BLI Y-6 wishes

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Apr 25 17:23:15 EDT 2022

There were three "relatively" low cost articulate models with correct

   - Mantua 2-6-6-2
   - Bowser 4-6-6-4
   - Bowser 4-8-8-4

The Bowser 4-6-6-4 built stock with no detail parts added will go around
18" radius curves - and have more than two inches of overhang at the
front.  As soon as any of the "extra" detail parts are added, the minimum
radius climbs very quickly, figure at least 30"R MIN if you want the
exhaust from the front cylinders or the large steam piping to the front

Most people would rather compromise the articulation for the tight curves
with some additional detail.   Currently and/or recently produced UP Big
Boy models from Athearn, BLI, RIvarossi and Trix all have compromised
articulation and are selling well.  Manufacturers are only willing to take
so much risk.  An equivalently detailed model to any of those four with
correct articulation would be limited to something greater than 36" R MIN.
And for the models that are just going to be shelf or round house queens;
it doesn't matter because no one will see it go round a curve.

I own a couple of the Mantua 2-6-6-2 models, a Bowser 4-6-6-4, a couple
Oriental Powerhouse Y3a, a couple P2K Y3a, a couple Rivarossi Y6b, a BLI
Y6b, a couple BLI A and a brass A.  The articulation  used to bother me,
but when running a train on a layout it is not really noticeable.


On Mon, Apr 25, 2022 at 2:35 PM NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>

> For what it's worth, speaking from a retail perspective, if the "correct"
> articulation requires curves greater than 24", then please keep making them
> "wrong".  I've had plenty of customers who want to run a big articulated on
> their layout that, whether it is big or small, uses tight curves of 24" or
> less.  Even #6 turnouts seem to sometimes be problematic for some
> articulateds.
> If the goal is to sell as many of a product as possible to the masses,
> then some compromises will have to be made.  Especially as I have been
> completing more of my layout and running more models, the more I value
> reliable running over detail.  Sometimes you can have both, but if it comes
> down to a choice, I want to see my models run.
> Marty Flick
> -----------------------------------------
> From: "NW Modeling List"
> To: "NW Modeling List"
> Cc:
> Sent: Sunday April 24 2022 11:13:19AM
> Subject: Re: BLI Y-6 wishes
> To each their own. We all have our breaking point. I can remember the
> early 90s, when the only way to have Norfolk and Western steam was to
> purchase brass.   Sure, there was Rivarossi, but that was definitely not
> 'fine scale'.
> As a young twenties kid, I couldn't imagine owning more than one or two
> articulateds.  The articulation is assuredly so that the trains can run on
> smaller layouts. Once you have the train on your layout, especially in a
> situation where you have larger radii, I find it to be practically
> unnoticeable.
>  Then along came the proto 2000 Y3's. I couldn't believe how well they ran
> and how good they looked. So much better than my Oriental limited Y3, with
> its molded on boiler detail.
> By the way, my Key and Precision Scake brass articulateds are not hinged
> like the Oriental Limited Y3's either. They have a sort of double hinge
> that holds the front engine to the rear.  The Oriental Limited models have
> a solid hinge with a screw holding it to the rear set of drivers.
> I guess you could call me a bit of a fan...
> Mike Rector
> On Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 8:25 PM NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>
> wrote:
>> I've watched this thread go on and on, and I  finally can't stand it
>> anymore.  I have not bought,  and will never buy a BLI articulated, of they
>> can't/won't get the articulation right.  The Rivarossi floating rear engine
>> isn't necessary and even it the driver and flange sizes are better, it's
>> still a glaring abomination.  They will never get my money if they can't
>> make a proper engine.  Perhaps if they offered an M, since that is a solid
>> frame engine, I would consider it.  But I will never buy a Y6a, or a Y6, or
>> a Y5 from them if they insist on perpetuating an incorrect drive mechanism.
>> Dr. J. Brent Greer
>> ------------------------------
>> *Dr. J. Brent Greer*
>> ------------------------------
>> *From:* NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at> on behalf
>> of NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list at>
>> *Sent:* Saturday, April 23, 2022 11:50 AM
>> *To:* NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>
>> *Cc:* NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>
>> *Subject:* Re: BLI Y-6 wishes
>> I’ll join the list of those having suggested BLI do an Y-6/Y-6a. If I
>> recall correctly, I emailed them shortly after they announced their Y-6b.
>> I noted that the Y-6’s and Y-6a’s outnumbered the B’s by nearly 3-to-1 on
>> the N&W. And living about 15 miles from the prototype 2156 at the time, I
>> even volunteered to measure/photograph it for them.
>> Their emailed answer to me was, boiled down, thanks but no thanks. I took
>> some solace in their at least getting the driver diameter correct, unlike
>> the ancient Rivarossi model. LOL.
>> Andre Jackson
>> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad <>
>> On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 3:31 PM, NW Modeling List <
>> nw-modeling-list at> wrote:
>> Certainly Broadway LTD has not been hampered in producing Pennsylvania RR
>> locomotives.  It seems like a new PRR release every month or two.  Many
>> years ago at the NMRA National Train Show in Philadelphia I spoke with a
>> representative of Broadway.  They had already produced the Y6b and I
>> suggested they could use the same mechanism and do the Y-5, Y-6 and Y-6a
>> boilers.  I know Harold Davenport also suggested this to them but obviously
>> nothing has come of it.
>> It is my understanding that the PRRT&HS Modeling committee gathers
>> together all the necessary documentation and travels to Florida to meet
>> with the folks at Broadway to promote a new locomotive.  I have even heard
>> a representative of the factory in China is often in attendance. Of course,
>> it seems like anything with "PRR" on it sells well.
>> Jim Brewer
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