Micro Feinmechanik 00601H Italian Streamlined Express Loco Class 691 of the FS

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Very Rare Model only 15 were made worldwide.

Model: Micro Feinmechanik handmade brass Class 691 model is a masterpiece, featuring a complete cab interior, a functional boiler hatch with detailed boiler components, and a brushless, ironless bell motor. Painted in the distinctive Italian Black and reddish-brown livery, this model boasts an array of technical and optical details that make it a standout in craftsmanship and accuracy.  Micro Feinmechanik model trains are simply the best!!

Prototype: The Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), known as the Italian State Railways, introduced the Class 691 (Italian: Gruppo 691), a remarkable series of 4-6-2 'Pacific' locomotives that held the distinction of being the fastest and most powerful locomotives ever constructed for the Italian railway system. In the late 1920s, the FS contemplated the need for a new class of Pacific locomotives to handle mainline express duties, as the existing Class 690 locomotives faced operational challenges, primarily due to their small fireboxes, making them inefficient steamers. Additionally, the Class S.685 2-6-2 locomotives, despite being significantly lighter, exhibited similar performance levels.

Initially intended as the Class 695, this new locomotive class faced challenges, including an exceptionally high axle load of up to 21 tons, necessitating reinforcement of the railway lines they were expected to serve. However, with the increasing prominence of electrification and the associated costs, the FS deemed such an undertaking unjustifiable. Consequently, a more pragmatic plan was approved, involving the reconstruction of the existing Class 690 locomotives to reduce the axle load.

The Class 690's boiler was replaced with that of the Class 746 locomotives. A Bissel truck replaced the trailing axle to support the weight of the enlarged firebox, and a Nielebock-Knorr pre-heater was added. The rebuilding process, undertaken partly by FS workshops and partly by the Ernesto Breda company, resulted in 33 modified locomotives. Initially intended to be paired with the Class 695 tender, an enlarged version of the standard FS bogie tender was ultimately used.

Notably, the 691.011 set a speed record, reaching 150 kilometers per hour (93 mph) between Verona and Padova. In 1939, the 691.026 underwent an unsuccessful experiment with a streamlined casing, which was subsequently removed by 1946.

The Italian Class 691 emerged as a stunning steam locomotive, widely acclaimed by collectors as one of the finest Pacifics ever developed. This collaborative effort between Bavarian locomotive builder "Kraus Maffei" and Italian locomotive builder "Breda" showcased Maffei's patented four-cylinder drive system, contributing to its status as one of the fastest Pacifics ever built. The 691 played a crucial role in heavy express service between Milan and Rome.

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