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Broadway Limited Model 075

Review by Neil

Norfolk and Western Class
J 611 4-8-4

Train Plant Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock

The Norfolk and Western
J Class Locomotive was designed and built in Roanoke Virginia .
A fleet of fourteen were built which balanced strength and speed. They
were built in three batches 600-604 in 1941-42, 605-610 in 1943, and 611-613 in
1950. The second batch were not built with their streamlined shrouding
due to a wartime shortage of materials. This was added later between 1946
and 1947. The third batch were the last three steam passenger locomotives
built for an American railroad and were identical to the previous two batches.

By 1950, all of the Class Js had their boiler pressure
raised to 300 psi which increased the tractive effort to 80,000 pounds. The Js
operated daily for eighteen years between Cincinnati
and Norfolk ,
pulling the passenger trains The Powhatan
, Pocahontas, and
Cavalier. With a maximum drawbar
horsepower of 5,100, the J could pull a 15-car passenger train at 110 mph on
level ground. However, they were so well designed and built that one could be
pulled by several people with a rope. The locomotives averaged 15,000 miles per
month and some travelled nearly three million miles before their retirement.

Number 611 was built at a cost of $251,544 and entered
service on May 29, 1950. It pulled the last steam passenger train on October
24, 1959, from Roanoke , VA
to Bluefield , WV and back. Later that month, the railroad
donated it to the Museum. In October, 1981, the 611 was removed from the museum
to be part of what was to become the Norfolk
Southern steam excursion program. In October, 1995, the 611 was returned to the
Museum following the end of the excursion program.

Train Sky Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Rolling stock

Specifications for Class J-1

Wheel Arrangement:



109' - 2"


70" dia.

Weight on Drivers:

288,000 lbs

Total Locomotive Weight:

494,000 lbs

Locomotive & Tender Weight:

873,000 lbs

Grate Area:

107.7 sq ft


(2) 27" dia. x 32" stroke

Boiler Pressure:

300 psi

Tractive Effort:

80,000 lbs

Tender Capacity:

20,000 gals. of water, 35 tons of coal

Broadway Limited Imports model Norfolk and Western J

Released : First run; Jan 2005 Second run; 2006 Price $379 (approx ₤201)

Model Specifications ,

Motor : 5 pole can motor
with flywheel; Length:
385mm; Livery: Norfolk and
Western; Purpose; Express
passenger; Finish: Pristine; Special requirements; Requires at least
450mm or 18” radius track; Features:
Body plastic, Die cast locomotive and tender chassis; Detailed tender under
body; Plated bell & whistle; Operating headlight; Deck plate from cab to
tender; Directional backup light; Illuminated Headlight Number Board;
Prototypical cab interior; Magnetic knuckle couplers front and rear; RP-25
wheels; Quantum sound system with following effects; Engine Sounds;
Synchronized Chuff; Whistle; Bell; Squealing brakes; Doppler effect; Steam Dynamo
when lights turn on. Includes gradual headlight turn-on effect as dynamo speeds
up.); Change in chuff sounds with differing loads; Coupler crash; Air let off;
Air pumps; various water sounds; blower hiss; Headlight: Will operate on Code
70, 83 and 100 rail;

Train Musical instrument Vehicle Musical instrument accessory Wood

always had a thing about streamlined steam engines, when I seen this model I
had to have it. The Norfolk
and Western J class is an absolute beauty and I hoped that this model would
encapsulate the fine looks of the prototype. I had never experienced
Broadway Limited models before and it was also my first purchase from a North
American company (although this was manufactured in South Korea ), so I was interested
to see how this would compare to the British and German locos in my collection.

loco is securely packed in deep foam in its box. Perhaps too well.
The box is huge relative to the size of the loco and if you are buying this
mail order this will double the cost of your postage. Inside the box is
an alternative axle, a “magnetic wand”, a square thing with BLI on it whose
purpose I have still not established, an assembly diagram, a warranty with
disclaimers, and a manual with English only instructions.

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loco is easily removed from the box and can be connected close or very close to
the tender. The loco finish is glossy unlike most other locomotive
models. This is good as pictures of the original loco show that it has a
high gloss finish, although maybe not the coal too. What is not good is
that every time you handle it your fingerprints are clearly obvious and
visible. These are not easy to clean off. The level of detail is
good and it is a very good looking model.

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One of the
big features claimed for this loco is that the sound can operate in analogue as
well as DCC. Full instructions on how to do this with regular DC are in
the manual but basically if you have the loco in forward motion and toggle the
direction switch backward quickly it will trigger an effect. It
does not elaborate on what you do if you have a rotary dial and if this still
works or not. The manual also explains how you can programme the loco in
analogue. Broadway limited also sells a unit for analogue use which can
summon up all the individual functions if this process is found too awkward.

Train Wheel Rolling stock Locomotive Vehicle

is a “magnetic wand” which can alter some functions by hovering this over the
rear of the tender. It can alter the sound volume, reset factory settings
and turn the locomotive on and off.

Train Window Rolling stock Vehicle Track

It runs
fairly well although the decoder does not have the braking and acceleration
delay that the Lokpilot ones do. The sound decoder is not well
coordinated with the motion of the locomotive and will continue for a few
seconds after the loco has stopped. It is disappointing after using
locomotives with Loksound decoders to see how poorly coordinated other decoders
can be. The volume is loud and the effects sound realistic enough.
The horn is good and extends as long as you have the function button on.
The sound features include a voice read out of the scale speed in mph.
The light on the front when activated also has a steam dynamo sound as it
lights up and switches off. There is a light in the fire box are but no
cab light.

nature of these sound effects highlights some of the differences between
American and European railway modelling. Some of these effects would be
difficult to know when to use, e.g. sounds like boiler pop off and boiler blow
down. I would have preferred that these noises were automated rather than
have them as individual functions. I really don’t see them getting used
otherwise. I would have no idea when to initiate the long air-let off
versus the short air let-off. Even start up sounds must be called

Train Toy Rolling stock Locomotive Automotive lighting

There is a cheaper version of the J class made without
the decoder which is $279 (approx ₤148). This may be worth considering as
the decoder in this loco is not the best. Bachmann also make a cheaper
version with a decoder for ₤142 but they have a new version with sound decoder
due for release in October or November. The price for this is not yet
listed on their website.

Train Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling

this is a good model in terms of looks. It really does look
fantastic. The negative is the QSI decoder. It is possible to
reprogram but only a minority of potential purchasers will have the know how to
do this successfully. There are instructions in the manual but there are
some things they don’t cover. Having previously experienced the Loksound
decoders I am disappointed with this one. If you do not have DCC and want sound
locomotives then this may well be an attractive option as many DCC sound locos
will not operate in analogue. But if you have DCC and have locos with
Loksound decoders you may find this disappointing. However as the price of this
loco is less when compared to an equivalent model by Trix (Penn GG1 €449 or ₤301)
then that does have to be balanced against this. This is two thirds of
the price. As a cheaper entry into the world of sound this is as good a
place as any to start. It is worth buying although you may want to get
the one without the sound decoder and install your own. You get a highly
detailed loco which runs well and if you have not experienced the benefits of
better sound decoders then this is acceptable. So ten out of ten for the
excellent looks, but six out of ten for the uncoordinated sound.

CV Factory default settings



Factory setting


Primary address









QSI MFG’s ID Number



Primary Index



Sound Control



System Volume



Mute Volume



Individual Sound Control


Neil Wood - May 2006

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