N UP 4-8-4 FEF-3 Locomotives

Prototype Information:


The Union Pacific FEF (Four Eight Four), along with the GS-4 is easily one of the most recognizable US steam prototypes still in operation today. The FEF-3 series of steam locomotives was delivered in 1944 and were the last, and some of the largest, steam locomotives delivered for use by the Union Pacific. Operated solely by the Union Pacific, the FEF’s (sometimes referred to as “Northerns”, due to the NP’s being the first to build steam locomotives with the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement) were intended primarily to be passenger locomotives but the UP’s large fleet of available diesels meant that the FEF’s were put to work in secondary passenger and fast freight service.


Today, FEF-3 #844 (at some times during history also known as #8444 to avoid numbering conflictions with a diesel loco) survives to pull excursion trains as a publicity locomotive for the Union Pacific, and is one the UP’s oldest operating locmotives.


Accompanying the “living legend” FEF-3 is always at least one of a pair of Union Pacific Water Tenders, carrying spare water for the steam engine (Water filling stations being a rarity in the diesel era). These unique re-built cars have seen service as both Steam and Gas Turbine Electric fuel tenders before finally settling into their current forms as part of UP’s steam heritage fleet where they operate as separate (but always-present) cars.


Model Information:


The Kato N Scale FEF-3 follows in the footsteps of its Southern Pacific 4-8-4 cousin, refining the basic concept of a high-power, flexible steam locomotive which is easily upgradable to DCC by coupling a special, isolated coreless motor drive system with heavy duty flywheels and a flexible cross-braced suspension system that gives the locomotive a high torque, high traction grip that ensures constant and consistent pressure spread across the primary drivers. Another benefit of the coreless motor system is that the locomotive will have an extremely low starting voltage, giving the locomotive slow creeping speeds that will allow modelers to appreciate the complex arrangement of moving side rods that make steam operation so exciting. Other features, such as the locomotive’s unique “Centipede” style tender being fitted with special articulation mechanisms that appear seamless when observed but will bend and flex to allow the locomotive to navigate tighter corners than should otherwise be possible!


Technical Diagrams + DCC Instructions:


Model Features:


  • Semi-modern appearance is appropriate for modern layouts behind UP Excursion trains as well as historical layouts operating freight and UP passenger services.
  • New coreless motor design with dual brass flywheels for silky-smooth performance at all speeds, even slow crawls.
  • Special cross-braced shock absorbers equalize the pressure on the locomotive drivers to maximize traction.
  • Illuminated headlight and locomotive numberboards. The FEF tender does not have operational lights, but lighting kits are available for the special Water Tender cars (sold separately)
  • DCC friendly design, allowing for easy drop-in installation of DCC using ESU 58741 LokSound 5 micro DCC Direct Kato USA . This locomotive is also available with DCC pre-installed from Kato USA!
  • 11″ (282mm) Minimum turning radius on ground level track, 15″ (381mm) Minimum turning radius on Viaduct track.
  • All detail parts installed
  • Excursion Version: White Driver rims, silver smokebox, gloss paint.
  • Freight Version: All-black Drivers, Graphite smokebox, matte paint.
  • Greyhound Version: All-black Drivers, Graphite smokebox, gloss paint.

Product Images; click for higher resolution images

FEF-3 (Excursion Version) Gloss paint, Silver smokebox, white rimmed wheels

FEF-3 (Freight Version) Matte paint, graphite smokebox, black rimmed wheels

FEF-3 (Greyhound) Gloss paint, graphite smokebox, black rimmed wheels

Feature videos:

Pre-Production Greyhound Preview: Watch this video (also accessible by clicking the image to the left) to get a sneak peak at the new “Greyhound” paint scheme version of the Union Pacific FEF-3! This distinctive and special paint scheme adorned FEF-3 #844 (or as it was also known, #8444) in 1946 and then again in 1987.

Pre-Production Sample Preview: Watch this video (also accessible by clicking the image to the left) to get a first look at a pre-production sample of the New UP FEF-3 locomotive!

This video will walk through some basics of disassembly, mechanical and electrical features, and show the locomotive in motion on a small test layout!

Unboxing: Watch this video (also accessible by clicking the image to the left) to view our unboxing video for the FEF-3, Water Tenders and 7-Car Excursion Train set!

The models in the video are final packaged production models and are identical to what will be shipped to hobby stores in early December.

Available Products:

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N 4-8-4 FEF-3 Union Pacific - Excursion version

126-0401-DCC N 4-8-4 FEF-3 Union Pacific - Excursion version w/ Preinstalled DCC

126-0401-S N 4-8-4 FEF-3 Union Pacific - Excursion version w/ Preinstalled DCC + Sound

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$299 for Analog/DC. $399 for Digital DCC. $499 for DCC+Sound