I had an opportunity to look closely at the new Eureka 50 class (non sound, 5069 to be exact). I'm sure there will be a full review in the next edition of AMRM but this is just a quick post with a few first impressions.
It looks great straight out of the box although I was a little surprised by the weight or perhaps more correctly, less than expected weight.
It ran smoothly on the test track (600mm radius circle) in forward and reverse using DC but I did notice that the front pony truck derailed a few times. That's probably got more to do with one particular joint on the track but other locomotives haven't derailed at that point. If the problem continues, I may have to consider a little extra weight on the pony truck.
The tender also is very light. Purchasing a non sound model may account for this but my gut feel is that I should add some extra lead and probably conceal it with extra coal.
Operation with a load has yet to occur but I am not anticipating any difficulties. Perhaps the more interesting challenge will be the appropriate level of weathering for the late 1960s and early 1970s. Photos taken on an enthusiasts' trip in 1973 at the very end of its long operational life shows a fairly good paint job, almost to the 'out of the box' images in this post.( http://www.ajhurst.org/~ajh/trains/nsw/50class/index.xml). I presume that a some point very late in its operating life, it had a visit to the workshop and a repaint.
The question now is whether to weather?