Mantua Shifter & Tender 0-4-0

Mantua’s first group of releases for its late 1970s return to the hobby included 15 HO-scale steam locomotives offered in decorated ready-to-run versions and as undecorated kits.

Mantua’s 1978 catalog promoted this Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 steam locomotive as, (s)witching engines generally had forward and rear sand boxes. Hardy enough for freight distribution, the Shifter was equally at home for inter-city freight and passenger service. It was widely used by many roads.

The first group of ready-to-run Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 models presented in 1978 included three four names: Erie, Pennsylvania Railroad, Southern Railway, and Union Pacific (retailing for $32 each). An undecorated Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 kit sold for $29 at the time. A curious note, there appears to be no kit offering (502) for this model beyond 1982’s catalog.

By the mid-1980s, Mantua’s Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 cataloged offerings presented Pennsy, Southern, and Union Pacific. The 1985 suggested retail price for assembled and decorated examples was $47.

Mantua introduces a new version of its Pony 0-4-0 with tender steam locomotive in the 1987 catalog. At that point, you won’t find the company’s Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 return until 1992’s catalog with a Canadian National (362-081) release. For 1993, Mantua lists a Santa Fe model (375-163, MSRP: $102.98 in 1994). This Santa Fe version remains in the catalog through 1997. The last two years of the new or second-generation Mantua offerings in 2000 and 2001 include a Pennsy Shifter 0-4-0, which retailed for $109.99.

Produced by Mantua, TYCO included a Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 in its catalog in the 1960s. You’ll find TYCO’s Shifter & Tender 0-4-0 offered with smoke output for $19.95 beginning in 1962. TYCO replaces this original version with its Shifter II 0-4-0 in late 1967. The assembled Shifter II was offered in Pennsylvania Railroad (T238-A) and Santa Fe (T238-C) and retailed for $15.98 in 1967. You’ll find a review of this second version TYCO Shifter in December 1967’s Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.

Canadian National

362-081 -1992 release


303-31 -1979 release


303-30 -1978 release

Pennsylvania Railroad

303-20 -1978 release

375-020 -2000 release

Santa Fe

375-163 -1993 release

Southern Railway

303-40 -1978 release

Union Pacific

303-03 -1978 release

Undecorated Kit

503 -1978 release