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Steam Locomotion in the 21st Century

The Recent History of Steam Locomotive Development

ACE 3000 HO Scale Brass Model

page added 18 December 2011
updated 12 February 2022


In December 2011 I found information on a limited run (10 units) of hand-built ACE 3000 brass HO scale locomotives built by the late Mr. Utao Waki of Salt Lake City, Utah.  He built many brass models over the years and the ACE 3000 was apparently his final project.

At that time, one of these locomotives was offered for sale by of Ocala, Florida (no affiliation with this page). This model apparently sold for $7250 (!).

Here's what they had to say about the locomotive:

"This is a hand-built model by Utao Waki.  Mr. Waki was a Japanese man living in Salt Lake City UT for many years.

He produced a few very limited runs of models throughout the years, such as a UP Big boy, & UP Challenger.

I believe this was the last model that he produced before he passed away.

There were only 10 Produced.  The original price was $3500.00.  3 were set aside for his family, 4 were scarfed up by 2 different wealthy collectors, one was purchased by one of his close friends.  Which leaves only two unaccounted for, this being one of them which we were recently able to purchase.

The craftsmanship is superb.  The model itself is one of the most unique models we have had in our possession.

The ACE 3000 is basically an advanced steam locomotive meant to offer an alternative to the very expensive oil prices in 1980. Ross Rowland headed up the project, CSX authorized it.  Much more info is provided here: Ultimate Steam   If you have any interest in this loco please read the material found there, it is very interesting.

The model runs well.  It is very interesting to watch it run.

It does not have lights installed.

The fact that Mr. Waki is no longer alive, and that this was the pinnacle of his building prowess, combined with the fact no other model has ever been produced of this proposed prototype, makes the value quite subjective.  Really on of the most interesting models produced in the past few decades as far as I am concerned."

The model appears to be very accurate, the only small discrepancies I notice are the use of spoked drivers vice the Scullin Disk drivers specified by ACE, and the combination levers are incorrectly connected to the valve spindles on the high pressure cylinders (yes, that IS nit-picking). 

Photos of the model:

ACE model side

ACE 3000 Model Side View

ACE Model rear
        three-quarter view
ACE 3000 Model Rear 3/4 View

Builders Plate
Builder's Plate

ACE Model Front
        Three-Quarter View
ACE 3000 Model Front 3/4 View

ACE Model Power
        Unit Side View
ACE 3000 Model "Power Unit" Engineer's Side View

ACE Model Power
        Unit Fireman's Side View
ACE 3000 Model "Power Unit" Fireman's Side View

ACE Model
        "Power Unit" 7/8 View
ACE 3000 Model "Power Unit" 7/8 View

ACE Model
        "Power Unit" Bottom View
ACE 3000 Model "Power Unit" Bottom View

ACE Model
        "Support Unit" Engineer's Side View
ACE 3000 Model "Support Unit" Engineer's Side View

ACE Model
        "Support Unit" Fireman's Side View
ACE 3000 Model "Support Unit" Fireman's Side View

ACE Model Top
ACE 3000 Model Top View

ACE Model
        Instruction Sheet
ACE 3000 Model Instruction Sheet

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