Micro-Stories: FT Photos
©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff

The long awaited FT diesel locomotive has been released by Micro-Trains, and the UMTRR has scans of one of the first FT sets shipped! There's also a full product review here, and we'll cover the background for each railroad's FT's in the UMTRR column (subscriber version only) as they are released over time.

But first, let's let the pictures do the talking.

This example is the New York Central set, road numbers 1600/2400 (MTL Catalog Number 992 00 021, MSRP $189.00). Here's how they look as presented in the box.

Once you open the box, you'll find the units in a two piece plastic shell for protection. There is also a detailed sheet with exploded drawings of the A and B units, assembly and disassembly inmstructions, and coupler information; and a small bag with the user-installed diaphragms and small decal sheet for the A unit's numberboards (at least on these NYC units). The use of decals instead of printing directly on the numberboards would facilitate renumbering.

A larger than life view (depending on your monitor size!) of the A unit. The grab irons are separate detail parts on both the A and B units.

For an even larger image, click here. The image will come up in a pop-up window, note that on some browsers you won't get the entire unit. Just click the "X" in the top right of that pop-up window to close it.

Here's the A unit from the other side.

And here's a view from the underside. The unit utilizes a split frame with copper contacts from the wheels to the frame. All wheels are powered, just like the prototype. That is the MTL logo molded into the underside of the fuel tank.

There is no rear coupler on this particular unit because the NYC units were permanently coupled and MTL therefore includes a drawbar. It attaches dead center of the back (the small protrusion from the end of the body). The drawbar comes mounted to the A unit upon delivery but I moved it to the B unit for these scans. I could have taken it off entirely, but knowing me, I'd lose it!

The roof detail.

A look inside the A unit, front is to the left. You need to remove the front coupler in order to take the shell off. Looks like there's plenty of room for a decoder atop the split metal frame. [Note that Digitrax has already announced this; check their website for details. This does not constitute an endorsement, I don't use DCC.] Copper contacts are visible touching the tops of the trucks. There is a PC board atop the frame, just to the left of the front truck. The headlight is an LED and shines bright white. The NYC version had a single headlight; others will have dual headlights and the numberboards will also vary by the prototype.

Here is the B unit, with the front at the left. The way the rear truck is set in from the back end is a spotting feature of the FT "long B" unit. The drawbar is visible to the left of the unit. Very close coupling is possible-- less than 3 scale feet back to back between units-- but the A-B pair easily makes it around not only the 11 inch radius turns on my home layout, but the 9 3/4 inch minimum radius oval of my "starter" layout.

The other side of the B unit, with the front at the right.

Go on to the product review here!