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Athearn #G97798 HO 4-6-6-4 w/DCC & ESU Sound Oil Tender, SP&S #911

Athearn #G97798 HO 4-6-6-4 w/DCC & ESU Sound Oil Tender, SP&S #911
  • Manufacture: Athearn
  • Category: Steam Locomotive
  • Number: G97798
  • Scale: HO
  • Price: $534.99

NP and SP&S road specific details
Cast pilot with fold-down coupler
Enclosed cab with side entry doors, fixed roof hatches and simulated diaphragm
Smokebox-mounted air pumps
Two sizes of wheels in the trailing truck
NP-style expansion link, which supports much of the valve gear
NP specific welded coal tender
SP&S specific welded oil tender
Fully-assembled and ready-to-run
Boiler backhead with printed manual controls
Individually applied piping, valves, generators, etc.
Correctly operating eccentric cranks
Illuminated LED directional headlight and back-up light in the tender
Five pole, skewed armature can motor with flywheels
Pivoting front and rear engines for negotiating 18” radius curves
Electrical pick-up on all driver and wheels
8-pin connector plug between loco and
McHenry operating knuckle couplers installled
Minimum radius: 18”
Recommended radius: 22”


Onboard DCC decoder with ESU LokSound
Sound units operate in both DC and DCC
Full DCC functions available when operated in DCC mode
Engine, whistle, and bell sounds work in DC
All functions NMRA compatible in DCC mode
Excellent Slow speed control
Many functions can be altered via Configuration Value (CV) changes
CV chart included in the box


The Northern Pacific ordered 21 “Challengers” from the American Locomotive Company in 1936 and took delivery of them during 1936 and 1937. These 4-6-6-4s were designated Z-6 and were assigned road numbers 5100 through 5120. They had four 23 x 32 cylinders, 69” drivers, a 250 psi boiler pressure, exerted 104,500 lbs of tractive effort and weighed 624,500 pounds. In 1941, another six “Challengers” came from ALCO. These were designated Z-7 and they carried road numbers 5121 through 5126. They had four 23 x 32 cylinders, 70” drivers, a 260 psi boiler pressure, exerted 107,000 lbs of tractive effort and weighed 644,000 pounds. The last steam locomotives bought by the Northern Pacific were the 20 “Challengers” it purchased from ALCO during 1943 and 1944. This group designated Z-8 was assigned road numbers 5130 through 5149. The Z-8 locomotives were virtually identical to those of Class Z-7. Two oil-burning Z-8s were also delivered to the SP&S.


This was essentially identical to the 1941 Z-7s. These locomotives were produced under a wartime mandate to replace certain high-strength steel components with similar items produced with more common and heavier steel. Even so, the NP’s diagrams show no difference in the adhesion weight and just a 1,000 lb difference on engine weight.

The firebox heating surface included 136 sq ft in eight circulators. These also featured a bearing design that permitted smooth riding at higher speeds

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