The Pennsylvania’s A5s switcher was a tremendous powerhouse for its size. Designed for switching around the tight curves and clearances of industrial districts in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, the A5s is the perfect prototype for layouts with sharp curves.
The Pennsylvania Railroad began building its A5s switchers in 1916. The locomotives featured superheaters, and larger cylinders and fireboxes than the A4 which preceded it. The locomotives actually produced more tractive effort than larger B class (0-6-0) locomotives on the rails at the time. The last was built in 1924. These would be the final Pennsy o-4-0s.
Some of the earliest diesel and diesel-electric locomotives offered a strong competition to these little steam locomotives. These diesels were not only much more efficient, they were also much more urban-friendly with their lack (at least relative to a steam locomotive) of smoke. Still, several A5s toiled on into the 1950s. One, No. 94, was selected for preservation in the railroad’s historic collection. The locomotive survives today and is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.
Based on K-Line tooling, this latest release of the A5s is in our Conventional line, offering an affordable and compact yet good-looking locomotive that can run on any layout. This latest release features Conventional Railsounds and a synchronized mechanically puffing smoke unit. With a powerful flywheel-equipped motor, metal body, frame and pilot and traction tires, this little champ will pull for you like it did for the Pennsy.
Additional features include:
Transformer controlled Forward / Neutral / Reverse operation
- Front and rear magnetic couplers
- Operating headlight
- Engineer figure and other separately applied details
- Die-cast metal tender body and trucks
- Sound controls inside tender water hatch
- Realistic coal load
The switchers are available in two numbers for the Pennsy: No. 94 the survivor, and No. 112 in the 1930s Futura lettering. Additional roads include Bethlehem Steel (this compact brute is perfect as a mill shifter!), Santa Fe, Union Pacific and Transylvania (the perfect complement to your Halloween layout.)
The locomotives will negotiate O-27 curves. MSRP is $449.99. Look for these to steam into dealers’ shelves this fall.
For an early look, here are a few views of the unpainted pilot model. Fans of later years on the Pennsy will no doubt notice we’ve updated the headlight to a more modern electric version over the catalog art.