The K4 is BLI’s best offering to date!
The next Pennsylvania steam locomotive from Broadway has arrived. Quite possibly the best-detailed release from BLI yet, the PRR K4 is the first BLI steam loco to feature complete die cast construction. Most of the detail parts are cast metal, only using plastic on the areas where it would cause a short or be too fragile. The overall degree of detail is excellent.
The most significant departure from their previous designs is in the tender, where the QSI twin circuit board approach has been compressed, using one smaller board for both sound and power. This allows for the use of baffles for the speakers in order to provide better sound quality.
The K4 has acceleration and deceleration delay built in, giving it smoother operation. This is a feature that has not been used on previous BLI releases, and it may be something implemented specifically on the K4.
The all-metal construction gives it quite a bit of heft, the loco weighs over 1 pound without the tender. The impressive weight allows it to pull 10 cars up a 4% 22-inch radius grade, and would pull more if the tender didn’t weigh almost half a pound by itself. There is more than enough pulling power when equipped with traction tires, which come as the usual spare set of drivers, giving it the ability to pull long passenger train.
There are a number of factors that have tweaked our curiosity with this release as we stated with our initial announcement.
Well, I am still curious because of all the new features in this release and that it appears to have been fast tracked. I can only speculate that MTH’s announced entry in to the HO DCC market with a K4 due early 05, of similar specs, may have prompted a swift BLI challenge?
Our digital camera is at Trainfest this weekend, hope to have pictures next week.