The Mantua 2-6-6-2 "Articulated Logger"

   Starting in the early 1980s, Mantua Metal Products began producing an HO scale 2-6-6-2 that they dubbed the "articulated logger."  Since then, many of these articulateds have been sold in a variety of road names and in kit form, making it probably the most common logging Mallet related item produced.  The model itself is based on the narrow gauge Uintah #50.  Mantua solved the gauge problem by scaling up the locomotive to standard gauge proportions.  While this makes what should be a small tank engine into a behemoth comparable to Sierra #38, the result is still quite presentable.  The models look right at home on a logging layout, and they run better (and cost a lot less) than any of the brass logging Mallets.

Diagram of some of the model's dimensions

    Both die cast and plastic parts make up the Mantua 2-6-6-2.  The frames are metal with replaceable brass axle bearings for the drivers.  The cylinders are also die cast metal, and Mantua has two cylinder types for the model, slide valve, and piston valve types.  The models with piston valves are simples, meaning the low pressure and high pressure cylinders are the same size.  The slide valve versions are compounds.  On both driver sets, the middle driver is blind (flangeless).  The driving wheel flanges are RP-25, but the truck wheels have much larger flanges.

    The motor is attached to the rear frame and drives the model by the way of two idler gearboxes.  One gearbox is located on the first driver of the rear frame, and the other is on the third driver of the front frame.  A piece of flexible tubing connects the two gearboxes.  Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the models came with an open-frame motor.  Then in the early 90s, Mantua transitioned to can motors, and in 1998 a single flywheel was added to the mechanism.  Power pickup is provided by the right side of the front driver set, and by the left side of the rear set.  Sometimes, additional left rail pickup is provided by a tender. 

    The superstructure consists of plastic, and detail is generally sparse.  The boiler is two pieces, divided along the running boards.  The interior of the boiler is taken up by a die cast weight.  The cab, domes, and other boiler appliances are all separately applied, and on models made since 1994 the stack is also a separate piece.  The only piping detail present on the models is for the air reservoirs.  With the exception of the split-side tank and full saddle-tank versions, all Mantua loggers are coal burners.  

    In late 2001, Mantua Metal Products ended its long history of producing model railroad products.  However, in 2002, Model Power announced they had acquired the old Mantua line and that they intended to re-introduce many of the old Mantua locomotives, including the Mallets.  The Model Power versions of the Mantua locomotives are scheduled for release in 2003.

Below is a listing of the various configurations and road names Mantua released:


2-6-6-2 with tender and Uintah steam pipes (based on Sumpter Valley #250):

-Uintah Railway Company #250 (black, open frame motor - 198*)

-Weyerhaeuser Timber Company #116 (green with silver jacket, open frame motor - 198*)

-Cherry Valley #25 (Russian iron jacket, dark green cab & tender, open frame motor - 198*)

-Deep River Logging Co. #7 (black with Russian iron jacket and red cab, can motor, 199*)

2-6-6-2 with tender (based on Sierra #38):

-Weyerhaeuser #50 (green with silver jacket, open frame motor - 1985)

-Uintah Railway #25 (black, open frame motor - 1985)

-Meadowood Logging Co #7 (red cab & tender, Russian iron jacket, gold lettering, open frame motor - 1985)

-Sumpter Valley #116 (black, open frame motor - 1985)

-Sierra Railway #38 (red with Russian iron jacket, smoke unit, can motor - 1994)

-Virginian Railway (black, advertised 1995, never released?)

-Great Northern #1905 (black with green jacket, can motor with flywheel - 1998)

-Rayonier #120 (black, can motor with flywheel - 2000)

2-6-6-2 with rectangular side tanks (based on Uintah #50):

-Uintah #50 (black open frame motor - 1981)

-Sumpter Valley #251 (black, open frame motor - 198*)

-Weyerhaeuser #127 (green with silver jacket, open frame motor - 198*)  

-Weyerhaeuser #127 (green with silver jacket, can motor with flywheel - 1998)

-Uintah #51 (black with Baldwin factory lettering, can motor with flywheel - 2000)

2-6-6-2 with full saddle-tank and spark arrestor (Based on Weyerhaeuser #108):

-Weyerhaeuser Timber Company #8 (black, open frame motor - 1985)

-White River #7 (black, open frame motor - 1985)

-Long Bell #24 (black, open frame motor - 1985)

-Rayonier #111 (black, with slope back tender, smoke unit, can motor - 1994)

2-6-6-2 with split-side tanks "Classic Booth Kelly Logger":

-Booth Kelly #2 (black, straight stack, open frame motor - 198*)

-Weyerhaeuser #118 (green, with silver jacket, open frame motor - 198*)

-Uintah Railway #17 (black with Russian iron jacket, open frame motor - 198*)  

-Booth Kelly #2 (black, with balloon stack, smoke unit, can motor - 199*)

2-6-6-0 with tender

-Virginian Railway (was scheduled for 2001 release)

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