioned a diesel locomotive with multiple engine/generator sets, each of which would turn on only when needed. His experimental prototype proved its worth in 2005 and spawned a new type of road switcher — the ultimate “smart” locomotive.
Today’s Genset is perhaps the perfect marriage of heavy machinery and computers. Each of its three 700-horsepower GenSets turns on only when a microprocessor senses it’s needed. At idle only one engine runs, and even that turns off after a certain period of inactivity. Unlike traditional railroad diesels that require an elaborate startup procedure, the Cummins diesels used in GenSets are based on a truck engine design that can be started up instantly.
When the locomotive is under load, the second and third GenSets power up and down as needed. The result is a locomotive that delivers fuel savings of 40% and more, compared with traditional yard and road switchers, and an 80% reduction in noxious emissions. No wonder that many GenSet purchases have been funded with government grants targeted at making the air more breathable.
Software also enables a GenSet engine to work longer and harder. Its computer tracks the running time on each engine-generator set and evens out the wear on the locomotive’s three units — each of which is skid-mounted and can be changed out in less than six hours if necessary.
The 3GS-21B has unusually high tractive effort for its horsepower because a microprocessor controls wheel slip by reducing power to individual traction motors — rather than a whole truck as on older wheel-slip prevention systems. This feature has enabled some customers to do the same work with fewer locomotives. And, like the M.T.H. DCS system, the 3GS-21B has software that can be upgraded over the Internet.
M.T.H.’s O scale version of the GenSet is an attractively priced model capable of operating on O-31 curves that features two powerful flywheel equipped motors, operating smoke that outputs through three exhaust stacks, full digital sound and remotely triggered operating couplers that can be activated in conventional mode.
This state-of-the-art real-life locomotive can find its way on your model railroad without breaking your locomotive budget. Available in both hi-rail and scale wheeled models, each comes equipped with our Proto-Scale 3-2 technology that allows either model to operate on 2 or 3-rail track. For those choosing the scale wheeled model with it’s fixed pilots, you can even swap out the scale wheels for hi-rail wheel sets if you’re running on tubular track. No other O gauge manufacturer offers you such flexibility in a model.
The Premier Line Genset Diesel locomotive can be ordered through any M.T.H. Authorized Retailer.