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Union Pacific Challenger




Al Kits and Factory Built / RTR have been shipped. 

Southern Steam Trains thanks you for your order.



Some technical details of the Aster model. 

The locomotive is modeled in 1/32 scale Gauge One and features a alcohol fired C-type boiler, working cylinder drain cocks on all four cylinders, battery powered headlight, and all the necessary appliances featured on the latest Aster locomotives.

The standard Aster design will be Union Pacific Challenger # 3985 in black, as preserved today in Cheyenne WY. The grey UP Passenger is engine # 3977.  

A black version without cab numbers and tender lettering (undecorated) was also be made available by advanced reservation only. This provided an opportunity to decorate the locomotive kit in Rio Grande or Clinchfield lettering or kit bash it into a Great Northern Z-Class 

The Challengers ordered by Union Pacific from ALCO were numbered 3950-3999. Aster Hobby Co. Inc. is modeling the only operational example # 3985 still owned and operated by Union Pacific Railroad in Cheyenne, WY.  Some of the UP Challengers were used in Passenger service and painted grey with yellow striping (pictured in color above). Both Challengers # 3985 and # 3977 have been preserved as oil burners and will be modeled by Aster Hobby Co. Inc. in "as preserved condition".  

The Rio Grande operated several Challenger locomotives purchased from Baldwin. In 1943, five more were purchased from ALCO on a war order. They were identical to the UP Challengers. The ALCO engines # 3800 - 3805 did not match with the Railroads operations and maintenance system and were later sold to the Clinchfield.    

The Clinchfield Railroad purchased their Challengers from the Rio Grande. Besides converting them to single smoke stack they remained identical in appearance to the UP Challengers.  

The Great Northern operated two ALCO Challengers which were originally owned by SP&S Railroad. They differed from the UP Challengers from the engine pilot arrangement, compound pump location, single smoke stack, slanted crew cab, cosmetic detail and a totally different tender. With some "kit bashing" skills a Aster UP Challenger kit may be converted to resemble this great looking GN class Z to compliment Aster's Great Northern S2   


Aster Challenger Pilot Test - Dec. 4, 2011


Aster Challenger (Gray) Pilot Test - Jan. 7, 2012


Union Pacific 3985 with Maximum Smoke in HD


UP Challenger 3985 pulls RBBB circus train


click to view

To view pre-production photographs and specifications - click here

Aster UP Challenger page 1 >  page 2



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