The long awaited Rivarossi Allegheny 2-6-6-6 has been released. My initial impressions are very favorable; great detail, real smooth running, low starting voltage,excellent low speed control and running stability. The Allegheny negotiated our figure eight, over and under test layout without a hitch. All transitions through our small radius Peco turnotes at all speeds were uneventfull.
Although I was enthusiastic when the loco was announced, I had reservations whether or not Rivarossi was going to be able to pull it off! They did!
Several years ago Rivarossi modernized their designs by adding can motors, flywheels and new diesel type gear boxes to all their popular articulated locos. These improvements were fine but they also reduced the amount of pick-up wheels and changed the pick-up mechanisms, which in my opinion proved disasterous and resulted in our dropping the line due to performance and quality control issues.
The main culprit is the spring pin pick-up assembly that contacts the inner driver rim and the fact that not every driver had this assy. The modern Rivarossi Challenger for example, only has two drivers on opposite rails for pick-up. The older, non can motor models, also had pick-up in the tender. Furthermore, these spring pin assemblies would fail as a result of short circuits that essentially melted the internal springs.
So, when I opened the Allegheny box, the first thing I looked for were these Spring Pin assemblies and the next thing was for additional pick-ups. Yes the Allegheny still had these spring pin assemblies, but the good news is that all the tender axles, 7 in all, had pick-up on both rails. In addition the front and rear loco trucks also have pickup. The multitude of pick-up points should insure reliable operation even if the spring pins fail.
The Allegheny is DCC ready and the NMRA socket is in the boiler area, almost any decoder with the NMRA plug will fit.
If you are considering Soundtraxx then you have a dilemma! Where do you put the sound unit … in the tender or in the loco? The speaker is best in tender! We will let you know!