0-6-0 Steam Locos
I know that, technically, these should be referred to as 0-6-0Ts but I wanted to use the same terminology Atlas used to describe them and they always called them "0-6-0 Steam Loco" in their ads. On the boxes themselves, is "0-6-0 Tank-Loco" So I guess that's OK too.
The March 1969 issue of Model Railroader is the earliest reference I can find for this little locomotive to have been available and it is in the Atlas ad on the inner back cover (that's where the Atlas ad always was in those days). There were no "coming soon" promises in the months leading up to it or announcements in the "New Products" section of the magazine to even indicate that Atlas was going to release it. It just appeared, kind of like the WDT diesels three months earlier. The Atlas roundhouse now included eight locomotives of American prototype, more than any other importer at the time. Minitrix (I'm not sure if Aurora or American Tortoise was the importer at this point; it was around this time that Aurora was getting out of it) and Revell/Rapido were next with five each (Minitrix actually had six locomotives available but the "Lil' Donkey" 0-6-0 was of European prototype).
As far as the prototype of this loco, I don't know what it is. I have done some research but have not looked in any prototype steam locomotive books because I don't have any. Maybe somebody can help out here.
Another Mehanotehnika locomotive, it would be their next-to-last built for Atlas. The construction is nearly indentical to the WDT diesel with a zinc alloy frame and plastic plate with wheel wipers on the bottom of the plate. The motor, motor mount, and drive are the same. Of course, the 0-6-0 has steam engine drivers, cylinders, and main driving rods. Speaking of rods, that's all there is, just the main rods. There are no side rods, eccentrics, no valve gear whatsoever! Only a simulation of the crossheads near the front of the main rods. I guess the Mehano engineers weren't as adventurous as Rivarossi's. There is no separate weight; it is cast integrally with the frame as a "bump" which rises in front of the worm. Anyway, like the WDT's these can actually be pretty good running little engines. The three I have (one is the Life-Like version) all run smoothly and relatively quietly without having to have tuned them up much. The only drawback is their fairly light weight, which isn't the best for consistent track contact. But, if the wheels are kept clean, they do OK.
Atlas Identification: Like the WDTs, there is no Atlas logo or part numbers on this locomotive. However, I believe that the Atlas version was the only one released with the 147 road number. There is no absolute guarantee of this, however, because this loco was marketed by other importers after Atlas discontinued it. Also, there are other 0-6-0s out there with which this one is often confused. So, be sure the boiler outline, steam dome, sand box (this one has a square outline box), stack, etc. are correct.
Variations: The only variation I've seen is that the road number "147" is whiter and heavier on some units than others. I will show both below. I don't know if this is the same lettering variation about which George Irwin has contacted me or not.
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